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Genever (Holland Gin)


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#1 slkinsey

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 11:41 AM

Admin: Discussion on genever split from the thread on Dave Wondrich's book "Killer Cocktails."

I especially enjoy the "Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail"---A twist on the Old Fashioned, prepared with Bols Genever and the addition of maraschino.  It's unfortunate that this Genever is no longer being imported into this country--I have been sitting at Flatiron's bar, slowly draining off their last bottle with this drink.

Wait... no longer imported into the country?! I thought the insanity was only limited to NY. :angry:
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#2 Libationgoddess

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 09:42 PM

Here is a link to Robert's website; read the second post from Philip, who works for Bols

#3 plattetude

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 02:44 AM

Ooh! I've got a bottle of Bols Genever in my fridge and I haven't quite acquired the taste for drinking it straight. Now it's all the more imperative that I get this book. :raz:

Maybe I'll even have to pick up another bottle at Duty Free on my way home from Amsterdam tomorrow....

Christopher

#4 Splificator

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:19 AM

I especially enjoy the "Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail"---A twist on the Old Fashioned, prepared with Bols Genever and the addition of maraschino.  It's unfortunate that this Genever is no longer being imported into this country

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Truly, truly a shame, isn't it? Perhaps not compared to some things, in the larger scheme of existence, but it's little losses like this that add up and add up and next thing you know your civilization's in decline and barbarians are running everything (hmmmm). When the Romans could no longer get laser, their favorite North African spice, I'm sure they felt the same way--and they were right.

I have found that Damrak, an international-style gin made by Bols, preserves enough of the genever's characteristics to make an acceptable substitute.

Thanks again for the kind words!
--DW
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#5 cdh

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:11 AM

Any opinions on the genever that is still being imported? I can, it seems, get my hands on Boomsma in either Jonge or Oulde. Worth tracking down?
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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#6 Splificator

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 06:37 AM

Any opinions on the genever that is still being imported?  I can, it seems, get my hands on Boomsma in either Jonge or Oulde.  Worth tracking down?

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The Boomsma oude I have; it has no perceptible juniper in it and seems to me like a cross between Irish whiskey and vodka--a light, slightly malty and very clean distillate that has a few interesting cocktail uses. The jonge I have not tried but would right now give my eyeteeth (whatever they are) for a bottle of. I'm assuming it's malty and junipery, as all the other (few) jonge genevers I've had are. If so, pounce!

So says me, anyway--but then again, I've become addicted to Holland Gin Old-Fashioneds, IMHO one of the greatest drinks going. Let's hope Boomsma can pick up the slack where Bols left off.
--DW

Historical footnote. In the nineteenth century, Holland or genever gin was imported at a ratio of 5 or 6 gallons to every gallon of English gin. This makes perfect sense: in the days before the dominance of the dry Martini, when gin was drunk in slings, simple punches (think Collinses) or cocktails (the original kind, with bitters and sugar), the mellow, malty roundness of the "Hollands," as it was known, was preferable to the steely sharpness of a London dry gin, or even an Old Tom, which stood somewhere between the two styles.
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

#7 cdh

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 06:48 AM

Keep your eyeteeth, and take a jaunt to Pennsylvania. We've got it.

I've gotta pick some up to try in Baker's Death in the Gulf Stream.

Edited by cdh, 06 May 2005 - 06:51 AM.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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#8 kvltrede

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 09:23 AM

Zuidam is available in Chicago (as is Damrak). Mr. Wondrich is on board with Damrak as an acceptable sub for Bols Genever. Anyone know how Zuidam Genever compares?

Also, the galfriend is going to have access to the Duty Free shop at O'Hare on Monday. I have no idea if they'll have Bols Genever but, if so, is there a particular style that works best in the "Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail"? It's my understanding that there are three styles made, "young", "very old", and "Corenwyn". It strikes me as unlikely that Duty Free will have more than one style, if any, but if forced to choose, which should she grab?

Thanks.

Kurt

[edited to add Bols question]

Edited by kvltrede, 06 May 2005 - 09:46 AM.

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#9 Splificator

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:16 AM

Zuidam is available in Chicago (as is Damrak).  Mr. Wondrich is on board with Damrak as an acceptable sub for Bols Genever.  Anyone know how Zuidam Genever compares?

The Zuidam is not bad--nice body, good, malty flavor, but I get a bit too much vanilla in it, which sorta dominates. Some may like that, though.

...It's my understanding that there are three styles made, "young", "very old", and "Corenwyn"...if forced to choose, which should she grab?

Go for the jonge/young; the others are more for sipping.
Good luck,
--DW
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

#10 kvltrede

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:15 AM

Zuidam is available in Chicago (as is Damrak).  Mr. Wondrich is on board with Damrak as an acceptable sub for Bols Genever.  Anyone know how Zuidam Genever compares?

