2 oz Bols Genever
1 tsp Sugar (Demerara preferred)
3 Dashes Orange Bitters
2 Fresh Ripe Sweet Cherries, pitted
2 Quarter Sections Fresh Ripe Tangerines, with peel
Splash of Club Soda
Rinse of Kübler Absinthe (optional)
In a thick bottomed glass, muddle together sugar, bitters, and fruit
Strain into a chilled rocks glass
Add genever and top with splash of soda
Give a short, gentle stir to combine
Garnish with a cherry and tangerine “flag”
Optional – Rinse the second glass with absinthe
Optional – add cube(s) of ice
* * *
If you ask me – no one did, but I’m going to tell you anyway – this is the perfect modern cocktail. Not only does it adhere to a traditional recipe, it’s full of market-fresh fruit prepared directly in the glass, and the base spirit is old and funky. It’s this last point – the use of Genever here – that marks this as my submission for this month’s Mixology Monday, which is focused on niche spirits. If you’re Dutch or Belgian, surely genever is as common place as Jack Daniels at a Tennessee barbeque, but it’s probably the most odd of all our ducks – and it’s perfect for this month’s MxMo theme.
I don’t know how many of you have picked up a bottle of Genever, but it’s wild and wooly stuff. I love it because it’s a challenging spirit with which to work but one that absolutely soars when you have the right recipe, like the Holland Razor Blade or the Death in the Gulf Stream. Sitting somewhere between gin and whiskey, yet far removed from both, genever can work beautifully year round. If you’re interested in learning more about its history, jump on over to my Bols Genever post – I’m keeping things short today, and I’m sure none of you want the same information over and over again.
Once I had selected the Bols, I knew that I wanted to work with something that I picked up at the farmer’s market yesterday – lusciously sweet Skeena cherries (from Murray Farms) and Ojai Pixie tangerines (from Timber Canyon Ranches). Both are so perfectly in season and such natural matches with genever, that once I had the spirit and fruit sorted, the drink picked itself.
In the BarSmarts bartender training program, two variations on the Old Fashioned are offered – the simple, classic Cocktail version and the more modern kind with muddled fruit and a splash of club soda. Given that the traditional fruits called for in the latter are cherry and orange – well, you can see my small leap in logic. I added a nice Absinthe rinse, a la the Sazerac, to mine, but the drink works just as well without it. As always, do as you please. The end result is everything I love in a drink. It’s a classic example of how fresh seasonal ingredients marry perfectly with old-timey spirits and traditional recipes – resulting in something unique and wholly delicious.
Many thanks to Flip at Adventures in Cocktails for hosting this month’s event, and as always, to Paul Clarke for spearheading everything. Be sure to visit Filip’s site for links to all this month’s drink recipes.