Recipes from the Lab

The Dutch Trader Cocktail with Absinthe Ice Ball

We wanted to make another cocktail that uses ice for more than just the utilitarian aspect (i.e. more than just chilling the drink), and we love introducing subtle flavors with an infused ice ball since it melts more slowly than regular ice shapes, it slowly releases the infusion over time. 

"Dashes" were a little larger in the 1800s

"Dashes" were a little larger in the 1800s

We like to take historic and vintage cocktails and give them a modern twist, so we used another old-school recipe as inspiration. In 1862, in one of the earliest cocktail books, Jerry Thomas' Bar-tenders Guide, Jerry wrote about a precursor to the modern Martini he called the "Fancy Gin Cocktail".

We also took queues from another great cocktail known as the Holland House. We mixed several complex and several delicate flavors that we enjoy ourselves (some of us being bartenders in our previous lives). Two of these flavors, in particular, are genever and absinthe.

If you like gin, you will probably appreciate the grandfather of gin - genever (and we dare say genever could even be considered the great-grandfather of gin even). It combines many of the unique botanical flavors one finds in the gin of today, but instead of having a juniper-forward flavor like London dry gin, genever has a more intricate malt-wine flavor that expands into the rich botanicals, and a complexity usually found only in dark spirits.

Genever was first created in the Netherlands in the 16th century and the story goes that gin was born after English soldiers, who provided support in Antwerp, during the Eighty Years’ War, were enjoying genever for its calming effect (referred to as “Dutch courage”) and began bringing genever home to enjoy. By the 17th century, gin began to be produced in England. Gin has a much lighter base spirit flavor and tends to have a much more pronounced juniper flavor.

Albert Maignan’s painting of Musée de Picardie (“Green Muse”) depicts a poet succumbing to the green fairy(Amiens, 1895).

Absinthe has a mysterious past and there is a lot of folklore that has surrounded "la fée verte" (the green fairy) for hundreds of years.  Absinthe was erroneously portrayed as an addictive and hallucinogenic demon for nearly a hundred years. One of the key ingredients that give Absinthe its unique flavor is Wormwood extract, which contains a chemical compound known as thujone, and although present in only trace amounts, it was blamed for Absinthe’s alleged harmful effects. And in fact, it was banned in the United States and much of Europe for over 70 years.  Recent science has vindicated Absinthe and there are hundreds of version being produced around the world now (go science!).

Absinthe has a strong anise or licorice flavor that can easily overtake the flavor of a cocktail, which is why you’ll often see recipes that simply call for a “rinse of the glass” with Absinthe (usually a tablespoon swirled in a glass and then poured out). We took that concept and created this tasty cocktail, except the absinthe is inside the ice ball, so you’ll be able to enjoy flavors as they develop while the ice slowly melts.

We think that genever’s more complex and aromatic flavors (compared to gin) stand up nicely to the green fairy’s own potent bouquet.

Tools:

Double Old Fashioned glassmixing glassjulep strainer, Japanese-style bar spoon1 oz./½ oz. jiggerThe Whiskey Ice Co. Spherical Ice Ball Maker 

Ingredients:

2 ounces Bols Genever
½ ounce Classic Gum (Gomme) Syrup (may substitute simple syrup, but it’s much more enjoyable with the Classic Gum Syrup) 
½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
½ ounce Dry Vermouth (like Dolin)
½ ounce of fresh lemon
2 dashes orange bitters
Absinthe-infused Ice Ball (recipe below)

To make Absinthe-infused Ice Ball:

Add 1 ½ ounces of Absinthe (we used Absinthe Ordinaire) to your Whiskey Ice Co ice mold and fill to the logo with filtered water and freeze solid. once frozen, form an ice ball using your Whiskey Ice Co. Spherical Ice Ball Maker.

Assembling the Cocktail:

Step 1: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled (20

Step 2: Place your absinthe ice ball in the double old fashioned glass strain cocktail mixture over the ice ball.

Step 3: Strain cocktail mixture over your absinthe ice ball.

Enjoy responsibly. Cheers.