Genever comes to Portland


If you follow my Twitter feed you saw that I posted cryptically last week about having a job interview on April Fool’s Day. It was a real interview and I’m pleased to announce that I’m now working with Lucas Bols as the Portland brand ambassador for Bols Genever, Damrak Gin, Galliano, and the Bols line of liqueurs. I’ve been a fan of their products ever since helping out with the Oregon launch event for their genever at Carlyle a few months ago, so I’m excited to be on board introducing people to this classic spirit that’s been unavailable in the US for a long time.

There’s no better way to kick things off than with a cocktail, so here’s one from Charles Baker that my friend Evan Zimmerman has on the menu at Laurelhurst Market, the Holland Razor Blade:

2 oz Bols Genever
.75 oz simple syrup
.75 oz lemon juice
pinch of cayenne pepper

Shake the first three ingredients with ice, strain into a coupe, and finish with the pinch of pepper. This is a really cool drink and I love the way the spice, sweetness, and citrus balance one another. Stop in soon to try it out.


14 thoughts on “Genever comes to Portland”

  1. @Jeff: It’s the Dutch predecessor to London style gin, less assertive with the juniper and more emphasis on the grain in distillation. It’s still very popular in Holland and was standard in the US in the 1800s, but it’s been unavailable here for a long time. Not sure when you’ll be able to pick up a bottle in NC though…

  2. That’s exciting. I had the pleasure of visiting the Bols headquarters in Amsterdam last year. A nice walk-through of history and the distilling process, ending with a genever cocktail. It makes a nice Tom Collins.

    Best part though was trying their different styles, from young genever (which is essentially ginny vodka) to the aged Corenwijn (which really impressed a whisky lover like me).

    Not sure where I’ll be able to find genever in the cocktail wasteland of Detroit, though…

  3. Jacob: I checked the NC ABC website and they have it listed. Whether I can actually run into a liquor store and pick it up is another question, but they sell absinthe so what the hell, it might be possible.

  4. Congratulations. I used to live in Amsterdam where the Bols brand was ubiquitous, but my Dutch friends all seemed to think of genever as an old-timer’s drink. Other than the time my friends amused themselves by slapping a glass of genever and a plate of bitterballen in front of me, I really only saw older patrons quietly sipping their gin. But… cocktail culture was pretty non-existent – even a mixed drink was a pour of liquor and a bottle of whatever you wanted to put in. That said, (and ignoring two years of Belgian beer revelations) one of the best drinks I ever had, A’dam or elsewhere, was a cup of rich hot chocolate with genever and orange liqueur from a street vendor on a cold night.

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