The Zuidam is not bad--nice body, good, malty flavor, but I get a bit too much vanilla in it, which sorta dominates. Some may like that, though...

Dave,

Thanks very much for the quick response. Would you pick Zuidam over Damrak or vice versa? I'm hoping that galfriend + Duty Free = Bols but I won't be holding my breath.

Thanks again.

Kurt
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#11 eje

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 02:14 PM

I have a bottle of the Jonge Boomsma and think it is an OK gin for the price. I don't have enough experience with other Genevers to say whether it is representative of the style, though most information I've read indicates it is. Many of the small US gins have a much stronger Juniper flavor and I've never had Bols to compare it to. Of the gins I have had recently, its flavor reminds me most of Gordon's.

It's not something that I would choose to drink straight up; but, I like it a lot in Vespers.

I haven't tried Damrak, as it is a tad pricey. Van Gogh is another somewhat expensive Dutch Gin I see here sometimes. Is that also "international" in style?

I'm curious, how do the German styles of Gin compare to Genever? Some brands of German Gin we get here are Schlichte and Doornkat. Schlichte is even still in an attractive stoneware crock.
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#12 cdh

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:55 AM

I've picked up a bottle of the Boomsma Jonge, and must report that it is almost indistinguishable from London-style dry gins. It has a tiny bit of the maltiness I'd expected, but not a lot. Its botanicals are quite nice, and definitely within the standard range one would expect from a gin.

It makes a fine martini. Not great for sipping all by itself, however.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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#13 eje

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 10:50 AM

Been doing some reading about this, and am embarrased to admit my criteria for judging Boomsma is probably wrong.

The real difference between English Dry Gin and Dutch Genever isn't the aromatics used (these vary from brand to brand); but, the base spirit. With London Gins coming from spirit distilled from wheat/rye and Genever coming from mashes with a high percentage of malted barley.

Lots of fascinating information on the page below from tastings.com.

http://www.tastings....pirits/gin.html

My favorite passage from the linked page has nothing to do with Genever:

"Old Tom Gin is the last remaining example of the original lightly sweetened gins that were so popular in 18th-century England. The name comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine. In the 1700s some pubs in England would have a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an "Old Tom") mounted on the outside wall. Thirsty passersby would deposit a penny in the cat’s mouth and place their lips around a small tube between the cat’s paws. The bartender inside would then pour a shot of Gin through the tube and into the customer’s waiting mouth."
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#14 mbanu

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 03:38 PM

My favorite passage from the linked page has nothing to do with Genever:

"Old Tom Gin is the last remaining example of the original lightly sweetened gins that were so popular in 18th-century England. The name comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine. In the 1700s some pubs in England would have a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an "Old Tom") mounted on the outside wall. Thirsty passersby would deposit a penny in the cat’s mouth and place their lips around a small tube between the cat’s paws. The bartender inside would then pour a shot of Gin through the tube and into the customer’s waiting mouth."

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Actually this story goes back to the memoirs of a Captain Dudley Bradstreet, who among other things, was an 18th century gin bootlegger. At the time Britain was going through a series of "Gin Acts" aimed at fighting the rising alcoholism and other problems stemming from too much cheap gin. He rented out a room off of Blue Anchor Alley in London and used the cat sign in the window as a way of serving gin on the sly.

#15 cdh

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 07:47 AM

From that tasting.com article referenced above:

A small number of genevers in Holland and Belgium are distilled directly from fermented juniper berries, producing a particularly intensely flavored spirit.


This strikes me as highly improbable. Juniper berries I've met haven't had any sugar content to ferment... nor much in the way of liquid content at all. Anybody here knowledgable enough to provide an assessment in the way of fact checking this? Any opinions on the veracity of the rest of the article? Strikes me as fishy.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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#16 slkinsey

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 04:23 PM

In a great bit of irony, only weeks after we've been lamenting that genever is all but impossible to find in NYC, the NY Times does an article on genever. And not only genever, but the even more impossible to find Belgian artisinal genever. Way to do an article on something none of your readers can buy, guys!

Anyway, there are some interesting bits worth reading:

The two main types, jonge (young) and oude (old), refer not to age but to style. Often resembling English gin, jonge has less alcohol (a maximum of 35 percent), is generally drunk cold, and has little grain flavor because its alcohol comes mostly from potatoes or other non-grain products. Oude is stronger - 54 percent alcohol in some cases - and tastes more of grain because it uses a greater percentage of malt wine, which itself is often aged in oak to add color, smoothness and complexity of flavor. A few oude genevers, labeled graanjenever, are made with 100 percent grain.


