*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig.
by Pink Lady
Nothing excites the ladies of LUPEC Boston more than when endangered spirits once again become available. The latest of these to catch our fancy is Bols Genever.
We’ve discussed Genever in our little corner of the Dig before, but to refresh your memory, it is a Dutch spirit distilled from maltwine flavored with juniper and other botanicals that flowed abundantly into Holland during the heyday of the Dutch spice trade. Order a gin drink in a mid-nineteenth century barroom and this is what the barman would use as the base, an earthy, malty, backdrop softened by citrus, cordials, syrups, etc., into an elegant cocktail. Dry gin (the style we most commonly drink today) didn’t come into vogue until the late 19th century.
Genever was considered one of four main spirits categories in the pre-Prohibition Golden Age of Cocktails, holding forth on the back bar alongside whiskey, brandy, and rum. Excavating certain classic recipes without it has been clumsy business, earning the spirit a designation as “the missing ingredient in the bartender’s palate” by cocktail historian David Wondrich.
While the Dutch have continued to consume Genever abundantly, we’ve been unable to get Holland-distilled product in the states for some time (though the good folks at Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco turn out a robust take on the category called Genevieve.) In 2007, the Lucas Bols brand revived the1820 recipe for their premium Genever, and just last month, the spirit flowed liberally into Boston with a classy, genever-soaked launch party at Drink.
Now that you can get your hot little hands on a bottle, why not taste some of those drinks as they were meant to be enjoyed? Mix up one of these for the full experience.
THE IMPROVED HOLLAND GIN COCK-TAIL
2 oz Bols Genever
1.5 bar spoons sugar syrup (2:1)
2 bar spoons Maraschino liqueur
.5 bar spoon Absinthe
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a lemon peel over the cocktail, then rub remaining lemon oil around rim of glass. Drop in the peel, and enjoy!