Posted on 21/06/2016 by Mistercocktail

Taste of Amsterdam has firmly established itself in the ever-expanding list of festivals as the leading event for food and lifestyle. In the last years the number of alcohol brands has expanded enormously and, as you can understand, this is what makes it all the more interesting to me. This year the presence was even greater, with wine, whisky and wodka and everything in between to enjoy for the thirsty visitor. And boy, what a thirsty crowd there was this year!

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The most spectacular area by far was created by the Bluespoon Restaurant & Bar in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot and Belvedere Vodka. A lifesize pool was created to reflect the luxurious lifestyle that matches the atmosphere of the 5* Hotelbar (designed by Marcel Wanders) and of the Champagne. The Belvedere Vodka bar was lavishly decorated with fresh herbes to explain their new longdrink: Belvedere Vodka, Dry Vermouth and sparkling water, mixed with a choice of fresh ingredients: thyme, grapefruit, cucumber and lemon.

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The Bloody Mary is making an enormous come-back globally and the Dutch brand Ketel One Vodka is embracing this drink. The stand at ToA was fully focussed on educating visitors on how to personalize the drink to each individual taste. Besides the Kitchen (pictured below) there were masterclasses by well-known bartenders during which all the different components of the Bloody Mary were demonstrated.

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The brightly colored gentleman pictured below made sure the music in the (enormous) stand of Maxxium was handled well. In this stand there was room for Thomas Henry softdrinks, Brugal Rum, Galliano, Sauza, Drambuie, Rémy Martin and a whole range of whisky’s.

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A quick glance at the extensive longdrink menu at the stand of Maxxium was illustrating the increased interest of spirits brands in the event Taste of Amsterdam.

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One of my favourite barteams at the moment is that of Pulizer’s Bar, lead by the immaculative Andrew Nichols. The hotel had an own area, with live-music, food and, of course, drinks. They are bringing back The Godfather, a cocktail based on DiSaronno and whisky and yes, it’s much better than you would think!

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The picture below I took at the opening evening where we were hosted by Veuve Clicquot on their pooldeck. The drinks of choice were Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brut and their Rich, a sweeter champagne that is intended for mixing with bell pepper (my favourite), earl grey tea, pineapple, mint or grapefruit.

 

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A special mention goes to Hendrick’s Gin, who created a secret garden with a special VR-experience around this quite unusual gin.

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I visited Taste of Amsterdam on 3 consecutive days (and for 6 consecutive years) and every year I like it better. The eye for detail is super, the food is of a very high level (sometimes a long wait, but well worth!) and I am so very pleased to see so many spirits brands reaching out to the consumer. It indicates that the Dutch market is changing for the good, with many chosing quality over quantity. Allthough at Taste of Amsterdam these went hand-in-hand very well.