powered by Holland at Home
Pulled the short straw and have the dubious honour of chauffeuring family and friends at Christmas and New Year? Well, cheer up, because you can enjoy a delicious selection of typical Dutch alcohol free drinks instead! And, you’ll experience all of the festive fun without the traditional hangover!
Bob jij of Bob ik? (Are you driving, or am I?)
‘Bob jij of Bob ik’ was the title of a famous Dutch anti-drink driving campaign, which began in 2001. Although many still think that “Bob” is the abbreviation of “Bewust Onbeschonken Bestuurder” (which roughly translates to “Alert, Sober, Driver” in English), it was originally intended as a catchy name for those who avoid drinking alcohol at social occasions, in order to safely drop friends or family back home. The Bob campaign is not a Dutch concept either – in fact the idea actually came from Belgium, where it has been a resounding success ever since its debut in 1995. Today, the Bob campaign remains very much alive in the Netherlands, albeit with a new slogan, “Jij bent top, Bob!” (“You’re the greatest, Bob!”), which was introduced in 2006. Most Dutch are thus highly familiar with the term Bob and tend to announce that they’re “Bob”, whenever they prefer to enjoy alcohol free drinks at a party or event.
Want to discover a delicious range of typically Dutch alcohol free drinks to serve your ‘Bobs’ throughout the party season? Then, as their cousins across the water would say… ‘Bob’s your uncle’!
Typical Dutch alcohol free drinks
1. Soft drinks
The majority of Dutch ‘Bobs’ opt for soft drinks. So make sure you stock up on plenty of authentic Dutch soft drinks, such as Cassis, Taksi or Dubbelfris, to keep them happy. And don’t allow your Bob back behind the wheel before they’ve enjoyed a refreshing cup of Douwe Egberts coffee!
2. Alcohol free beer and wine
True beer and wine lovers often snub alcohol free beer and wine. In recent years, however, famous Dutch breweries, such as Bavaria and Amstel, have considerably upped their game, and now offer a tempting range of alcohol free beers that taste not unlike the genuine article. And, if you can’t source a decent alcohol free wine from your local supermarket, then simply serve a refreshing red or white grape juice in an elegant wine glass instead.
3. Alcohol free champagne
Naturally, Bob doesn’t wish to feel left out and still wants to raise a glass at midnight, just like everyone else. Happily, preparing an alcohol-free champagne is incredibly easy: just mix ¼ glass of ginger beer, ¼ glass of pineapple juice and ½ glass of white grape juice and serve chilled, for a celebratory drink that’s almost indistinguishable from the real thing!
4. Alcohol free cocktails
Fancy making an extra special fuss of Bob this year? Then rustle up a stunning non-alcoholic cocktail in the colours of the Dutch flag: crush three cups of ice in a blender, before placing back into three separate cups. Next pour diluted Karvan Cévitam lemon into one cup, diluted Karvan Cévitam grenadine into the second, and a little blue food colorant (or a blue alcohol free liqueur) into the third. Lastly, scoop the blue, followed by the clear, and finally, the red crushed ice, into a cocktail glass and serve your colourful Dutch cocktail with a straw and a smile.
5. Alcohol free advocaat
This alcohol-free version of the popular Dutch drink is every bit as good as the original. Pop 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar and ½ litre of milk into a blender, and blitz for about thirty seconds. Next heat the mixture in a pan on a low heat, and gently stir until it thickens. Finally, place your alcohol free advocaat into the fridge for a few hours, and then served chilled with a topping of freshly whipped cream.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.