Genever & Tonic – Recipe

Genever And Tonic
Genever And Tonic

A Variation On The Classic Gin And Tonic.

This variation of the classic Gin and Tonic uses two older style ingredients to create a vision of what an 1800s gin and tonic would have been like if it existed then. The older style genever gin adds a bit of aged flavor and traditional juniper and herbal notes. The tonic syrup brings an earthy and citrusy, almost tamarind-like flavor not found in normal tonic water. If you like gin and tonics, this one is worth a try.

What Does The Genever and Tonic Taste Like.

The genever and tonic hit all the classic gin and tonic notes, but it also brings many new flavors. The tonic syrup adds an earthiness and citrus flavor that pairs well with the more aged herbal flavors of the genever. This fantastic tasting cocktail manages to be both flavorful and refreshing with an almost tamarind-like quality to it.

History Of The Use Of Tonic Syrup And Quinine.

Today’s clarified tonic water dates back to the 1870s when Schweppes figured out how to extract quinine precisely, clarify it, and bottle it as the product we know today. Discover by the native peoples of Peru, the bark of the Cinchona tree had many medicinal properties, one of which was preventing illness from mosquito bites and other physical ailments. The invading Spanish navy observed this and brought back Cinchona to be studied. The Cinchona bark was found to help with nerve pains, fevers, and asthma, and they realized the illness it prevented from the mosquito bites was malaria. The ground-up and infused cinchona bark tasted terrible, and to counter the poor taste, spices, citrus peels, and sugar were added to make a kind of quinine julap. Often the syrup would be administered with wine and eventually led to a market of quinine wines called quinquina. Dubonnet, Lillet, and Cocchi Americano are aperitifs we still use today that started as quinquina, with Dubonnet and Cocchi Americano still containing quinine to this day.

It was known for a long time that quinine helped treat and prevent malaria, but the extraction process was too crude and not something that could be done on a scale massive enough to support large European armies. The 1820s saw an enormous improvement in the extraction process, and in the 1850s, Erasmus Bond began selling the first carbonated quinine water. The English had already successfully invaded India (present-day India and Pakistan), but Africa’s environment was still too difficult to crack. In the 1870s, Schweppes perfected the process and began selling a clarified “Indian Quinine Water” that could be produced on a massive scale. This was the invention many European militaries were waiting for.

At the start of the 1880s, the major European empires could penetrate Africa beyond its coast, dividing up its peoples and land for their profit, and they could only have done it with quinine. The Gin and Tonic as we know them today were probably not being made around this time. If the tonic water was being mixed with gin, it was most likely because of availability and not soldiers explicitly looking to make this cocktail.

The History And Creation Of The Gin And Tonic.

The gin and tonic as we know it today were most likely invented in British occupied India around the 1920s to 1930s. If a genever and tonic were ever made, it was most likely made between the 1870s and 1900. Dry gin didn’t become a familiar mixing spirit until the early 1900s, just as genever and Old Tom gin faded. Cocktail books from the 1890s and back make no mention of it. No cocktail books mention a Gin and Tonic cocktail till the 1940s. The earliest reference to a gin and tonic is in 1946 The Roving Bartender and The Stork Club Bar Book. The Roving Bartender by Bill Kelly describes it as “A favorite drink in the tropics.” After that, it’s common in cocktail books, but every minor and significant cocktail book before those two makes no mention of the drink. The most straightforward and most likely reason is it didn’t exist yet. Ideas and recipes take time to travel, so placing its creation around the 1920s to 30s lines up.

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Genever & Tonic

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

293

kcal
ABV

9%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a vintage style gin and tonic

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Tonic Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

  • 5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a glass with ice
  • Stir the ingredients together to both chill and mix them
  • Top off with the soda water
  • Garnish with a lemon slice

Notes

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John Collins – Original Cocktail Recipe

Classic John Collins Cocktail
Classic John Collins Cocktail

The History Of The Collins Cocktail.

