Sommeliers Choice: La vie en rosé

– by Natasja Noorlander, Maître at Restaurant Vinkeles

The sun is out, so it is my job to make sure that we have enough rosé wine in store.

This nice refreshing wine is great to drink in the sun on the terrace. However, rosé is not only for us to enjoy outside, it can also be delightful with dinner indoors.

Rosé is made by red grapes, but can be combined with white grapes. The skin of the blue grapes gives the colour to the wine, this is because the juice of the grapes is always transparent. With a short skin contact the wine turns pink, with longer contact the wine turns red. So, how longer the contact, how darker the wine. The origin of the grape plays a large role within the taste and colour of the wine. Together you get a wide variety of colours and flavours: from a light and elegant rosé to tasty, powerful wines.

It is not allowed to create a rosé by combining white and red wine. This probably gives the colour of the rosé, but never the fruity and fresh characteristic of a rosé wine. Within the European Union, red- and white wine may only be combined in the Champagne region to make a rosé Champagne.

From the worldwide total wine production, is less than 10 percent rosé. Nowadays, rosé wine is produced everywhere, but France is the largest producer. In France, the most well-known region for rosé wine is the Provence.

At The Dylan Amsterdam, we serve a rosé per glass from the Coteaux d’Aix-and-Provence. That is a appellation in the Provence. The wine of Château Barbebelle is very light of colour because the skin only had short contact with the juice. This makes the wine fresh, but still gives the beautiful typical red fruit aromas that you are looking for in a rosé.

This chateau is a family business. The father takes care of the vineyards and his daughter is responsible for business and sales. She also came up with the label with the hipster man with his flower beard. Do not let yourself be judged by the label or the colour of the wine. The wine has enough intensity to be enjoyed on the terrace, but is also delicious with fish or a salad.



Jouke’s Choice: Cheese

It is time for ‘’cheese’’ in this new issue of The Dylan Mag. And the honor is mine to tell you about it.

My name is Jouke. I have been working at Restaurant Vinkeles and Bar Brasserie OCCO since 2011 and since a couple of years I am the one who is responsible for all the different kinds of cheeses we serve in our Restaurant and Brasserie. I took this responsibility just because I am crazy about cheese. You can wake me up for every kind of cheese actually.

Cheese is a beautiful product, available in different kind of milks and countless varieties: fresh cheeses, young and old cheeses, blue cheese, with an ashy layer, creamy and soft, sharpness, you name it. Even the craziest cheese you can imagen is being made in the most fantastic way. The most familiar milks which cheese is being made from are of the cow, the goat and the sheep. But there are also examples of the ones from the buffalo, horses, donkeys, camels, reindeers and yak milk.

Cheeses are being made all over the world. Why do we limit us in Vinkeles to only Dutch cheeses? The answer is simple; everywhere across the world you can consume French or Italian cheeses. Dutch cheese, except for a few Gouda’s or Edammers, aren’t available in other countries. With great pleasure we want to share the knowledge about our pearls of the Dutch cheeses, something we are proud of.

For example think about the goat cheeses of Hanneke Kuppens from Zevenhuizen. She is involved from the beginning until the end and that is something you taste. We will always serve a piece from Hanneke’s creations. Just as the Remeker cheeses of Jan Dirk van de Voort from Lunteren. This farm produces on a biodynamic way since 2004 and I think this is the way that the most beautiful, hard cheeses of our country are made.

The last year I have become familiar with the cheeses of farmhouse the Oudwijker in Lopikerkapel. They make a lot of cheeses from among cow- and buffalo milk. All the cheeses are remarkable, piece by piece. Come and enjoy of the Colosso or the Fiore! These names doesn’t sound Dutch, because they learned the technique in Italy. Although they make it on their Utrechtse farm and on their own way.

There are many more and we like to get inspired. We work closely together with the Kaaskamer, a cheese store on the corner next to the hotel. The two owners are really enthusiastic who will let me taste all new cheeses. This in combination with the different seasons gives us a nice regularly change on our plateau.

