February 20th, 2008

knee groin

Genever gin

The Washington Post had an article today about Genever gin, talking about how the author flew to Amsterdam to get more of it.  Having not had any of it, I was drooling at the descriptions of it.

It helps that it appears some progress is being made on bringing it back to the States.  Jason Wilson, the author of the article, says that Boomsma and Zuidam brands are in the US but hard to find, that other Dutch brands like Damrak are tailored to the American palette (which I wished he'd expanded on what that meant) and also mentions the Anchor Distilling's new Genevieve gin, which last I heard is pretty much restricted to a small part of the West Coast.

Since Mr. Wilson mentions David Wondrich's quintessential book Imbibe! I decided that I would go to a part of the book that I could've sworn I remembered reading about - how to make your own genever gin, or, at least, a close relative to it.

Well it took some looking.  No offense to Mr. Wondrich, but the index in the book isn't the greatest.  I thumbed through it and finally found his recipe for a not "particularly adequate" replacement was eight ounces of Irish whiskey (I would've probably gone with Jameson's though I have a bottle of Power's around here), 10 ounces of Plymouth gin (which I always keep around now), and 1/2 ounce of rich simple syrup.

And, in fact, I was all ready to make that.  In fact, that was the reason for my user icon - that's how I was feeling when I was reading about this wonderful spirit that I couldn't get.  Then the darnedest thing happened.

The Boomsma and Zuidam?  Found 'em online.

Hooah.

What the hey, I threw in a four pack of Q tonic while I was at it - I really like the Stirrings tonic water that I have, but I've heard such things about the Q, and when throw into the three pack of gins - Boomsma Jonge, Boomsma Ouda, Zuidam genever - I figured what the heck.  (Ouda is the typical "Holland" gin like what we're looking for -- Jonge is more popular in the Netherlands, according to the WaPo article, and is more neutral but retains some of the flavors.)

What's that mean to you, dear reader?

I said yesterday that I was going to start doing reviews.  You'll see this review right quick like.  I'm going to sit down with all three of these and try 'em out.  Anthony Dias Blue's The Complete Book of Spirits has some hints on how to taste gin and what to look for.  He even provides some suggestions for food to go with them.  He basically says to taste the gin three times - once letting it sit in your mouth, once taking it straight down, and once with food.

I'll definitely do the first two.  I'll probably the third, but I'd also like to taste them in a gin and tonic, a process that means I'll have to make sure to use the same tonic in all of them.  Given that it's between that and the martini...I'll definitely have to do martinis some time but that might not be right away.

I'm extremely excited about this.  I'm really hoping to make the reviews a regular feature of Scofflaw's Den and, of course, you can probably guess that tmfiii will be there, too, since he's a huge mooch fan of gin and a good helper in things like this.  We tend to notice different things about beverages.

If only someone could help with the Genevieve...or even a bottle of the Bols oude genever, the one that Mr. Wilson discussed at length in his article...
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