The gin and tonic may be one of the most traditional cocktails, but bartenders in Amsterdam are giving it a creative new makeover.
The good old gin and tonic—or “gin tonic,” as it’s known in Dutch—has been enjoying a global revival of late, and Amsterdam is no exception. Once considered the most straightforward of cocktails, mixologists worldwide are getting selective with their liquor of choice, its ratio to the tonic (not to mention the wealth of artisanal variations there), and even the sophistication of garnish. As the city heats up in July, these places will cool you down with their chic renditions.
In the uber-chic Piero Lissoni-designed Conservatorium Hotel, the Tunes Bar (pictured) offers a giddying array of variations on the G&T, its signature cocktail. With 30 types of gin and six tonics on offer, there’s something for everyone, including unusual options like the Edgerton Pink Gin, made with Fever Tree tonic and raspberrries.
As the name suggests, this restaurant offers a perfect combination: mussels, French fries, and perfectly mixed gin and tonics. There’s a choice of nine variations on the original; though we tend to keep ordering the cucumber or juniper berry options. The location also boasts a relaxing outdoor terrace next to the leafy Westerpark that’s the perfect backdrop for savoring your drink.
“When life hands you lemons, make a gin & tonic,” is the motto at Razmataz. With 48 different gins (at last count) and seven tonics in stock, this bar and restaurant offers the city’s broadest selection. Enjoy yours while reclining on a Chesterfield or, weather permitting, on the terrace outside.
Arguably Amsterdam’s finest burger joint, The Butcher serves a mean G&T too, in the bar at the back. (You have to say the secret password in order to enter, adding to the fun.) Try the Captain’s Brew, mixed with Earl Grey tea.
Jane Szita is on the Netherlands beat for Travel + Leisure. She lives in Amsterdam.
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