Dutch Cosmo

2 oz Bols Genever
1 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau recommended)
0.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 Splashes Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe
Garnish with a lime wedge

* * *

So, I am like totally in love with the whole new Louboutin collection.  I mean, how can they expect you to pick?  Those Bransaplatos are so sexy – Katy Perry wore them to the Will Cotton opening – but I think I could pull them off better.  Oh my god — with that little Zac Posen boucle and leather number – goddess in the house!

What a minute – what blog is this?  I guess I typed the word Cosmo and my inner Carrie Bradshaw took over.  I apologize.  But, it’s true, “Sex and the City” and the Cosmopolitan will forever be inseparable – unless the desires of most classic bartenders are fulfilled, and the Cosmo is vanquished from the earth via a campaign equal to the Roman salting of Carthage.  See, no classic cocktail house loves the Cosmo.  It’s vodka – which most modern speakeasies don’t serve – mixed with too much sweet juice – rendering it essentially a boozy Hi-C.  Sidling up to the bar at any number of gin joints and ordering a Cosmo will, if you’re lucky, merely get you scoffed at behind your back.  It exclaims that you don’t like alcohol – which, in our kind of bar, is kind of like bad-mouthing Jesus while visiting the Sistine Chapel.

Which is why, in my effort to uncover some interesting, in-your-face Genever drinks, I was delighted to find the Double Dutch Cosmopolitan on the menu of door 74, one of the world’s leading classic cocktail bars.  In 2008, Amsterdam’s door 74 became the Netherland’s first modern speakeasy, and only a year later, it was nominated as “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” at Tales of the Cocktail and won “Best Cocktail Bar” and “Best Bartender” at the Dutch bar awards.  Obviously, a good place to drink.  A great deal of that success was no doubt due to co-founder Philip Duff.  Along with having served as global brand ambassador for Lucas Bols (for which he was nominated at the 2008 Tales of the Cocktail), Duff’s work with Diageo (they own everything), Anheuser-Busch, Rémy-Cointreau, even Disney – as well as so many others, it’s nearly impossible to list them all – also speaks for itself.  In short, if door 74 had a Cosmo on their menu, there must be a very good reason.

And there was.  First, their Double Dutch Cosmopolitan featured all Dutch ingredients (unsweetened Terschellinger cranberry juice with Lemon Genever and Dutch curacao).  Second, it came with this statement: “It secretly gives us a bit of a kick to serve a Cosmopolitan in a classic cocktail bar, rebels that we are.”  Which meant they weren’t taking the whole thing too seriously – which, of course, they secretly were.  To explain this a bit better, I’ll recount a sentiment often expressed about Andy Warhol.  If asked, Warhol would tell you that his soup cans were just paintings of soup cans, but really, we all know they were (and are) so much more.  Even though I’ve never been to door 74, I can assure you that anything developed under Duff’s watch is as honest and true as the drinks of some mustachioed mixer (if not more so); Duff just knows that drinks are supposed to be fun, which is why we’ve always been big fans.

For our Dutch Cosmo, I’ve returned to the roots of the Sour family and adapted a classic Sidecar recipe.  Switch out the Sidecar’s spirit, replace the lemon with lime, and splash in a little cranberry –voila!  Really, a traditional Cosmopolitan is nothing more than what Gary Regan classifies as a New Orleans Sour – spirits and citrus juice with orange liqueur.  Remove the cranberry, and you’d have essentially a Dutch Margarita, also a member of the New Orleans family.

Indeed, while still the requisite pink, this is a drink that I’d happily sip while contemplating Katy Perry from an entirely different perspective.  I like it because it turns the Cosmo on its head – too old school and alcohol-y for the “Sex in the City” set, and the name will probably offend some modern classicists.  Which, for better or worse, delights me to no end.  And although the recipe given here is not the same as that served at door 74, the puckish fraternity behind the drink is shared: it’s a great drink that simultaneously offers something to unite – or offend – everyone.  What’s not to love?

A Tidbit: As I wrote this article, I tried to figure out which of the Sex in the City women I fancied.  A friend of mine works for the “Price is Right” and has for many years – but not so many years as some of the old timers.  Once, a long time ago, when the question proposed was contemporary, one of the old timers, without provocation, asked my friend “Which Spice Girl is your favorite?”  My friend thought for a moment and replied flatly, “Do I need a favorite?”  A sentiment which solved my quandary for me.


5 responses to “Dutch Cosmo

  1. Very charming post.. although I was a little worried at the beginning and thought I was in the wrong place! Back in the day, the world’s worst NYC bar pickup line was; “So which SITC girl are you???” Blech!!!! Your take on their tacky girly drinks is excellent!

  2. great cocktail, great post and great blog! Thanks David!

  3. One of the Cosmopolitan recipes written between 1903 and 1933 also used a juniper-laden spirit. Gin, orange liqueur, lemon, and raspberry syrup. Definitely makes the drink more interesting than citron vodka.

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