The cheeses are presented on two large shelves in the size of the table. The wow-effect that the guest have when I show them our plateau is such a great feeling. Guests don’t have to be modest, they can choose as much as they want and we’ll come back with their favorite cheese just to enjoy one last piece. It’s served on marble of different sizes. Also the confiture and types of bread are served on these marble plates. The table is full and that looks so good, for a perfect photo moment.

With great pleasure I welcome you in Restaurant Vinkeles and I hope you will agree that a piece of cheese is a must after the main course…



Concierge’s Choice August: Meet The Dylan’s Culinary Partner Stooker Specialty Coffee

With our unbeatable location on the prominent Keizersgracht, surrounded by the charm of the 9 Straatjes, The Dylan Amsterdam lives and breathes the Amsterdam spirit. That’s why we collaborate with local powerhouses to bring you the most authentic experience during your stay.

For this month’s Concierge’s Choice, we are introducing you to one of our culinary partners: Stooker Specialty Coffee. Our collaboration runs deep: You can encounter Stooker at several touch points at The Dylan. Read on below to discover what makes our collaborateurs an Amsterdam hotspot and why our cooperation is so unique.


Introducing: Stooker Specialty Coffee

Sweet, young, collaborative: This is the specialty coffee scene in Amsterdam. And no one captures the experience better than Stooker. The name comes from a building on Kastanjeplein, in which alcoholic beverages used to be stoked and where the Stooker HQ now sits. The same attention to craft and the desire to bring people together still remains.

Founded by coffee lovers and entrepreneurs Onno van Zanten and Florian Hessel, Stooker roasts and brews a wide selection of specialty coffees. They help entrepreneurs to serve specialty coffee and support them throughout the entire process, crossing all T’s and dotting all I’s: paying farmers proper prices, supplying cafe partners with consistent machines, training all baristas in their SCA certified academy and so much more.

“Everything we do is custom,” says Florian Hessel, “but it’s always with the same goal: To make sure the served cup of coffee is as good as it can possibly be.”


The best cup of coffee at The Dylan Hotel Amsterdam

Florian and Onno work with our Director of Operations Roel Ruijs and our Food & Beverage Manager Sam Hilkens to uphold that promise at Bar Brasserie OCCO and Restaurant Vinkeles, both located in The Dylan hotel.

“The coffee served at OCCO and Vinkeles at the moment is a single origin Brazilian coffee from the Minas Gerais region,” explains Florian. “We picked this one together with Roel and Sam, because it has loads of chocolate flavors and a full body. It’s a feel good coffee that works great with milk and is super consistent for the baristas to brew.”

This special Stooker brew is the perfect companion to the traditional Dutch custom of having a cookie alongside a coffee. And when visiting OCCO, this tradition is extra special: The cookie that is served with an espresso or cappuccino will elevate your coffee experience to the next level. “Sip on that cup, take a bite of the cookie and focus on the flavors for a second,” suggests Florian.” You’ll be pleasantly surprised!”

Quality coffee in a cosy Amsterdam hotspot

Though simple for some, coffee can also be a complex and highly versatile product. And that is what excites the teams at Stooker as well as at The Dylan. Ever the innovators, Florian and Onno believe that there is still lots to discover and to show and tell the guests at OCCO and Vinkeles.

“It’s a treat to be able to work together with people like Roel and Executive Chef Dennis Kuipers, who understand the diversity of the flavors that can be found in coffee and who are not afraid to try out different things,” enthuses Florian. “The whole hotel breathes quality, and that’s why we’re very proud to be a partner of The Dylan.”

Sample a delicious cup of Stooker Specialty Coffee during your breakfast, afternoon break or as an after-dinner treat while staying at The Dylan or dining at OCCO or Vinkeles. And visit their location at Kastanjeplein 2 in Amsterdam’s east end to pick up a bag of beans.

Portrait by Roel Ruijs.
Images of the roasters by Onno van Zanten.
Image of the Stooker Academy/HQ by Marten van Wijk.



