Great Old Ones: Improved Holland Cocktail

By Jonathan Laurel April 27, 2018 Cocktails

We’re all familiar with the Old Fashioned Cocktail but it’s less known that ‘Old Fashioned’ actually refers to a construction: sugar, bitter, spirit, and citrus rind. In the later part of the 19th century, it was very much the fashion to “improve” the Old Fashioned cocktail by adding maraschino, a dash of absinthe, and/or curaçao. One iconic version of this format was the Improved Holland Cocktail (or “Improved Gin Cocktail”), made with the Dutch Genever.

Though the origin and early recipes to this cocktail are obscure, David Wondrich dates the improved version to 1875. Genever’s maltier qualities sit beautifully in this rolling, balanced cocktail. We use Bol’s jounge Genever and mix it with gomme syrup, maraschino, absinthe, and our bogart bitters (a house approximation of Boker’s Bitters).

Our Improved Holland Cocktail joins the Hot Toddy and the Widow’s Kiss on our cocktail flight, “The Great Old Ones.”

great old ones improved holland cocktail