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#17 eje

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 04:46 PM

From that tasting.com article referenced above:

A small number of genevers in Holland and Belgium are distilled directly from fermented juniper berries, producing a particularly intensely flavored spirit.


This strikes me as highly improbable. Juniper berries I've met haven't had any sugar content to ferment... nor much in the way of liquid content at all. Anybody here knowledgable enough to provide an assessment in the way of fact checking this? Any opinions on the veracity of the rest of the article? Strikes me as fishy.

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Seems like there are a couple mistakes or at least inaccuracies in the article.

I suspect that this particular mistake comes from confusion regarding the nature of Eau de Vies and Brandies.

I've read Gin is sometimes called Eau de Vie de Jenever. Probably he is mistaking an Eau de Vie (distilled/flavored/re-distilled spirit) with a brandy (distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice). As far as I know, (no expert really,) gin is always a flavored spirit.

The last paragraph which claims drinks with strongly flavored mixers became popular as a result of the prevalence of bathtub gin during prohibition, strikes me as something of a simplification.
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#18 eje

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 10:57 AM

Way to do an article on something none of your readers can buy, guys!

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Amusing.

I've never even seen an Oulde Genever here.

Perhaps, this article will drum up some interest in these Gins.

The cheese columnist in our paper keeps writing articles about whole milk cheeses from Europe, which we will soon undoubtely be unable to purchase.

:hmmm:
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Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#19 plattetude

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:26 AM

The Times piece was an interesting read if thin on substance. I recently brought home a pair of smallish bottles of oude genever to sample -- Bokma De Vijf Jaren (aged five years in oak) and Bols Zeer Oude (dunno how long aged, though the "zeer oude" refers more to the age of the style than the age of the spirit itself, as the article explained).

Both genevers are labeled 100% "grain" alcohol, though which grains are not mentioned. Another in the Bokma line of genevers specifies wheat, rye, and maize (corn) -- interesting that barley isn't mentioned, since that's what I'd always thought was the primary grain used for genever.

Neither has been cracked open yet, but maybe if this hot spell breaks soon, I'll be more inclined to a little tasting and I'll post some thoughts.

Christopher

#20 eje

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 11:18 PM

One of the smaller liquor store chains in SF (PlumpJack for those of you in the area) has started carrying the Boomsma Oulde Genever along with the Jonge.

It is really interesting stuff.

It really does remind me more of a Bourbon than the flavors I usually associate with Gin.

Color is tan and the flavor is smooth, mellow and sweet. Smell reminds me of cranberries and vanilla.

Quite enjoyable on its own, at some point in the near future, I will have to investigate the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail.

-Erik
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#21 slkinsey

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 06:57 AM

Cool! I recently had an Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail from someone's stash of Bols. I'll be interested to hear how it works with Boomsma. Remember, though, that you want to use Jonge and not Oulde for this drink.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#22 eje

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 08:32 AM

Remember, though, that you want to use Jonge and not Oulde for this drink.

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Oh, you're right. Well, perhaps I will have to try the cocktail with both, in the spirit of Dutch experimentation! I enjoy the Jonge Boomsma, too. I haven't done a side by side taste test with other gins, but I really enjoy it in a Vesper.

I thought I remembered a cocktail that recommended Oulde Genever. Perhaps it was one of the Cocktailian newspaper columns? I'll have to check.

Ah, yes, The Rembrandt. Don't have Drambuie, though. Perhaps I could substitute Benedictine?

I did also recently notice the Zuidam he mentions in the article at some Bay Area Liquor stores. I knew it seemed familiar, but had forgotten from where until I re-read the article.

-Erik
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#23 slkinsey

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 08:45 PM

Boomsma Jonge has hit the City. I scored a couple of bottles this afternoon, and had to give the Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail a try. Deliciously malty. I'll have to bring a bottle down to some friends who have a few bottled of Bols salted away for a direct comparison.

One thing I noticed is that my IHGC was a good bit pinker in color than others I've had. Could it be that they're making it with Angostura instead of Peychaud's?
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#24 slkinsey

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 08:26 AM

Still having fun playing with genever. It really is amazing the way you open the bottle, smell the aroma, taste the spirit straight. . . everything says "juniper" and the malty quality is hardly noticable. Yet when mixed, the juniper quality largely retreats into the background and the malt character comes to the fore.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#25 perfumekev

