Last weekend we decided to try out the special gin pop-up bar IMAGIN in Amsterdam. Gin is starting to become a big hype in Amsterdam and this bar, opened only for the month of august seems to be a popular place for gin lovers to enjoy their gintonics.
The bar is located on the top floor of the Roses Cantina and you need a reservation to get inside. The eye catching decor is the first thing you notice when you enter. Sponsored by Bombay Sapphire , the bar’s electic theme seems to be inspired by the Indian spice route, vintage movies and Pirates of the Carribean!
The menu only uses Bombay Sapphire gin and has some imaginative cocktail names. I found it to be good value at 10 euro per cocktail because in Amsterdam its difficult to find a good gintonic under 15 euro. The gintonics also passed the taste test, although I found it strange that the ice-cubes were crushed and not whole in the glass as this changes the taste of the gintonic.
While it was a nice evening out with friends, I won’t be returning to Imagin for two reasons. Firstly because the music is too loud. I felt like I was in a club and had to raise my voice to speak to the person next to me. This could be a nice place to have drinks before you go partying, but the concept of a sophisticated gin bar and loud clubbing music just didn’t work for me. Secondly, while the service started off good, by the end of the night I was really disappointed. The hostess came to ask us if we wanted a last round while we had just received our drinks and they were still full. A few minutes later, I asked one of the barmen if I could still order a drink since I knew it would take time to make and I would be finished with my first one by then. He said “No it’s not possible because we already made an exception for someone else”. I found this excuse really poor because it was the first time I asked and he made an exception for someone else anyway. I was particularly annoyed when I looked at the bar later and saw the barman mixing more cocktails. The waitress came over soon after and put the printed bill on the table. It was obvious that they just wanted to rush people out of there.
The bill had a note on the bottom saying “Service not included”. That’s certainly true.