We three wise men – Peter S, Alex S, and myself – ventured to Amsterdam for a weekend and were graciously hosted by the ‘Dam CM, Flip. She also organised some Yelp/Meet up drinks (not just for us, I think) at a cool new cocktail bar – Tales & Spirits.
I’ve got to hand it to her, she picked an absolute winner. It’s a cosy little bar with a handful of tables and a very old world feel from the sign to the décor. The bartenders are excellent with a massive store of knowledge and a great willingness to share it with you. They also have come up with some interesting takes on classic cocktails, in particular the Old Fashioned.
Most places will make an old fashioned and some will vary the recipe by including a different type of whiskey, infusing it with something, or maybe trying a new combination of bitters. T&S does all that but then also offers a different approach that doesn’t involve whiskey at all! Instead, they use a lapsang souchong infused genever (the predecessor of gin) as the core ingredient. The smoky lapsang tea provides the similar flavours to whiskey but the end result is a cleaner more floral taste that is incredibly refreshing. While a solid whiskey is perfect for warming you up, I could see this version being my drink of choice on a warm summer day as well. Top marks, T&S, I tip my hat to you.
T&S also provides a small range of bar food and special emphasis must be put on the bitterballen. These are little balls of meat and starch (I think potato but maybe just flour) that are deep fried and served with mustard. I’ve had them a couple of times and always enjoyed them, but T&S puts out some of the best I’ve had. I easily demolished the better part of a serving and could have gone on to eat a couple more if we hadn’t already been late for dinner.
Overall, an excellent choice and one I’ll recommend to anyone travelling to the ‘Dam and in need of a drink!