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  • Writer's pictureAmy Leggett

The Best "Dam" Cocktail Bar in Amsterdam

On a very cold and rainy evening in Amsterdam, my friends and I ventured out to visit a bar called Tales and Spirits known for its creative cocktails. My friend Ann's research tipped us off that we were going to taste some unique concoctions, but we didn't fully know what an experience was in store for us.

Despite being known as a cocktail bar, the place is very low-key and has more of a pub feel. It is a quirky and whimsical place and I felt like I had stepped into another world when we walked through the door. The bar is filled with vintage and antique pieces and the walls have several handpainted murals and quotes on the walls. The room was quaint and cozy which was the perfect antidote to the damp, chilly night outside.

I felt a magical energy as soon as we walked in, in part because of the friendliness of the servers and bartenders. It seems that everyone at Tales and Spirits is definitely having fun at their job. Their enthusiasm helps create the party-like atmosphere in the small space (well, that and the strong drinks they make). It was fun to watch them create their artistic masterpieces.

The cocktail menu is a creative work on its own! It takes a while to go through it as it is filled with stories and art supporting the description of the unique cocktails. The drinks have names like Fallen Lady, What If...(which corresponds to the painted mural above), Shut the Fuck Up George!, Little Miss Trouble, and MoJo. There is also a complete menu of specialized Old Fashioned's if that is your go-to drink. Find a complete cocktail menu here to check out your options if you plan to visit Tales and Spirits. You may want to preview your choices because there are so many interesting drinks it could take a while to decide.

One of the most interesting drinks offered at Tales and Spirits is called the Zombie and luckily my friend Misty ordered it. The drink came with a whole presentation. Words alone can not capture the experience so I will let a video show you how the Zombie is delivered.

Needless to say we were surprised by the fireworks display inside the bar! When we asked what was in the drink the server just said "Everything!". Ok...enough said. Misty didn't want to have a drink with "everything" in it by herself, so we got four straws and all took a taste. Probably a good idea as the bar itself limits customers to only two Zombies a night! You can see from the description below what "everything" actually means! The little shot glass that is lit on fire can actually be added to the Zombie as well. It's not too hard to figure out where the name of this drink came from.

Upon arrival, the server provided us with a complimentary bottle of water (to keep us hydrated!) and some delicious crunchy chips with mango chutney. There is also a menu with a selection of bar bites. I highly recommend you order some for a couple of reasons. First, the drinks are strong so eating food is probably a good idea. Second, the bar bites are delicious! We ordered a few different ones to share. We got the Crunchy Chicken (which were finger bites of chicken that tasted like Sesame Chicken), Mini Cheese Souffles (pockets of deliciously melted cheese-my personal favorite!) and Bitterballen (a traditional Dutch snack served with spicy mustard). So yummy! There are other great options on the menu like Pork Buns, Onion Rings and Jalapeño Poppers. I don't think you can go wrong!

If you find yourself in Amsterdam, make sure to venture to Tales and Spirits. Learn more about the bar and get directions here. They are open on Tuesday through Saturday from 17:30 (5:30 pm for us Americans) to 1:00. You should know that Tales and Spirits does not take reservations and operates on a first come, first serve basis. Rumor is it gets very crowded later at night and on weekends. We were there on a Thursday, but we made to sure to get there right when they opened so we could definitely get in. We arrived a bit before opening time and there was already a short line forming. Luckily we were able to snag a table, but the small space filled up quickly. If we hadn't gotten there so early I don't think we would have gotten to check this place out!

If you end up visiting Tales and Spirits on your journeys, please share a picture of the drink you ordered as many come with their own unique presentation. I would love to see the creative way they serve drinks we didn't order! Prost!

1 Comment

Krista Senatore
Krista Senatore
Apr 04, 2023

This place looks great! I just shared it with a friend who will be in Amsterdam this summer!

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