Great Old Ones: Improved Holland Cocktail
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).