I am starting a new Monday series in the new year called Booktails that will focus on drink recipes from some of my favorite books about cocktails. Today I’m kicking things off with a recipe from Around the World in 80 Cocktails written by Chad Parkhill and illustrated by Alice Oehr. This absolutely charming little book was given to me by my daughter, Wendy, as a Christmas present. True to its title, it brings us 80 recipes that span from the early 19th century through to the 21st from cities all over the world, each one accompanied by the story of its origin. The brightly colored drawings in this book have an art deco feel to them that make things fun, and I love the fact that the ingredients in many of the recipes are a bit out of the ordinary. You all know how much I love to go on a hunt for something different.
Today’s cocktail is the Holland Fizz, a slight variation on a basic gin fizz, which traditionally contains gin, lemon, sugar, and club soda. Fizz drinks can go in many directions, but think along the lines of combining sweet and sour ingredients with a base spirit, and then topping it all off with soda water. Bracing is a good way to describe them. Or refreshing. The Ramos or New Orleans Fizz adds an egg white and cream into the mix, making a drink that is foamy enough for a straw to stand up straight in the glass. Its’s far heavier and very different from a traditional fizz. The Holland Fizz lands somewhere in between the two. The lemon, sugar, and soda components are the same, but the gin has been swapped out for Genever, and there is an egg white shaken in. Genever is the predecessor of London Dry gin (represented by brands like Tanqueray, Beefeater, and Bombay) where juniper is the dominant flavor. Genever is quite different. It’s distilled from a malt wine so it has a heavier mouthfeel and a grainy, more whiskey-like flavor profile. The combination of the Genever and the egg white in the Holland Fizz has the effect of rounding out the tart and sour edges of the drink. Additionally, since Genever has a hint more sweetness than gin, it combines nicely with the simple syrup to soften things even more. The acidity from the lemon is still there, however, so this cocktail retains its refreshing qualities, but offers just a bit more in terms of weight and sophistication. Cheers, everyone. Happy Monday!
2 oz Rutte Old Simon Genever
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz simple syrup
1 egg white
2 oz club soda
Place all the ingredients (except the club soda) into a shaker without any ice. Shake vigorously to get the drink nice and fluffy. Add the ice and shake again. Pour the club soda into the bottom of a Collins glass. Add fresh ice. Pour the contents of the shaker over top. Garnish with a lemon wheel or a sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy!