Mixology Monday LVIII: Holland Old Fashioned, Muddled

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.

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14 Responses to “Mixology Monday LVIII: Holland Old Fashioned, Muddled”

  1. Donald
    June 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Every time I go into the liquor store I want to buy a bottle of Bols, but just can’t justify dropping $40 with my current budget. Same with the Rémy Martin. Some day though!

    • June 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      Best thing to do is seek out Jacob Grier (jacobgrier.com), your local Bols ambassador. Go to where he’s tending bar, tell him all the great things you’ve heard about the product and what a wonderful bartender he is. Flattery will get you free shots anytime. :)

      • June 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

        Ha, that is true! Thanks for posting this, David!

        • June 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

          I should be so lucky as to live in Portland and be able to sidle up to your bar when whim strikes. Get Donald to buy the damned genever — he’s in your fiefdom (or however ambassadorships are measured).

          Donald — go see Jacob, or no more fancy glassware for you.

      • Donald
        June 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

        You would have to hold another contest first before you could withhold fancy glassware!

  2. June 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Speaking of glassware, where did you get the lovely glass holding your Holland Old Fashioned? I’m on the market for some nice rocks glasses…

    • June 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

      There’s a Marshall’s-like store near me called Home Goods, which specializes in housewares. They often get a number of open stock glassware pieces that are only a couple of bucks, so I pick them up here and there.

  3. Catherine
    June 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Lovely drink! I bit the bullet and bought Bols without trying it first because I was so intrigued. Cocktails like this make me glad I did. I liked it even more when the ice made it colder. Looking forward to trying it with the absinthe rinse as well. Thanks!

    • June 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

      Catherine, great news to hear. Definitely try some of our genever recipes — as mentioned in the post, I think the Death in the Gulf Stream and Holland Razor Blade are stellar. Anything with chocolate (our Dutch Cream or Jacob Grier’s Amsterdan Hot Chocolate) is a great choice as well. Please report with what you like and don’t.

  4. June 24, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    I have come to love gin and cherries… enough to make me think about adding a dash of it to my cherry pies! Lovely drink and never thought an old-fashioned had other iterations.

  5. June 25, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    A fabulous drink i really would like to make it but i don´t have any Bols Genever…need to find a way to get that, it`s not sold here of course.
    That glass is wonderful, that`s another thing that is hard to find here, when i come down to New Orleans i`m gonna go for a cocktail glass hunt in thrift stores.Any tip of good thrift stores for cocktail glasses in Nola is appreciated..

  6. Vintage1740
    October 22, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Do you have any recommendations for a substitution genever? We can’t get it here in Oklahoma

    • twelvebottles
      October 23, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Genevieve from Anchor Distilling is great — much stronger than the Bols but delicious in a cocktail.

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