Gin, er… Genever Daisy

According to the Savoy Cocktail Book, the Gin Daisy should be made as follows…

Gin Daisy.

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/4 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar.
6 Dashes Grenadine.
1 Glass Gin.

Use long tumbler. Half fill with packed ice, stir until glass is frosted. Fill with Syphon Soda Water, put 4 sprigs of green mint on top and decorate with slices of fruit in season.

I dunno, that sounds a little boring, if labor intensive.

And according to Hugo Ensslin, the Daisy category is simple:

All…Daisies are made as follows: Juice of ½ Lime and ¼ Lemon; 1 teaspoonful of Powdered Sugar; 2 dashes of Grenadine; 1 drink of liquor desired; 2 dashes Carbonated water. Use silver mug, put in the above ingredients, fill up with fine ice, stir until mug is frosted, decorate with fruit and sprays of fresh mint and serve with straws.

Uh, right, so, in general, the only things definite I can figure about the daisy as a drink category:

Booze. Citrus. Sweetener. Fine ice. Soda Water.

So, if a Gin Daisy is nice with Gin, I bet a really old school Daisy with Genever is nice-er!

Genever Daisy

2 oz Bols Aged Genever
Juice 1/2 small Lemon
1 TBSP Rich Simple Syrup
Cracked ice
Soda Water

Use Wine Glass. Half fill with packed ice, stir until glass is frosted. Fill with Syphon Soda Water, put 4 sprigs of green mint on top and decorate with slices of fruit in season.

Well, if you like Genever, this is a fine use, even if you do not yet have the Bols Aged Genever in your “market”. Smoke what you’ve got. Bols Genever, Anchor Genevieve, Boomsma Oude Genever. It’s all good.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Remsen Cooler

Remsen Cooler
l Glass Dry Gin.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Gin and fill with soda water.

The Remsen Cooler is about the only of these Coolers to have survived over the years, but there is still some confusion. The drink came to be made frequently with Gin, but some maintain it is properly made with Scotch.

Cocktail Bill Boothby relates the following in his 1906 version of his bar book. It is a nice story. Note, Old Tom Cordial Gin was a type of sweetened Old Tom Gin which apparently was available for a brief few years around 1900.

“Some years ago, the late William Remsen, a retired naval officer and a popular member of the Union Club, N.Y., introduced a beverage to the members of that swell organization which has since taken his name and is now known to all clubmen by the appellation of Remsen cooler.”

“Pare a lemon (a lime will not answer the purpose) as you would an apple, so that the peel will resemble a corkscrew, place the rind in a long thin glass and pour over it a jigger of Old Tom cordial gin; with a bar-spoon now press the peel and stir it thoroughly, so the liquor will be well flavoured with the essence of the skin and fill the glass with plain soda off the ice. English club soda is highly recommended for this drink. Be sure the soda is cold.”

Hugo Ensslin, in his 1916 “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” takes a middle path, by allowing either Gin or Scotch:

Remsen Cooler
1 drink Dry Gin or Scotch Whiskey;
1 Lemon;
1 bottle Club Soda.

Peel off rind of lemon in spiral form, place in Collins glass with cube of ice, add Gin or Scotch and fill up with Club Soda.

Well, if you can use Gin OR Whisky in a drink recipe, why not use something in between? Say Dutch Genever?

Remsen Cooler
2 oz Bols Aged Genever*.
1 Split of Soda.
Peel rind of lemon in spiral form, place in long tumbler with 1 lump of Ice, add Genever and fill with soda water.

A couple years ago, Bols brought a 19th Century style Genever to America. Based on a recipe from 1820 it soon became the darling of many bartenders. However, they weren’t quite sure what would happen with it in cocktails. There are not a ton of cocktail recipes for Genever. Would people try to mix it like Dry Gin?

What they found, especially with a lot of stumping from cocktail and punch classicists like David Wondrich, was that people were mixing with it like it was Whiskey. Making Improved Holland Gin Cocktails, Sazeracs, Holland Sours, and the odd Holland House Cocktail.

So if people were mixing with it like it was a Whiskey, what if Bols introduced the category of Genever which was even more like Whiskey, Aged Genever?