While probably not invented by Harry Johnson, his 1882 Bartenders Manual is the oldest printed book I could find to mention the Collins cocktail. The oldest concrete evidence of this cocktail is the Harry Johnson one. It seems both the John Collins and Tom Collins are invented around the same time, and the Bartenders Manual gives a pretty definitive recipe for both the John and Tom Collins. His John Collins recipe calls for genever (dry gin doesn’t start to get mixed into cocktails till the end of the 1800s/early 1900s), and his recipe for the Tom Collins calls for Old Tom gin. Harry Johnson’s collins recipes and names are clearly defined, but unlike Harry Johnson, Jerry Thomas’s 1887 Bartenders Guide does not follow his recipes. The Bartender’s Guide doesn’t even mention the John Collins but instead uses the name Tom Collins for every variation of the collins. It has three different recipes for Tom Collins. A Tom Collins whiskey, a Tom Collins brandy, and a Tom Collins genever. It doesn’t mention the Tom Collins with Old Tom gin and calls the one made with genever a Tom Collins.

To further complicate this, in 1885, a British cocktail book called “The New guide for the hotel, bar, restaurant, butler, and chef” by Bacchus and Cordon Bleu has a recipe for what they call a Fred Collins. Their Fred Collins Recipe is a Whiskey Collins with orange liqueur instead of simple syrup. Their Collins section states, “I should be glad if our caterers would agree what it is to be perpetually named. One Barkeeper calls it a John Collins – another Tom Collins. Harry and Fred are all members of the same family.” They then say they prefer the Fred Collins name, thus credence to Jerry Thomas’s version of the Collins in that the name is more a style than a specific drink. Hell, there was a Harry Collins we have never seen. The Savoy Cocktail Book does the same thing and has both a Dry Gin and Whiskey Tom Collins. Although The Savoy does say that a Tom Collins made with genever is instead called a John Collins.

While Harry Johnson uses the names as specific cocktails, the Bartenders guide and others seemed to use the collins as a cocktail structure more than a particular recipe. Like the Rickey, Daisy, or Fizz, the collins describe a structure of 2 parts base spirit, 1 part citrus, 1 part sweetener, and 4 or 5 parts carbonated beverage. Harry Johnson’s influence has been permanent, and the collins is ultimately both. It is a specific cocktail that Harry Johnson pushed and a cocktail archetype like others believed. Looking at its influence as an archetype, many popular cocktails are structurally collins that you would not think of as a Collins. The Adios Motherfucker, Mojito, French 75, Paloma, etc., are just fun variations on the Collins form.

The Classic Genever John Collins.

The classic genever John Collins is one of the best. While the John Collins made with dry gin is very refreshing and has a bright lemon flavor, the John Collins made with genever still has a pleasant clean lemon taste, but it also has a little bit of a mellow aged oak flavor. Kind of like it’s halfway between a collins made with gin and a collins made with whiskey. Genever is a very underappreciated and underutilized spirit that is worth exploring.

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John Collins (Genever)

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

363

kcal
ABV

7%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic John Collins.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

  • 5 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a shaker with ice.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour into the serving glass.
  • Lastly add the soda water.

Notes

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Improved Holland Cocktail – Original 1882 Recipe

Improved Holland Cocktail
Improved Holland Cocktail

First printed two years after Jerry Thomas’s death, the Improved Holland Cocktail was a variation of his original Holland Cocktail. This cocktail gets its name because Genever was thought of like a Dutch liquor back then, similar to how rum is so closely associated with the Caribbean. Not too many Genever cocktails would be made during this period because Old Tom Style Gin and London Dry Gin would soon become the preferred gin for mixing.

