The Ajax at Amsterdam Bar: Get down and go Dutch with this drink of the week
Kelly Moritz The Ajax at Amsterdam puts us in a carefree state of mind
Amsterdam Bar and Hall
Countryside tulips and wooden shoes aside, Amsterdam is a party city, and its namesake joint in downtown St. Paul lives up to the reputation. With live music careening off the walls and a bar menu stacked with creative ways to get tipsy on gin you've never heard of, drinking at Amsterdam Bar and Hall will be, for many, a blast to the past when beer, clear liquor, and lemonade mixed together in a bucket made an acceptable party punch. Channel that inner party monster with the Ajax, a boilermaker with a Dutch twist.
Amsterdam peddles seven variations on the beer and a bump theme, like the popular and oh-so-potent Dutch Car Bomb, brown ale pumped up with shots of chocolate and espresso vodka. The Ajax combines Heineken, citrusy Damrak gin, and lemonade to something between a shandy and a Long Island iced tea, surprisingly refreshing and deceptively potent, built for sipping while you shake it on the floor.
The Ajax is not about class or good taste. Other drinks on the menu here are thoughtful, complex, even beautiful, best savored in a quieter moment with some of the top-notch Dutch food on offer. The Ajax is strong, it's sour, and it's skunky in the best possible way, a summer afternoon sneak-away, drinking cheap beer by the train tracks. It's a harbinger of warmer days, of festivals, feet in the grass, with something in hand to cool the tongue and slow the mind.