The Hague Cocktail Week returns for its second edition, running at bar and restaurant venues across the city from 1-10 May 2020.
The Hague’s bar scene has seen a huge leap forward in recent years. From just a handful of cocktail bars a couple of years ago, today you can enjoy great quality and imaginative drinks at cocktail-focussed bars and stylish restaurants throughout the city.
“Many new cocktail locations have opened in The Hague in the last year and a half”, said Hessel Raven, general manager of Hofhouse on Turfmarkt who participated in cocktail week last year. “The fact that venues are based on purely selling cocktails already indicates that there is an increasing demand”.
Wouter Huisman of cocktail week headline sponsor Royal Bliss premium mixers agrees: “The last couple of years has seen some great national and international bartenders choose The Hague as their base. The growing bar scene in the city means more guests enjoying thousands of creative drinks”.
“We’re looking forward to working with bartenders with our premium mixers that feature more than 40 complex flavour notes, composed by – and for – bartenders for a perfect and unforgettable serve every time”, added Wouter.
During The Hague Cocktail Week, bars will each be offering three promotional cocktails for just €6 each, alongside a host of special events, masterclasses and tastings. This year, the festival also presents a new Food Fringe with selected restaurants also offering a promotional cocktail alongside a 20% discount off food.
“As a restaurant, we participated in cocktail week last year with special cocktails and a sell-out Don Julio tequila Mexican-themed dinner”, said Bas Oonk, patron-chef of Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant Basaal on Bierkade. “We’re particularly looking forward to the new cocktail week Food Fringe, and are planning a couple of themed cocktail matching dinners for May this year”.
The Hague Cocktail Week is sponsored by global spirit brand leaders Bacardi and Diageo, Royal Bliss premium mixers and Van Kleef, alongside a wide range of liquors including Chivas Regal whisky, Don Papa rum, Lisch vodka, Brighton Gin and Passion 4 Gin.
“This year we are looking forward to even more bar collaborations”, said Fleur Kruyt of Van Kleef, the city’s oldest distillery dating back to 1842. “It’s exciting for us and bar-goers to see our extensive range of liqueurs and traditional Dutch spirits in the hands of talented bartenders and to see what they can come up with”.
“The Hague Cocktail Week has really helped put the cocktail scene of the city on the map”, continued Hessel from Hofhouse. “Whilst as a food court we are predominantly food focussed, its allows us to show guests that we are also an all-rounder, including offering great cocktails from our bar”.
Legendary Haagse bartender and mixologist Dimi Mourtzakis of the recently opened Gyros Club in Grote Markt agrees.
“Participating in cocktail week is a great investment for a bar or restaurant”, he said. “Not only does the event promote individual venues, it also allows us all to experience new ideas in the cocktail world”.
The Hague Cocktail Week organisers Astrid Philipsen, Owen O’Brien and Nick Mosley see the event not only as a way for cocktail lovers to enjoy one-off drinks in their favourite bars, but also as a means of introducing the great cocktail bar and restaurant scene of the city to a wider market.
“Cocktails are not only fun but also a creative way to enjoy spirits and explore new flavours”, said Nick Mosley. “A key objective of the event is to get more people enjoying great drinks at a wide range of quality bars and restaurants not only during the event but across the whole year. Along with our industry friends and colleagues, we are a key part of the momentum that is putting The Hague on the national and international cocktail map”.
To enjoy €6 cocktails and special events during The Hague Cocktail Week you’ll need to purchase a cocktail week passport in advance from any participating venue. Passports go on sale on Thursday 2 April are limited in number – when they’re gone, they’re gone. Each purchased passport includes your first promotional drink at that venue plus a donation to a charity of the venue’s choice.