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Recipe Resources

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Improved Holland Cocktail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

269

kcal
ABV

33%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Improved Holland Cocktail Recipe by Jerry Thomas

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Absinthe

  • 2 dashes Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2 dashes Cardamom Bitters

  • 1 tsp Gum Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

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Holland House – The Classic 1900 George Kappeler Recipe

Holland House
Holland House

Invented at the Holland House in New York City by George Kappeler, this was first published in his 1900 book Modern American Drinks. While also being named after the Holland House building, this was also their house cocktail made with Holland-style gin, so the name of this drink kind of covers all its bases. This is a beautiful cocktail with a taste of Martini meets Gin Sour.

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Holland House

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

287

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Holland House.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/3 oz Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2/3 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 oz Genever

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

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Holland Cocktail – Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Holland Cocktail
Holland Cocktail

One of the old classics from Jerry Thomas, the Holland Cocktail is one of the few gin cocktails made with Genever before Old Tom Gin, and London Dry became popular. Dating back to the 1800s, this cocktail was first published in Jerry Thomas’s first edition of the Bartender’s Guide in 1862. A modified or improved version of this would be printed two years after Jerry Thomas’s death in the 1887 edition.

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Holland Cocktail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

300

kcal
ABV

33%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Holland Cocktail from the mid 1800s

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes Cardamom Bitters

  • 1 tsp Gum Syrup

  • 2 dashes Orange Liqueur

  • 2 oz Genever

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

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Gin Julep – Make The Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Gin Julep
Gin Julep

The History of Julep Cocktails And Their Ancient Origins.

The history of the Julep goes back to ancient Persia (modern-day Iran). Rosewater was thought to have health benefits, and the word for rosewater in old Persian is Gulab (gul=rose, ab=water). Gulab slowly made its way to the surrounding Arabic cultures, and over time, the word Gulab changed to Julāb, and it was used to describe any sweetened medicinal syrup. Julābs eventually traveled to western Europe and England; syrupy medicines are called Julaps or Julapums. By the mid-1700s, there were all kinds of julaps. Rosewater julap was called Julapum Rosatum and was used for treating Heart issues. Julapum tabaci was a tobacco-infused syrup for treating asthma, Julapum sedativum was opium syrup Julapum Stomachicum was a mint-infused syrup used to settle upset tummies. I found many kinds of other Julapums, but this is good enough. Also, most of what I found was written in Latin, and google translate can only do so much. A medical journal I found online from the 1750s calls for a Julapum Stomachicum to be a peppermint-infused sweetener mixed with sherry. What we today consider a mint julep emerges around the early 1800s. The British 1827 home medical book Oxford Night Caps refers to a mint julap as a mint syrup mixed with brandy that a parent can make to ease the upset tummy.

With its unique drinking culture, the mint julep took on a different identity in the United States. Mint juleps were dressed up and made fancy for saloon patrons looking to get buzzed. The oldest printed recipe for this saloon-style julep comes from Jerry Thomas’s 1862 edition of The Bar Tenders Guide. The formula is one table-spoonful of white pulverized sugar. And 2 1/2 tablespoonfuls of water and mix well with a spoon. 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh mint. 1 1/2 wine glass Cognac brandy, dash with Jamaica rum, and sprinkle white sugar on top. Jerry Thomas also has recipes for a gin julep, whiskey julep, a pineapple julep, pineapple syrup, and gin cocktail.

The mint julep stays a brandy cocktail for a very long time, and most bartenders and recipe books copy Jerry Thomas till around the late 1800s. Books in the late 1880s mention how the once-loved julep had fallen in favor of other more complex cocktails and is typically something only the older men order. Around this time, the mint julep recipe replaces brandy for bourbon. The first instance of this is in the 1888 book Bartender’s Manual by Theodore Proulx, where he has his recipe for a mint julep that uses bourbon instead of brandy. Whether this change is accidental or intentional, it would happen when the cocktail begins to fade from the bartender’s repertoire. As decades passed, the mint julep and whiskey julep merged till it just became standard to make a mint julep with whiskey.

