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What to Order at Amsterdam’s Door 74 — If You Can Find It

Anyone walking by the discreet speakeasy would think the bar had closed decades ago

December 19, 2023

Bartender preparing one of 12 seasonal drinks / Photo: Courtesy of Door 74

Occupying an unmarked address, Door 74 can be identified by the line of people trying to get in. If you have a reservation you can snag a table or seat at the bar, but it’s a rarity to be able to just walk in. While checking on the line, the very stern and serious—but, believe or not, amicable—hostess saw my group standing on the side. She complimented me on my red glasses and asked if we had a reservation. When I told her we had come from different parts of the USA to discover places like this and had just found out it existed, she said, “Let me see how I can move things around. Give me a few minutes and I will be right out.” And that’s how all six of us not only got in but also were seated in the best banquette in the house. This is a speakeasy if I ever saw one. It’s so well-conceived anyone walking by would think this bar had closed decades ago.

Speakeasy-like interior / Photo: Courtesy of Door 74

The menu has 12 seasonal drinks created by a team of bartenders, plus other favorites. After we ordered, we realized that these perfectly balanced creations had been carefully blended to produce happiness, no matter their flavor profile. From the first sip to the last, smiles kept appearing from ear to ear. Single Not Ready to Mingle, a creamy and fruity cocktail prepared with Roku gin, Aperol, passion fruit, hibiscus and umeboshi is so easy to down it should come with a warning label. Trader John’s, created with Johnnie Walker Black Label and lacto-fermented blueberry soda, reminded me of my youth in Venezuela when kids were allowed to drink Coca-Cola with whisky. Of course, Trader John’s take is elevated and refined.

Chariot Stopper cocktail / Photo: Courtesy of Door 74

Nothing less than delightful was the Emperor’s Delight, made with Tanqueray No. Ten gin, oolong, verjus, fino sherry and bergamot, so refreshing and full of fruity nuances that one felt tiny effervescences on the tip of the tongue. And the tropics are evoked with Golden Wink, Ketel One vodka shaken with Cointreau, turmeric, Mandarine Napoléon and passion-fruit foam. We wrapped up our evening with a visit to the Vault Bar, where spirits of unparalleled sophistication are kept. Rotating offerings may include Yamazaki 12 whisky, a tribute to Japan’s rich terroir; The Macallan Double Cask 18, captivating with its rich dried fruits and spices; and Clase Azul reposado and Clase Azul mezcal, both paying homage to their Mexican heritage.