When everyone is still talking about gin, it is easy to overlook its ancestor genever. However, because of its heritage, complex production techniques and its unique taste it is well worth a try! At the Ginfinity 2019 I tried the By The Dutch Old Genever a version of the most traditional style of Dutch genever. Its similarities to gin, combined with a malty base note, made it quite easy to come up with a great sour style drink recipe!
The By The Dutch Old Genever is a traditional Old Genever made according to a recipe from 1942. The Herman Jansen Distillery in Schiedam distils it from a mash of malted barley, corn and rye. Yet, the production is far more complicated than just distilling the base and then infusing it with the botanicals: The mash is distilled once on a pot-still to around 13 % ABV which is called „Ruwnat”. For the “Enkelnat” the malt base is distilled a second time to an ABV of around 38 %. The third distillation to an ABV of 48 % takes place on a column still, together with juniper berries. The “Maltwine” is then split into four parts, three of them are then redistilled: One part with juniper berries, one part with botanicals and one without any botanicals. All four parts are then blended together according to a secret recipe. Some of the botanicals used in the Old Genever are hops, cloves, lemon peel, coriander seeds, star anise, liquorice and orange peel.
Malty and spicy
As you might expect the By The Dutch Old Genever is very malty with wheat and fruit notes coming from the grain. On top of that, you can taste the botanicals. However, in contrast to gin, the juniper notes are not that prominent. Instead orange and lemon peel, anise as well as caraway come to mind. All in all, the genever is very mellow, but still complex. It kind of reminds me of a mix between a malty gin, and a smooth aquavit.
A liquorice sour
I know that people have a love-or-hate relationship with liquorice. Nevertheless, I had the feeling that the liquorice flavour would work well with the spicy genever notes. Therefore, I used the Liquorice Blend Tea from Dublin based Clement & Pekoe in a traditional sour recipe. Do not worry if you cannot get your hands on this tea, another liquorice tea will just do fine. As mentioned, the rest of the recipe follows the 6 cl spirit 3 cl sour 2 cl sweet proportions of a classic sour.
3 cl Cold Clement & Pekoe Liquorice Tea
3 cl Lemon Juice
2 cl Simple Syrup
1 oz Cold Clement & Pekoe Liquorice Tea
1 oz Lemon Juice
<¼ oz Simple Syrup
Garnish: Lemon Twist;
Song: Absynthe Minded – Mr. Doom;
The “Mr. Doom” reminds me of a gin sour. Yet, after the first sip the liquorice notes shine through, but they do not dominate the drink. The genever works very well with the tea and also mellows the liquorice notes a bit. While the drink without the tea might be suited for warmer days, the spicy flavour takes the whole combination in a darker direction. This way the cocktail is ideal for when the first leaves start falling, but you want to hold on to the last days of summer.
*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.