Variations Of The Mint Julep.

This specific version is the whiskey julep variation of the mint julep. Had you ordered a mint julep in the 1800s, you would be given a brandy cocktail instead, but the whiskey variation is the most common one made today. All the other variations of the mint julep are almost entirely forgotten today, and almost everyone only knows of the mint julep. Jerry Thomas had recipes for a gin julep, whiskey Julep, pineapple julep, and a plain brandy julep. Harry Johnson added the Champagne Julep too in his 1882 book Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual. An 1885 book called New guide for the hotel, bar, restaurant, butler, and chef by Bacchus has nine different Julep recipes. They are not worth listing here as they are all quite lousy.

Getting The Ice Right In A Julep.

I feel the most essential part of any julep is the crushed or shaved ice you will pack the cup with. This cocktail should have the spirit of a snow cone that tastes sweet of mint and booze, and the ice should be rounded over the rim. Otherwise, it comes across as old-fashioned if you don’t pack the cup with ice, and the julep should be more of a refreshing hot daytime summer drink and not a smoky old nighttime bar drink.

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Gin Julep

4 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

301

kcal
ABV

28%

Total time

3

minutes

Classic 1860s Gin Julep recipe from the Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas

Ingredients

  • 5 Mint Leaves

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

  • 2 dashes Gold Rum

Directions

  • Add the simple syrup and mint to a tumbler glass. 
  • Press the mint leaves into the syrup to infuse it with the mint’s flavor.
  • Fill the glass to the top with crushed ice and stir. 
  • Pour the base spirit over the crushed ice into the serving glass.
  • Give the drink a couple turns to mix and dash the top with rum.

Notes

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Gin Sour – Make The Original 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Gin Sour
Gin Sour

What Is The Difference Between The Gin Sour And The Gimlet?

The gin sour and gimlet are different and don’t share the same ingredients. The gin sour is traditionally genever, simple syrup, and lemon juice, while the Gimlet is dry gin, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Granted, regardless of being utterly different ingredient-wise, they taste somewhat similar. There is a taste difference, but it’s not much.

Gin Sour Variations.

There are many variations of the gin sour and cocktails that are very similar in taste. Your main variations are the gin sours with egg whites, gin daisy, gimlet, and gin fizz. The gin sour with egg whites is a gin sour that uses dry gin and egg whites, some of the earliest published records of this variation dates from around the 1950s. The Gin Daisy is a gin sour with a bit of soda water to soften the sourness, and the daisy style dates around the 1860s. The gimlet, as mentioned above, is a fancy gin sour that replaces the simple syrup with orange liqueur. The Gimlet dates from around the 1920s. The final variation is gin fizz, a gin sour with egg whites and soda water. The gin fizz is a fantastic drink that is refreshing and has a velvety texture—the gin fizz dates from around the 1880s.

To Add Egg Whites Or Not To Add Egg Whites.

Historically speaking, if a cocktail was a simple sour, it did not have egg whites. Yes, there were cocktails like the clover club or pink lady that had egg whites, or you can go back even further to the Fizz-style cocktails from the 1880s that had egg whites. But not until the early 1950s am I able to find anyone using egg whites in a cocktail labeled a Sour. Sour cocktails before the 1950s that used egg whites in this way all seemed to have fun names and were presented as cocktails for the ladies. In the 1930s or 40s, if a man ordered a whiskey sour and were handed one with egg whites, he would probably be offended or think the bartender mixed his drink up with some women’s at the bar. I looked through maybe 100+ books ranging from the 1880s to the late 1960s, which was pretty consistently what I found.

The earliest use of egg whites in a standard sour I could find was from King Cocktail by Eddie Clark. In 1947 Eddie Clark was the successor head bartender to Harry Craddock at the Savoy. The 1955 official British Bartenders union cocktail book, The UKBG, also mentions using egg whites in sours, but both books say they are optional and not traditional. Assumedly egg whites were added upon request and not the usual way a whiskey sour was made. Keep in mind Harry Craddock, 1920 – the 40s, did not make his sours with egg whites. All those cocktails had different fun names. Eddie Clark even grouped those fun cocktails in his book’s “For ladies only” section.

