Dutch Delight: Oranjebitter

Especially for the upcoming Queensday celebrations, second year IBEB student Milena Alexova from Sofia, Bulgaria, tastes and reviews the signature drink of this day for you: Oranjebitter.The Review

Upon seeing the product, Milena tells me that she expects the drink to taste really sweet, and to be not that heavy in terms of alcohol – even though it’s liquor. The fact that she underestimated the drink a bit, becomes clear after her first sip immediately: “It’s really strong!”

Also the taste turns out to be not as sweet as Milena expected beforehand: “Even though it tastes like orange, you can definitely taste and feel that the drink contains a fair deal of alcohol.” She’s right on that: 30% to be exact.

She rates it above average. Bulgarian red wine is a popular drink in Sofia, and hence Milena will prefer a glass of wine over drinking a lot of Oranjebitter on Queensday. Milena: “I would drink Oranjebitter April 30th, just for the sake of drinking it on Queensday, but it won’t be my favorite drink.” Like many Rotterdam internationals, Milena plans to go to Amsterdam to see some DJs with her friends, enjoy the atmosphere, dress in orange, and toast to celebrate the enthronement of King Willem-Alexander.

The Product

Oranjebitter is a liquor prepared from a mix of distilled bitter orange peels, bitter oranges, and brandy. The drink was being introduced after the enthronement of King Willem I in 1814, and since then a bit of sugar is added to the mixture to add sweet taste. Oranjebitter is typically being drunk during festivities taking place in honor of the royal family.


April 30th is going to be a special day for Milena, because it will be her first ánd last Queensday. The abdication of Queen Beatrix and the enthronement of King Willem-Alexander will change the name of the event to ‘Kingsday’ and the date to April 27th, from next year on.

Score according to Milena: 3

1= I flushed it down the toilet

2= If you bought it anyway, eat it, why not?

3= Quite nice actually

4= Really good food

5= Best food I’ve ever tasted 

Would you like to participate in a future edition of Dutch Delights too? Taste a bit of Dutch culture, and mail to [email protected] LJa