13 May 2010

How about a head-butt or a submarine? to start the chilly weekend in Amsterdam

It looks like a slow weekend in Amsterdam perhaps the City knew we would all want to stay inside this weekend to avoid this unseasonably cold weather. In light of the chilly weather forcing us indoors you might be finding yourself at a cozy cafe to pass the next few days; so how about a head-butt or a submarine, to start your weekend?

Have you ever ordered a kopstoot (head-butt) at a bar? Well you don’t need to worry about your head until the following day. The bartender will serve you a shot of Jenever and a glass of beer. Or how about a duikboot (submarine)? This will get you liquored up rather quickly as it involves dropping a shot of Jenever into a glass of beer.

For those of you that don’t know Jenever here's a short introduction. Jenever is a clear distilled alcohol, traditional made from grain and juniper berries. There are two types of Jenever, a jonge (young) and an oude (old) jenever. The oude jenever is aromatic and mellow and served at room temperature. The jonge has a milder taste and is served ice cold. Several variants exist as well, such as bessen jenever (currant) which is often favored by the ladies, and citroen jenever (lemon).

But, lets get back to the tasting. There remain two authentic distillers in the City the oldest being Wynand Fockink, which opened its doors in 1679. Wynand Fockink offers numerous workshops in English (even learning how to make your own jenever). Another local distiller is A.van Wees distillery de Ooievaar  located in the Jordaan. It started distilling in 1782 and continues to produce jenever using authentic methods and ingredients.

The City also harbours some inspiring microbreweries. The most famous must be Brouwerij t’IJ, famous for its windmill and large sun terrace. At Brouwerij ‘t IJ they serve their organic beers with good old Dutch snacks such as boiled eggs or a giant meat ball with mustard. Another microbrewery is de Prael and is located right in the city center. All their beers have been named after famous singers from Amsterdam. Besides beer they sell beer bonbons and you can buy your own beer brewing kit at their brewery shop/bar. Two additional microbreweries can be found in the City - De Bekeerde Suster and De Snaterende Arend. The newest addition to the group is Brouwerij Zeeburg which started brewing in 2009. All the aforementioned beers can be enjoyed at cafĂ© ‘t Arendsnest, as well as other beers from the Netherlands.

Fijn weekend! 

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