I usually try to go slow on alcohol, but there’s one place in The Hague where that’s virtually impossible: Van Kleef Distillery. This distillery can be found in one of the oldest parts of the center. It’s not on a shopping street, but it’s absolutely worth the (short) walk! The distillery, where a wide range of alcoholic drinks were made, first saw the light of day in 1842, together with the liquor store next door. In 1986, the company had to close; it was considered too dangerous to make and store so much alcohol in the city center.
Lucky for us, the distillery and the shop reopened in the year 1995. The old shop was restored, a new distillery was built. As a bonus, Van Kleef opened a museum, where you can learn more about the centuries-old craft of distilling beverages like jenever from grain alcohol. The shop and the museum (and lovely garden) also provide group tastings. You can even rent the place for group meetings or receptions!
The jenever is sold in traditional stone jugs. It’s a perfect gift to bring home. Personally, I’m a big fan of the liqueurs that come in fantastic flavors like hazelnut, chocolate, ginger, or even the typical Dutch licorice. I often go to Van Kleef when I need a special gift for someone. Everything you buy will be beautifully gift wrapped and, what’s more, they always offer you to taste before you buy!