From Instant Upload

I was lucky enough to attend an event where they launched the new product in San Francisco and introduced it to us in a couple drinks.

Aged a minimum of 18 months in used and new Cognac casks, Bols Barrel Aged Genever is in interesting contrast to the original Bols 1820 recipe. While it doesn’t seem to take anything away from the 1820, the aging and slightly different production process seems to heighten the spicy characteristics of the Genever. To me, the Juniper is even clearer in the Barrel Aged Genever than it is in the rather mildly flavored unaged 1820 Genever.

They had us try it in several drinks including a Collins and a Manhattan, but to me the real winner was the Barrel Aged Genever in a julep. I’ve made and enjoyed Genever Juleps before, but the spice and intensity of the Barrel Aged Genever made it stand out in the drink and really complement the flavor of the mint.

For what it’s worth, it’s not bad in an even simpler drink, The Remsen Cooler. On the ice or off the ice, little simple syrup wouldn’t hurt this drink, but note that none of the recipes include any juice at all, only lemon peel.

*The Bols Aged Genever used in this post was provided to me by a firm promoting the brand.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Holland Fizz

Holland Fizz
The Juice 1/2 Lemon. (Juice of 1/2 Lemon, Juice of 1/2 Lime)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (Generous Teaspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Glass Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)
(Dash Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters)
The White of 1 Egg. (Uh, oops!)
Shake well strain into medium size glass and fill with sypon soda water. Add 3 sprigs of fresh Mint.

Wait, what? Egg White! Dammit, I forgot the Egg White!

Well, you will perhaps be thrilled to know that I did make this drink for a guest at Heaven’s Dog a couple weeks ago AND succeeded in including the Egg White. I hope they appreciated the effort that went into their, “Freedom From Choice: Gin, Citrus”. I will also be very happy to make it for you properly, should you happen to stop by Heaven’s Dog Saturday, July 23rd.

Even though I forgot the Egg White, I did decide to include some of the Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters, which went surprisingly well with the Bols Genever. Note to self, Genever Old-Fashioned in my very near future with Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters.

Oh yeah, why Genever, instead of any old Dry Gin?

Well, it is called a “Holland Fizz”, what are you going to make the Holland Fizz with OTHER than Genever?

Anyway, with or without Egg White, this is a nice drink and a pleasant change from the “Plain Gin Fizz”. Give it a try some time!

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

John Collins

John Collins
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon)
1/2 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar. (1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup)
1 glass Hollands Gin. (2 oz Bols Genever)
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Add 1 lump ice and split of soda water

The last of the Collins family, for Savoy purposes, is the “John Collins”. I guess the interesting part is that in modern bar nomenclature, if you ordered a John Collins you’d likely get a Bourbon Collins, not a Genever Collins. It’s true that Genevers were rather thin on the ground for most of the 20th Century and that during most of that time, London Dry Gin was the dominant style. If you ordered a Genever Collins, you would likely get a blank look. Even in Europe, where Genever was still available, not many people were mixing with it.

Actually, strike that, as far as I know, no one was mixing with it.

To be honest, I’m not super sold on the John Collins as a good use for Genever. Because Genever doesn’t have the botanical intensity of London Dry or Old Tom, it doesn’t have a huge impact in the drink. Basically tastes like boozy, fizzy lemonade. There’s a little maltiness from the Genever, but it doesn’t have much presence in the drink.

It’s perfectly fine, but it doesn’t sell itself. You can definitely see why Genever went by the wayside for drinks of this nature.

No, if you’re going to mix with Genever, make yourself an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail or a Holland House. Those are drinks where the Genever shines.

In the previous Tom Collins Whisky post, I mentioned that I should try making a Collins with unaged Whisk(e)y.

So as a bonus round, I made a half Collins with the Low Gap Clear Whiskey.

Wow, was that good!

I am a little dubious about the whole “White Whiskey” category, but the Low Gap really shines in a Tom Collins. Pot Still for the win!

Highly recommended, maybe my favorite Collins of the bunch.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Conduit Street Punch

So I was looking at a couple of these bottles of “White Whiskey” in my cabinet and thinking to myself, “When on earth will I ever drink this?” Casting about for ways to spare my family the trouble of disposing it after my demise, I got to thinking about the origins of Gin on a base of pot still grain spirit. Then I was reminded that David Wondrich, in his awesome book, “Punch: The Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl,” remarked that the John Collins was a type of punch.

