Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Flemish Old Fashioned

If you’ve made it to this blog you probably already know what genever is. For those unfamiliar, it is a Dutch or Belgian spirit that’s been produced in those territories since the seventeenth century. 

Genever is also an AOC protected spirit like cognac or scotch.

The story goes that the British once consumed this delicious distillate en masse until they began producing their own version, called gin. 

The Dutch and Belgian might tell you it is a poor knock-off. In fact, genever is often referred to as the predecessor to the classic London Dry Gin.

Diep 9 is a Belgian genever imported to the US and branded by Flemish Lion

Diep 9’s portfolio leads with the two classic styles of genever: the young and the old. Yet, the company also includes a variety that are naturally flavored.

My favorite, the old genever, is aged and then bottled in distinct clay containers. The old genever carries the rye, barley and wheat notes that whiskey lovers recognize. 

I also get that "Grapenuts" cereal aroma one experiences whenever grains are synthesized into a beverage. I also find the taste to be delightfully light and delicate - a nice alternative to whiskey.

A few months ago, owner Veronique Beittel invited me to be a brand ambassador and consultant for Diep 9. I cheerfully accepted the task. It's a product I already enjoyed.

The offer begat a first assignment which was to create a classic cocktail, such as an old fashioned, with their product.

Now I’m not breaking any ground here with a genever old fashioned. It stands to reason that it's been done before by far better barmen than I.

Not only that the old fashioned cocktail is after all a formula that works for nearly every spirit.

However, Diep 9’s old genever old fashioned (or Oude Fashioned) deserves a little shout from a mountain top. The flavors come together in their blend magnificently in this cocktail format. 

I’ve gotten very familiar with the Oude Fashioned for the past month. Then again, as Paul Kemp said in The Rum Diary, I drink "on the upper end of social."

Oude Fashioned

2 oz Diep 9 Old Genever
1/2 oz simple syrup
3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
3-4 dashes orange bitters

Add spirit, sugar, and bitters into an old-fashioned glass. Add ice. Stir 40 times. Garnish with an orange zest.

Note: This post has been revised since its original publication 

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