One can acquire many things in Amsterdam – drugs! diseases! diamonds! – but I just wanted Red to bring me back a bottle of oude genever. Much easier to get through airport security.
Genever, which is making a cocktail comeback, is the predecessor to gin. Created, and still primarily consumed, in The Netherlands and Belgium, it now comes in two styles called junge (young) and oude (old), which is difficult to find in the States. Pity, because it creates one of my all-time favorite drinks, the Holland Razor Blade.
Holland Razor Blade2 oz genever ¾ oz lemon juice ¾ oz simple syrup Pinch of cayenne
Shake the genever, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice to thoroughly chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
So simple. So tasty. The oude genever is complex in taste and texture, and provides all the nuance needed for this drink, while the cayenne spices it up a bit.
Unable to get across Amsterdam to the Bols distillery, Red later told me how he had to ask at a local shop for the oude style because he couldn’t find it on display. The shop owner was so excited to show him the special case where they keep the oude genever and explain how the ceramic bottle keeps well in the freezer. This tells me that Americans are clearly not taking advantage of at least one of Amsterdam’s draws.
Red, this post is your Valentine’s Day present. Don’t you love it?! OK, maybe I’ll make you a cocktail, too.
As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.