In fact, Reza Esmaili (now of Long Bar & Bistro) once had a drink on the menu at the late lamented Conduit Restaurant called (I think) the Hanover Collins. It had Genevieve Gin, Lemon Juice, and sugar. When I asked about the name, he got enthusiastic and ran to get his notebook, so he could recite the following excerpt.

My name is John Collins,
head-waiter at Limmer’s,
The corner of Conduit Street,
Hanover Square;
My chief occupation is filling of brimmers,
To solace young gentlemen laden with care.

Supposedly, he informed me, the Collins was named after the head waiter at this particular establishment in honor of his wonderful Gin Punch.

Hm, if the Collins is a Punch, maybe I could use these unaged whiskies to replicate it. A sort of bottled Tom Collins Mix.

Well, why not?

Starting with the methods and proportions from my adaption of Jerry Thomas’ California Milk Punch, we’ll give it a try.

Conduit Street Punch

1 Bottle Tuthilltown Old Gristmill Unaged Corn Whiskey, 750ml
1 Bottle Tuthilltown Hudson Unaged Corn Whiskey, 375ml
1 Bottle Death’s Door White Whiskey, 750ml

.6 oz Juniper Berries, Crushed
1 TBSP Coriander, Crushed
1 tsp Celery Seed, Crushed
1 tsp Anise Seed, Crushed
1 Cassia Cinnamon Stick
6 Green Cardamom Pods, Crushed
1 Long Pepper Pod, Crushed

6 Seville Oranges
4 Lemons
2 Limes

16 oz Water
16 oz Sugar
4 tsp Hubei Silver Tips Tea

1 Quart Straus Farms Milk

Method:
Zest citrus and add zest to Whiskies. Juice Oranges, 2 Lemons, and 2 limes. Strain, and add to aforementioned liquid. Add Spices. Allow to infuse for 48 hours.

Heat water and add tea. Steep 6 minutes and stir in sugar. Strain tea leaves out of syrup and chill.

Strain Peels and Spices out of Liquid. Juice other two lemons and add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Allow to stand undisturbed for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth, removing milk solids. Add Tea Syrup to filtered booze mixture and pour into clean containers. Allow to stand for a couple days*. Rack clear liquid off of any accumulated sediment into clean bottles and store. Chill well before serving. Serve on ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes about 3 quarts.

*If you have space in your refrigerator, storing the punch chilled will greatly accelerate the separation of the remaining milk solids from the other liquids.

Well, hm. Tasting this room temperature, last night, after the Milk step, I was struck by two things. First, the Celery Seed was a mistake. It has an unpleasant earthy flavor which distracts from the higher flavors of anise and juniper. Second, this doesn’t taste like it has any booze in it at all.

When I serve my Milk Punches to people, they often remark that they could easily drink a pint glass of them, they are so smooth. I generally discourage that, as, smoothness and drinkability aside, I am pretty sure the alcohol content is up near 25%. And those were the Milk Punches made from rough spirits like Batavia Arrack and Jamaican Rum. This one, made from unaged pot still clear whiskey, is on an another level of smoothness altogether. Is this vaguely herby citrus water or punch?

I’m not convinced this particular Milk Punch is super awesome, I wish I had left out the Celery Seed. But I will bring it along tomorrow night, Feb 27, 2011, for Savoy Night at Alembic Bar. Stop by and ask for a taste, if you are curious. But I recommend caution.

EDIT

So, the celery seed element calmed down a lot after resting, and I have decided this is quite an enjoyable punch. The flavor is very light and somewhat reminiscent of Yellow Chartreuse. While fairly sweet, it has a somewhat dry presentation. It is really good, about 50-50 with chilled soda water, though still produces a pretty potent buzz.

Sazerac Cocktail (Anchor Genevieve Gin)

Sazerac Cocktail 9 out of 28.

I have challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.

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Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Anchor Genevieve Gin)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Continuing with the non-traditional Sazeracs, I thought if I could make one with Genever, I could make one with Anchor’s Genever Style American Gin, Genevieve.

