The House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience is on Museumplein and has won awards for its innovative, contemporary design. At just a stone’s throw from the three great art museums of Van Gogh, Stedelijk and Rijksmuseum, it is an homage to two of Amsterdam’s oldest alcoholic drinks: Bols was the world’s first distilled spirit, produced in Amsterdam in 1575 by Lucas Bols, while genever is the Dutch equivalent of today’s gin and was drunk instead of water in the 17th century, as it was believed to hold medicinal properties.
A fun-filled, self-guided romp around the exhibition takes about an hour and includes taste, touch and smell sessions in the Hall of Taste as well as the chance to learn about the process of distilling Bols and to experience life as a liqueur in the interactive World of Cocktails. All tours end in the sleek and futuristic Mirror Bar, where the staff can whip up pretty much any cocktail under the sun.
The House of Bols also holds cocktail workshops where you can learn mixology tricks of the trade, and offers genever and Bols tasting sessions as well as alcoholic afternoon teas. Alternatively you can test your bar-tending skills in the Flair Booth as you star in your very own mixology movie.
The House of Bols is located at Paulus Potterstraat 14, opposite the Van Gogh Museum. It is open Monday through Thursday and on Sunday from noon to 6:30 p.m. On Friday, it is open until 8 p.m., and on Saturday it is open until 8 p.m. Tickets cost €14.50 and include one cocktail. The minimum age for entry is 18.