A Short History Of Sours.

While a standard American style sour is likely as old as the country itself, it traces its origins to the Age of Exploration. In the mid-1500s, the Spanish Navy began preserving concentrated lime juice in high-proof spirits that could last on long voyages as medication to fight and prevent scurvy. These medications were known for being super sour and not tasting good. In the early 1800s, there were attempts at improving these into actually good drinks, and one of these is the standard Sour cocktail of 2 oz base spirit, 1 oz citrus, and 1/2 oz simple syrup. This traditional recipe still has its roots in the overly sour medication, but by reducing the citrus by 1/3, you end up with a tastier product. Please enjoy this early rum sour pulled from the 1862 edition of the Bar-Tenders guide by Jerry Thomas.

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Gin Sour

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

303

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a classic Gin Sour cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Genever

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

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Gin Crusta – Make This Fantastic 1860s Sour Cocktail

Gin Crusta Cocktail
Gin Crusta Cocktail

The History Of the Crusta Style Cocktail.

First printed in the 1862 Bartenders Guide by Jerry Thomas, the Brandy Crusta is old as it is delicious. The Crusta is considered one of the oldest fancy sours and is named for its decorative sugar-crusted rim. It was invented in the 1850s by Joseph Santini in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, and was made to try and improve the taste of the standard sour cocktail. You can spot a crusta by its oversized decorative lemon peel that imparts that this is a special elevated sour cocktail.

How Do Crustas Taste Like?

These fantastic cocktails taste light and delicate while not being overly sour or overly sweet. While the standard sour is more flavorful and benefits from sharper, more intense spirits, this one is different. In my experience, a top-shelf spirit works better. This is because you are not overwhelming the base spirit with a whole ounce of sweetener and citrus, and the more subtle finer qualities of a better base spirit can still come through. Make this with the perspective that you are not making a solid, flavorful cocktail but adding subtle flavor and complexity to an already delicious spirit.

Balancing This Delicious and Subtle Cocktail.

There isn’t any single essential ingredient in this cocktail; instead, all the elements come together in the proper balance. But if I tried to narrow it down, I would say the brandy, orange liqueur, and gum syrup are the most essential parts of this cocktail. You want to use a good base spirit for this cocktail as none of the other ingredients are made to mask the flavor of a lower-quality spirit. So whatever the quality of the base spirit will make a meaningful difference in the final product. The orange liqueur matters, too, because cheap orange liqueurs are typically not very good. I love buying on value, but I’ve never found a cheaper orange liqueur that also tasted good, and with how this drink is structured, you will notice a cheap orange liqueur—lastly, the gum syrup. You can use a standard simple syrup if you prefer and what that will change is the cocktail’s texture. Gum Syrup has gum arabic and gives the cocktail a velvety consistency similar to what egg whites provide. A smooth, meringue-y, velvet, dessert-like texture. Standard simple syrup will not add this texture and make for a thinner liquid texture cocktail, but you may prefer that. If you like your sours without egg whites, then opt for using standard simple syrup but if you like sours with egg whites, buy a bottle of gum syrup and give it a go.

Recipe Resources

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Gin Crusta

4 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

301

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

An amazing cocktail that is as delicious as it is beautiful

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice

  • 2 tsp Gum Syrup

  • 1 tsp Orange Liqueur

  • 2 dashes Cardamom Bitters

  • 2 oz Genever

Directions

  • Moisten a cocktail glass rim with a cut lemon slice and rub the end in granulated sugar to create a sugar crust.
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir for about 10 seconds to dilute and combine the ingredients.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a whole lemon peel that circles the glass.

Notes

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If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.