I’ve been a fan of Genevieve since it was introduced back in 2007.  Not everyone has agreed with me, with some friends claiming it is unmixable.  Personally, I think they are just going about it wrong, and trying to make cocktails typically made with Dry Gin with the Genevieve.  A lot of those just don’t work, or well, don’t work in the same way.

It is better to stick with recipes typically made with Genever, when playing with the Genevieve.

Which isn’t to say, Genevieve isn’t still a bit of an acquired taste.  Most modern Genevers are pretty tame and sophisticated beverages.  Genevieve really isn’t.  If a little bit of rough trade isn’t up your alley, you might want to stick with girly gins like Plymouth and Bols Genever.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a bit of frontier justice in your alcoholic beverages, Genevieve might be right up your alley.  Some spirits professionals have gone so far as to say Genevieve isn’t really a Genever style at all, being more akin to the “Country Gins” made in America in the 19th Century.

The main difference between Genevieve and most modern Genevers are:

1) It is made from 100% malt wine.  Like a making a whiskey, Anchor makes a beer, then distills it.  There are no neutral spirits added to Genevieve.  Most Genever is blended with neutral spirits, Bols Genever being something like 60% alcohol distilled from Malt Wine has one of the higher percentages.

2) It is more highly flavored than most Genevers, and flavored with a more eclectic blend of botanicals.  In fact, Anchor uses the same botanicals to flavor their Genevieve, as they use to flavor their Junipero Gin.  Most Dutch Genever is far more mildly flavored.

3) Genevieve is flavored by adding the botanicals directly to the spirits, steeping for a period, then redistilling.  This is the same process they use for their Junipero Gin.  Almost all Genever is flavored using flavor essences distilled from the individual botanicals.  These essences (perfumes) are then combined with the neutral spirits and spirits distilled from malt wine.  Actual botanicals are not added to most Genever distillate at any point.  This is a ballsy move on Anchor’s part, prone to error and may result in some inconsistency across batches.  On the other hand, there’s no arguing with the honesty of their methods or the intensity of their flavors.

So how is a Genevieve Sazerac?  Pretty intense and pretty damn good.  If it’s too much for you, maybe stick to your Cosmos and Mojitos, I promise not to judge you too harshly.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Sazerac Cocktail (Bols Genever)

Sazerac Cocktail 8 out of 28.

I have challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.

031

Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Bols Genever Gin)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

One question I have is how far can you stretch the method or ingredients for making a Sazerac, and still have something that tastes like one. This is especially pertinent when you consider the Sazerac Cocktail was originally made with Cognac, not Rye Whiskey at all.

A drink which David Wondrich has popularized in his books “Imbibe” and “Killer Cocktails” is the “Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail”. It is composed of 2 oz of Genever, a dash of Maraschino, Aromatic Bitters, a dash of Absinthe and simple syrup. It is stirred and strained into a cocktail glass. Usually garnished with a lemon twist.

Sound a bit familiar? The addition of the Maraschino and type of bitters are about all that separate an “Improved Holland Gin Cock-tail” from a Sazerac.  Thus, it really wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine Genever in a Sazerac.

What happens when you give Bols Genever the Sazerac treatment?

Why, in fact, it is quite delicious! Instead of the sharpness of Rye, you get a mellow maltiness from the Genever. Also, the less impactful Genever allows the adjunct ingredients to come to the fore. The aromatic herbs of the Absinthe and the Peychaud’s are what shine in this version of a Sazerac Cocktail.

But is it a Sazerac?  While it would be amusing to put this in front of someone asking for a Sazerac, no.  On the other hand, it seems a lot closer to the spirit of that drink than one made with many of the richer Bourbons.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Bitters Soaked Sugar Cube

Old Fashioned Cocktail.

1 Lump Sugar.
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky.

Crush sugar and bitters together, add lump of ice, decorate with twist of lemon peel and slice of orange using medium size glass, and stir well. This Cocktail can be made with Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc., instead of Rye Whisky.

I’ve covered the Old-Fashioned a number of times before on the blog: Brandy Special, King Cole Cocktail, Wisconsin Old-Fashioneds, and Make it Another Old-Fashioned, Please. Whew!

Is there anything I haven’t said about them?

