Here’s a threeway for your Thursday: three ace genever cocktail recipes

It’s not popular, it’s not widely available, and it’s just what you need for proper classic cocktails — here’s three ace genever cocktail recipes

We’re taking a look at what we think is an underappreciated spirit in this issue, genever. Why’s it underappreciated? Because although we love our gin, genever offers something a bit more flavoursome, with a bit of malty funk to the spirit; the juniper isn’t as prominent, and it works wonderfully in classic cocktails.

Why does it fit classics so well? Because that was the spirit of choice in the early days of the cocktail, as English gin wasn’t nearly as popular as the Dutch stuff in the colonies.

Here, we look at three banging genever cocktail recipes to get you going.

Fancy Gin Cocktail
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Fancy Gin Cocktail

  1. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

“This drink is made the same as the gin cocktail, except that it is strained in a fancy wine-glass and a piece of lemon peel thrown on top, and the edge of the glass moistened with lemon,” Jerry Thomas wrote in his book.

It’s in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 edition of How to Mix Drinks where you’ll find a recipe for a Fancy Gin Cocktail. It’s the same as a Gin Cocktail (gin, bitters, curacao and sugar, strained into a cocktail glass) yet with a twist — literally.

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“This drink is made the same as the gin cocktail, except that it is strained in a fancy wine-glass and a piece of lemon peel thrown on top, and the edge of the glass moistened with lemon,” Thomas wrote in his book.

And note the use of genever in the Fancy Gin Cocktail — its rich character (as opposed to delicate gin) helps give depth in this simple, spirit-forward drink.

Genever Crusta
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Genever Crusta

  1. Moisten the rim of a coupe with lemon, and rim with sugar.
  2. Line coupe with the peel of a lemon.
  3. Add all ingredients to a shaker, shake and strain.

“Cocktails are compounds very much used by “early birds” to fortify the inner man, and by those who like their consolations hot and strong,” wrote William Terrington in his 1869 book, Cooling Cups & Dainty Drinks. “‘Cocktail’ is not so ancient an institution as Juleps, &c, but, with its next of kin, ‘Crusta’ promises to maintain its ground.”

The Crusta came about not long after the Cocktail was invented, and if you’d ordered a Gin Crustqa from your bartender back in the 1860’s you would have likely been given some genever, or Hollands gin as it was often known.

“Cocktails are compounds very much used by “early birds” to fortify the inner man, and by those who like their consolations hot and strong,” wrote William Terrington in his 1869 book, Cooling Cups & Dainty Drinks. “‘Cocktail’ is not so ancient an institution as Juleps, &c, but, with its next of kin, ‘Crusta’ promises to maintain its ground.”

And when a drink is this good, it’s likely to stick around for a while.

Holland House
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Holland House

  1. Shake all ingredients with ice, serve up. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This classic Holland House recipe is as obscure a classic as you get (there’s mention of it with gin in the Savoy Cocktail Book, and earlier on, in Kappeler’s 1895 Modern American Drinks calls for rye whiskey), but with genever in the mix the drink sings.

As to its origins, the drink was the signature drink at the Holland House; Kappeler worked there, and published his rye based recipe; so too did Harry Craddock, whose recipe calls for London dry gin, pineapple, maraschino and dry vermouth, too.

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