De Drie Fleschjes
Gravenstraat 18, 1012 NM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Liqueur and Genever Proeflokaal, Amsterdam as featured in our Amsterdam's Best Bars
There has been a spirits and liqueur tasting room on these premises since 1650. Originally part of the Bootz distillery next door (which is now the Best Western Hotel) the 'drinking organ' is like an organ in construction with pipes leading directly to the barrel - this is the only one still fully intact.
Now part of the Bols drinks empire - you can taste from a wonderful selection of 27 of the Bols liqueurs including the Bols Corenwyn and a vast array of fine Dutch Genevers of selected maturity and old Dutch liqueurs such as Half om Half and Bitterkoekjes. The specialities of the house are ‘Tip van Bootz’ and ‘Boswandeling’.
Historically, this was more of a shop than a bar, even as late as the 1930's Genever was an expensive commodity, one bottle cost the equivalent of half a week's wages for a labourer.
Generally people didn't go to bars to drink but would select what they liked and would drink at home, usually only on special occasions.
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange
But location is everything - and this tasting house was a stone's throw from the very first stock exchange in the world. Here was a host of wealthy merchants and bankers who could taste and buy by the barrel and have the goods delivered straight to their exquisite townhouses on the grachtengordel.
There's a small snug at the back of the proeflokaal with stained glass windows - originally the office for paying your bills - it is now a charming corner to sip your liqueur. Everything in this place screams history - from the wall of oak barrels (made by master ship builders - who better?) to the gleaming pumps and pewter pitchers - once the weights and measures verifiers.
Joop and Jet are the current owners and have been the custodians here for many years and they are passionate about the history of Genever, the Proeflokaal and of Amsterdam itself. Creating a welcoming atmosphere for anyone who shows an interest in the history. An ancient map showing just how Amsterdam came into being, stories of Citroen Brandewijn being metered out to sailors on Dutch tall ships to prevent scurvy on their two year voyages and an amusing story of how William of Orange when ruling England was responsible for the surge in popularity of gin, experiments and alchemy resulted in English gin made from from juniper berries and herbs - not at all like the grain-mash spirit and oak casking of genever which is more like whisky in it's method.
A very pleasant treat awaits the travellers that stop by this tasting house...