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 09:24 AM

:hmmm: The genever gin market in the U.S. is a pathetic mess rite now. I grew up in Dutch family and I am very aware of genever as a concept. My mothers family is related to the Bokma genever distilers family. I have contacted Bols and have been told that they are reassesing the American market for genevers. Bols Damrak gin is and outstanding product with all the hallmarks of a great genever, but where is the word genever on the bottle, because that is what it is. The other three genevers from bols the zeer oude, jonge and corenwyn are all exelent products. Bokma distileries make wonderfull genevers but they are virtually impossible to get in the U.S. De kuyper makes a full range of genevers including the flavored varieties witch are also good. Boomsma which seems to be the most avalible genever in the U.S. however in many ways it laks in flavor and is more like a flavored vodka than a true genever. Even thier oude quality lacks personalilty. The Bokma brands are steller and they come in many different flavors and ages I sugest visiting thier web site. I am writing to all the main producers to let them know that thier is a genuine interest in these products in the U.S. I hope others take time to do so as well. Let's get these products back in the U.S. Some people may not know how to deal with this clasifications of gin. In the neatherlands genevers are drank chilled out of a cordial glass called a tulip glass. But they are also mixed into many wonderfull concotions for drinking pleasure.
Jonge genevers including damrak can be mixed into martinis negronis aviations and even cosmos. Oude genevers can be sipped neet or mixed with liquors and bitters they should be treated more like bourbon or rye when constructing drinks. Oude genvers have a particular affinaty to raisins that have been soaked in other liquors such an curacao drambue or blackberry brandy and marachino liquor. Almost all mixtures of yong or old benifit from the adition of bitters. orange bitters#6 from Gary Reagan or Fee's are great. Old fashioned bitters from fee's or agoustoura. what I am trying to say is that there is a whole catergory of liquors that we are missing out on.

So let the company's know that you want thier products rite them e-mails and tell them you want them. They are already aware of this but they are lookingat the american market to see if it's worth it. The genever distilers in the neatherlands work like a small colective and need to know that there are people interested in thier products. It opens up so many different ways of making drinks.

Major producers they all have international web sites where you can let them know that you would like to try thier products.

Bols
Bokma
Dekuyper
Boomsma
Zuidam

#26 lostmyshape

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 02:18 PM

just bought a bottle of Boomsma Oude. only one more bottle left in western PA (says so on the PA liquor board website). i love it for simple cocktails. not really enough character that i'll sip it straight very often. if it's the lamest of the bunch, i'd love to try Bols or Bokma. alas, fat chance of those ever reaching Pittsburgh. after i buy the last bottle of Boomsma, genever will probably disappear from these parts entirely.

been trying to educate people of the joy of this drink. guess i'll have to start writing some emails.

#27 perfumekev

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 03:00 PM

just bought a bottle of Boomsma Oude.  only one more bottle left in western PA (says so on the PA liquor board website).  i love it for simple cocktails.  not really enough character that i'll sip it straight very often.  if it's the lamest of the bunch, i'd love to try Bols or Bokma.  alas, fat chance of those ever reaching Pittsburgh.  after i buy the last bottle of Boomsma, genever will probably disappear from these parts entirely.

been trying to educate people of the joy of this drink.  guess i'll have to start writing some emails.

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:biggrin:

Damrak from bols is being distributed nation wide it is an exelent genever with all of the caractistis of a bols poduct. Call Remey Amerique in N.Y. N.Y. they are U.S. dsidtibutor they can tell you who your state's distributor may be. I have one of my friends who is a mayor of one of the towns in the Neatherlands on the case to get these company's and distributors a kick in the butt to get us some more dutch gin. meanwhile write the dutch genever companies e-mails tell them you want thier products and we will see what happens :smile:

#28 M.X.Hassett

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 03:06 PM

Perfumekev thank you for your info. Lets say one were to distill there own gin would this be close to the proper measure of herbs for fine genever

juniper 20g
coriander 8g
angelica root 1g
calamus root 0.25g
bitter almonds 3g
cardamon 0.125g
grains of paradise 1g
or
juniper 10g
coriander 12g
cassia 0.6g
angelica root 0.5g
calamus root 0.6g
bitter almonds 1.2g
cardamon 0.05g

Edited by M.X.Hassett, 04 November 2005 - 03:22 PM.

Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

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#29 Rob Simmon

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 05:34 PM

Zuidam genever gin is available in Chicago, and it's spectacular.

#30 mbanu

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 02:27 PM

So says me, anyway--but then again, I've become addicted to Holland Gin Old-Fashioneds, IMHO one of the greatest drinks going. Let's hope Boomsma can pick up the slack where Bols left off.
--DW

Historical footnote. In the nineteenth century, Holland or genever gin was imported at a ratio of 5 or 6 gallons to every gallon of English gin. This makes perfect sense: in the days before the dominance of the dry Martini, when gin was drunk in slings, simple punches (think Collinses) or cocktails (the original kind, with bitters and sugar), the mellow, malty roundness of the "Hollands," as it was known, was preferable to the steely sharpness of a London dry gin, or even an Old Tom, which stood somewhere between the two styles.

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On a related note, I've found that genever is the secret to a good Pink Gin. Made with London Dry it just isn't the same.