Front of Hotel The Dylan Amsterdam

Where the Locals Go: Discover The Dylan’s Immediate Surroundings

Who says you can only discover a city when you’re a tourist? Sometimes a staycation is all you need to see your home with fresh eyes. With The Dylan’s unbeatable location on the charming Keizersgracht, you will be close to all the sights, shops and attractions that make Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Culture & Museums

The Dylan is walking distance from a variety of museums that document both Dutch and world history. The Anne Frank House, where diarist Anne Frank was hiding during World War II, is located close by on the Prinsengracht. Huis Marseille, the first photography museum of the Netherlands, is practically next door and the Museum Het Grachtenhuis, dedicated to the history of Amsterdam’s famous canals, is also just around the corner.

Food & Drink

There’s no denying it: Dutch cheese is simply the best. And the best selection of cheeses, meats and wines is available at De Kaaskamer, which is located a few metres from The Dylan. Enjoy other nearby delicacies, like pralines from Chocolaterie Pompadour or have a drink at the quintessentially Dutch Café de Doffer. Whatever you’re in the mood to snack or sip on, Amsterdam’s best restaurants and cafes are just a short, picturesque stroll away.

Shopping & Lifestyle

Locals know to go to “De 9 Straatjes” when they’re in the mood to shop. Whatever your heart desires, you will find it one of the nine delightful streets densely packed with boutiques, restaurants, cafes, galleries and flagships of international brands. You can, for instance, discover luxury vintage fashion at L’etoile de Saint Honoré Vintage or pick up a new pair of frames from Dutch eyewear brand Ace & Tate. In the need of a shave and some art? Visit Artshop de Salon for both. With its seat on the Keizersgracht, The Dylan is conveniently situated right in the heart of the 9 Streets.



Bartender pouring a cocktail at Artem Bar

Bartender’s Choice: The Negroni

Never before have we witnessed such an extraordinary moment in the hospitality industry such as we do now.

When I arrived at The Dylan in Amsterdam during the Summer of 2019, it was after tending bar and creating seasonal craft cocktails in New York City for many years. Now, almost a year later, I am writing this article for The Dylan Mag, firmly at home and regrettably away from my “office” behind the bar at OCCO. What can I say? It was absolutely prudent to act early in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all from Covid-19. But I must admit that I miss shaking drinks for our guests to sip and enjoy. So I thought it would be wholly appropriate to showcase in this space a classic cocktail recipe, which anyone can make at home—no matter where home may be.

I’ve always been drawn to the Negroni, partly for its eye-catching ruby red glow, and equally because it can be enjoyed before and after dinner. It’s also a bit of a paradox: simple to put together, but shockingly complex in its expression. A classic Negroni calls for equal parts (30ml) of London Dry Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari. Stirred over ice until nicely chilled, and garnished with a generous orange twist. But that’s only a starting point. One of my favorite riffs on this classic is to substitute the Gin with an earthy and smokey mezcal that we keep behind the bar, such as Del Maguey. The Negroni can wear many hats—you can substitute Bourbon, Rum, and Cognac for the Gin—and it will work just as well. Every time. A perfect drink for mixing at home when your options might be limited.

Another reason this cocktail is on my mind is because at The Dylan right now there is a wooden barrel behind the bar. In anticipation for Spring, I started experimenting with a Negroni recipe that showcases Holland’s national spirit: Jenever. Taking a traditional product like Boompjes Jonge Jenever, and mixing it with a very fine sweet vermouth such as Carpano Antica Formula, and of course classic Campari, this blend has been aging for weeks in that very barrel. The Wood with the help of Time adds a crucial finishing character, rounding out all the sharp edges of the spirits, and creating a little liquid harmony. It’s easy to forget but sometimes, in the cocktail world, patience is a virtue.

So together we all wait. And while we do, I look forward to seeing that ruby red Barrel-Aged Dutch Negroni in the hands of our guests after this episode is far behind us.

