Eat & drink

5x shaken and stirred

Fancy an evening spent drinking instead of eating? Welcome to the world of special cocktails and cocktail bars, in and outside the city centre.

By Fleur Chattillon

Fine drinking

Mr. Finch

In his own words, Mr. Finch offers a full-blown ‘fine drinking’ concept. He has a huge selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, but it’s the cocktails that really stand out. Although new cocktails with names like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ regularly appear on the menu, you can also get all the classics like an ‘Old Fashioned’. And all cocktails are served by a bar tender who knows his stuff. If you’d like to have a go at mixing and shaking yourself, they even organise cocktail workshops.

Drieharingenstraat 5

Barrel-aged zombie


Sometimes you’ll find the best and most exciting cocktails in a local restaurant rather than in a cocktail bar. There’s one such restaurant on Berlijnplein in the Leidsche Rijn district. As well as the seasonal dishes made from locally sourced products, they also have a great selection of cocktails on the menu. The current signature cocktail is the ‘Barrel-aged zombie’, made from two different home-made rum liqueurs, which have been left to age in barrels. Very, very special. Owner Daniël Lansbergen is keen to add: ‘The best thing you can after two of these cocktails is go home.’ Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Berlijnplein 520

Flaming volcano


This bar is slightly out of town, but definitely worth a bike ride: the cocktail bar in the One24 restaurant of the Carlton President Hotel in the Zuilen-West district, close to Maarssen. The brown and turquoise tones used to decorate the interior, and the music, give the place a Mediterranean feel. There’s also a huge sunny terrace. Most of the cocktails and mocktails look amazing and are served in a way that has to be seen to be believed. Take the ‘Flaming Volcano’, a cocktail for two which actually spits fire!

Floraweg 25


De Bovenkamer

Speakeasies, or ‘secret’ cocktail bars, are a phenomenon in both the Netherlands and abroad. There’s one of these speakeasies in Utrecht, on the top floor of the Koenraad restaurant. The Bovenkamer as it’s called, has an intimate living room vibe and serves signature cocktails and classics. The menu is divided into four categories, each with a different theme. There’s ‘The Garden’, for example, which features cocktails tasting of grass, flowers and anything else you’d find in a garden. The perfect location for a stylish evening of pleasure.

Voorstraat 14

Dedicated cocktail bar

Behind Bars

In a tiny, well-hidden spot in the middle of Utrecht, you’ll find the city’s first dedicated cocktail bar. They only serve cocktails and spirits. Behind Bars has a fairly minimalistic menu featuring classic and modern cocktails with a quirky twist. If you can’t find anything you fancy, no problem. They’ll be happy to mix you a cocktail to your personal tastes and preferences. They also have a wide selection of Japanese whisky, rum and American whisky and bourbon.

Hamburgerstraat 14

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