After our lunch at MOMO and a stroll along P.C.Hoofstraat we headed over to the 'House of Bols' Cocktail & Genever Experience for a little top up. This was another handy recommendation from Adrian! If you're heading to Amsterdam and fancy a fun, interactive boozy tour then head in this direction - avoid the Heineken Experience, we found it boring.
Bols has been distilling liqueurs in Amsterdam since 1575 (who knew!?) so there's plenty to learn about the history of the brand. My favourite part of the self guided tour was the Hall of Taste! You're encouraged to use your sense of taste and smell to explore and discover the flavours that Bols has to offer. I'd only ever heard of blue, strawberry and cherry until we came here - it's a right pain in the
butt bols to get a hold of Strawberry Bols in Aberdeenshire! - but there is actually over 30 different types available! At one point you'll be asked to put a tiny piece of gum-like paper on your tongue, and allow it to dissolve whilst holding your nose. It sounds strange and you feel a bit stupid but, trust me, do it. I won't ruin it for you but I will say I was surprised by what happened when I let go of my nose!
In the next part of the tour you'll learn more about Bols Genever - a cocktail spirit with a like-ness to whiskey that, due to being a protected spirit category, can only be made in Holland & a select few nearby areas.
There are cocktail workshops available for groups in the House of Bols. We didn't do this (not sure they'd do it for only 2 people!) but if you're over on a stag/hen do or birthday celebration this would be ideal!
For the grand finale, the tour ends in the fantastic Mirror Bar! Your entry fee includes a cocktail of your choice and 2 shots of liqueur to "sample". You can buy extra cocktails for €6.50 each. We tried the lychee martini and vanillaberry crush cocktails to start with (thumbs up for both) and then had a shot of the lychee and passionfruit liqueurs. They were sweet and much easier to drink than I'd expected. The cocktail menu was far too tempting so we ordered another round and this time watched the barman shake and stir his way through a watermelon martini (not as good as MOMO's, obviously) and a bramble. I'd highly recommend the bramble just to admire the way the Bols Creme de Cassis trickles like blood down your glass!
We stayed in the Mirror Bar for quite a while playing in the flair booth and sipping our cocktails as we snapped "selfies" in the millions of mirrors surrounding us!
House of Bols is right next to Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam so it's really easy to find and well worth a trip. Tickets are €14.50 or €9.50 after 5pm on Fridays, which includes your 1st cocktail and 2 shots in the Mirror Bar, and of course all visitors must be over 18! Let me know what you think if you decide to visit :)