Muddler

Well, one thing I have noticed is that graduates of the American Bartending School are often a bit confused about which end of the muddler goes into the cocktail and which end they should be holding.

Let’s be clear, in the photo above, grasp the top rounded end.

Grasping Muddler

The flat end of the muddler goes into the cocktail to crush your sugar, bitters and what have you.

Muddler in Glass

Also, if you buy a varnished muddler, it’s best to sand the varnish off and soak it in mineral oil.  If you don’t, flakes of varnish will eventually end up in the cocktails.  Varnish is never an appropriate garnish.  Now the above muddler is OK for things like Juleps and Old-Fashioned which are built in normal size glassware.  For those drinks which are muddled in pint glasses, and the like, you might want to think of something with a bit more heft.

Pug Muddler

For example you might talk to Chris Gallagher and get yourself one of his extremely attractive PUG!  Muddlers.  The one above is made from Mexican Rosewood.  Also, the slanted top end of pug muddlers makes them nearly impossible to hold the wrong way.  Or drop a note to David Nepove, aka Mr. Mojito, who also sells quite an assortment of muddlers and other bar equipment.

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Which version did I make this time, with all those options, “Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc.”? Well, I’m supporting the home team, of course!

Genevieve Old-Fashioned.

1 lump Demerara Sugar
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Anchor Genevieve Genever Style Gin

In a medium size heavy bottomed glass, with a muddler, crush sugar and bitters together with a splash of water. Add Genevieve and stir to combine. Add ice and stir well.  Decorate with twist of lemon peel, a slice of orange, and serve.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Honolulu Cocktail (No 2)

Honolulu Cocktail (No. 2)

1/3 Maraschino. (3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/3 Gin. (3/4 oz Tanqueray)
1/3 Benedictine. (3/4 oz Benedictine)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I suppose that is what it should be.

I just couldn’t quite face that cocktail. Thinking about the Maraschino and Benedictine, Oude Genever occurred to me.

Oude Genever

Yes, indeed that seems like a good idea!

Honolulu Cocktail No2

Honolulu Cocktail (No. 2)

1/3 Maraschino. (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/3 Gin. (1 oz Van Wees Oude Genever)
1/3 Benedictine. (1/2 oz Benedictine)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. (Lemon Peel.)

Tweaked the proportions slightly, but didn’t want to just turn it into an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail. Still quite sweet, but really, really tasty. 1 1/2 oz Oude Genever, 1/4 oz Luxardo, 1/4 oz Benedictine, maybe some bitters, and this would rock. Probably have to think up a different name… Kailua Cocktail? Diamond Head Cocktail? Why is this a Hawaii themed Cocktail name anyway? I could see No. 1 being Hawaii-esque, since it had Pineapple juice. But Gin, Maraschino, and Benedictine?

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Holland House Cocktail

The Holland House Cocktail we made at Beretta was pretty lackluster.

Holland House Cocktail

The Juice of 1/4 Lemon.
1 Slice Pineapple. (handful sliced pineapple pieces)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 Vya Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin)
4 Dashes Maraschino. (barspoon Luxardo Maraschino)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

However, more recent information suggests that it was not, originally, a “London Dry Gin” Cocktail, but instead, a Holland Gin Cocktail.

Indeed, in conjunction with the launch of their new reformulation of Holland Gin, Bols has been pimping a version of the Holland House Cocktail to bartenders and cocktail fanatics far and wide.

Holland House Cocktail
1 3/4 Shot Bols Genever
3/4 Shot Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
1/2 Shot Lemon Juice
1/4 Shot Maraschino Liqueur

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Lemon Peel.

Aside from the inexplicable use of “shot” as a measure, having sampled this at a recent Bols event, I can say that it is a significant improvement over the same cocktail with Dry Gin. Even flirting, as it does, with things which really shouldn’t go together. Genever and Dry Vermouth not to mention Dry Vermouth and Lemon Juice.

I really don’t know how to read “shot” notation, so I just pretended they were ounces and went with the home town team for the gin.

img_2991

Holland House Cocktail

1 3/4 oz Anchor Genevieve Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Lemon Peel.

The Anchor Gin does truly dominate this cocktail, but using a Genenver style Gin takes the Holland House from a puzzling waste of booze to a pretty interesting combination of flavors.