– Artem Derkatch



Talking Tea: An interview with Kiona Malinka

The Dylan Amsterdam serves the exclusive Kiona Malinka Tea: the most beautiful leaves, curated exclusively for The Dylan. We spoke with Kiona Malinka herself about the craft of creating and serving our favourite warm treat.

So, tell us, what is the Kiona Malinka tea exactly?
Well, for the last 5 years we have been importing tea under the Crusio Tea label, my interpretation of a heavenly taste. We recognized that we had a few special clients, such as The Dylan. These clients were ready for the next level: beautiful tea served with an eye for detail. We then launched the Kiona Malinka label exclusively for them and by invitation only.

And how did that all start?
I began with a passion for coffee but discovered that my tea suppliers couldn’t tell me where their tea leaves were coming from. Which farmers produced it? From which plantations do the leaves originate? I found it strange that I couldn’t get an answer to those questions, especially since my coffee and wine suppliers were able to do so.
I then dedicated myself to a mission and travelled to the most remote tea plantations. Anywhere in the world, I would jump on a four-wheel drive, hired a student as a translator and drove up into the mountains. Wherever I saw a nice plantation with beautiful leaves, I would speak to the tea farmers and learn everything about their craftsmanship. After 3 years of travelling and learning, I felt ready enough to start my own label.

And do you still work with those tea farmers?
Yes, and my job is to find the best teas in the world, so my contacts have only expanded. That is why I spend most of my time keeping up with the 65 farmers in 14 countries we do business with. And the travelling never stopped: once in a while I jump on a plane again and explore new plantations. I also try to stay for a bit longer then and sleep at the farms, just to make sure that I know all the ins and outs of the plantation.

Is that personal relationship also your way to look after sustainability and social entrepreneurship? 
Yes, it’s just the farmer and me: the value chain cannot be any shorter. People generally don’t know how to spend donated money so I rather value people for what they do and achieve. With my investment, their tea may be improved so that we collaborate and grow together.

What drives you to do all of that?
I have a thorough personality and always like to be informed about just everything. For example, you would have been able to tell that I’m a perfectionist when we recently didn’t have any Darjeeling on offer. Simply because I couldn’t find the perfect leaves.

And do you have a favourite tea yourself?
Well, there are so many seasons, harvests and farmers, which makes it hard to put one particular taste in the spotlight. But oh, I could say that I feel very much at home in Japan. The Japanese are just as profound as I am and will never go for anything less than 100% quality.

We are quite familiar with wine-food pairings. Do you also pair your tea with food?
Absolutely, but there is one main difference: tea also has to be prepared. That active part makes it even more fun than working with wine since you can influence the taste through temperature and preparation. Another difference compared to wine is that there is no reference framework. A greasy sauce generally pairs well with a full-bodied wine, but with which tea? There are no rules for tea, so we can simply follow our taste buds.

Why is tea of importance for a hotel?
Tea is anchored in almost every culture and country: it is the most consumed drink in the world after water. That is why everyone remembers those magical moments of warmth and nostalgia when thinking of tea. It also makes tea a silent connector, providing a soothing home feeling.

Is that why your tea matches The Dylan?
Yes, the Dylan has an intimate atmosphere and focus on quality. The smaller scale of the hotel allows us to continuously push our service limits. That is how we can keep surprising guests of the Dylan at various moments during the day. Even if you order a pot for breakfast or a cup of tea during your meeting, we will always look after the full tea experience.

And what is that you like about the Dylan?
It’s just magical to arrive here, have the door opened for you and enter the historic property. But after all, it is the staff who make this such a fantastic place. Wherever I go in the hotel, everyone always pays attention, sees me and stops for a chat. That is a very special way of taking care of guests.

To conclude, what is the next step you will be taking?  
Well literally, I will start tasting again in a bit. I taste nearly 200 samples a week. And in a few weeks, I will head over to China for another adventure, followed by a trip to Singapore to train the staff at the Raffles hotel. You see, I will never get bored of tea…