Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899. Were he still alive, he would be celebrating his 109th birthday just as Tales of the Cocktail wraps up. No doubt he would mark the occasion with a drink, or several. It should come as no surprise then that Tales of the Cocktail will see a seminar on Ernest Hemingway – writer and drinker extraordinaire. Phil Greene, in a session entitled The Hemingway Bartender’s Companion, will introduce some of the mixed drinks associated with this prolific literary and cocktailian figure.
Archive for the ‘genever/geneva/jenever’ Category
To assist my anticipatory salivation ahead of Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown’s Tales of the Cocktail presentation on “The Cafes of Paris”, I have been taking a look at a few lesser known French aperitifs. Several weeks ago I took a look at Pineau des Charentes. Today I focus on a pair of fruit quinquinas.
I said I would follow up my recent Genever post with a post on Genever cocktails. Here are five recipes for traditional Genever cocktails. These are all drinks you could have ordered in an upscale bar in the Nineteenth Century United States. In other words, these are the drinks that got gin cocktails started. The recipes come from Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide. Darcy O’Neil from the Art of Drink kindly put the entire book online, accessible here.
Genever, the original gin, is a true old worldly spirit.
Genever was the original gin. Genever’s old fashioned credentials are highlighted by the way its producers play fast and loose with spelling. You can buy genever, geneva, genievre, jenever, jeniever, junever, and probably more; in English you might also find it called ‘Holland gin’ or ‘square gin’. Mark Twain once said he felt nothing but contempt for a man who could only spell a word one way. We can only imagine the esteem in which Mark Twain would have held genever producers. Genever was the popular gin style in the United States throughout most of the 19th Century, so Mark Twain surely found frequent occasion to reflect upon the orthographical creativity of its distillers. (more…)
I decided to give infusing gin with tea a try. I started by making the Earl Grey Martini as written up by Gary Regan in the San Francisco Chronicle. Earl Grey is possibly my least favorite tea. I don’t hate the stuff exactly. Oil of bergamont is an interesting flavor. Unfortunately, that taste just doesn’t work for me in tea. (more…)
I figured kummel, being such an assertive taste, would work well as a mere dash or two in a martini type drink. I searched around for a suitable recipe and found this one in the Savoy.
1 oz dry gin (Tanqueray)
1 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes kummel (I initially used ½ a teaspoon then upped it to 1 teaspoon)
Not in the recipe but I squeezed an orange twist over it.
Surprisingly the kummel was no more than a faint background note at ½ a teaspoon. I found a full teaspoon more to my taste. This one tastes pretty much like what you’d expect. A pleasant martini variation.
Given that kummel originates from Holland it might be interesting to try making something like this using genever rather than standard dry gin.
Update: I later tried this using Bokma Genever, 2 tsp kummel, and a squeeze of lemon peel. It was very tasty, and perhaps better integrated than the original (hard to say though since I did not compare side to side). The milder character of the genever blends nicely with everything else.
I saw some kummel the other week. I had only drunk kummel once before (in the since disappeared Berlin restaurant on Mt Eden Rd. in Auckland) but its herbal caraway taste left a strong impression. Since getting into aquavit, also traditionally flavored with caraway, over Christmas I had been wanting to give kummel another try. So I bought a bottle with vague plans of finding an aquavit and kummel drink to use it in. (more…)