2 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
1 1/2 barspoon Rich Simple Syrup (2:1)
1/2 barspoon Absinthe
2 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist lemon rind over the glass, rim edge, and drop in.
Gin was originally created in Holland as Genever, a malty liquor infused with juniper berries. During this time, the Dutch harbors received a wide variety of botanicals and grains which filtered their way into their liquors and liqueurs. The Dutch gin used barley and rye from the Baltics and they malted the grains to produce a product akin to a juniper whiskey. The English ripped off the concept of gin but made a product that was less grain flavored by using unmalted barley and miscellaneous grains. The spirit was highly rectified through distillations and filtrations to be less like a flavored whiskey and more like a flavored vodka. In the United States during the early and mid nineteenth century, English gin was not that prevalent relative to Holland gin. Much of the spirit was coming through New York which was heavily settled by the Dutch. As a result, many of the recipes from that era such as Jerry Thomas' required the proper gin of the day, namely Genever, to achieve the proper end result although some could work with the English-styled spirit as well. According to import records, the Dutch vs. English gin balance began to equilibrate around 1894 and flipped at the end of the century with 1899 seeing more bottles of British gin in bars and liquor shops than the Dutch variety.
Tasting the Bols Genever straight, it was indeed malty and very unlike English gin such as Bombay or Plymouth. The liquor is a combination of malt wine, grain neutral spirits, and a botanical infusion. Besides juniper berries, the Bols product is flavored with hops, angelica, licorice, and a secret ingredient that provides a tingling on the tongue at the end of the swallow. Max Toste of Deep Ellum guessed that it could be wormwood since he has noted similar tasting effects with his bitters infusions.
The Improved Holland Gin Cocktail was one cocktail they served to demonstrate their product. The absinthe and maraschino notes played well together like they do in the Lawhill Cocktail. Instead of the Lawhill's rye whiskey, the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail had a lighter but still malty base which demonstrated how Genever could serve as a good intermediary between English gin and whiskey. Wondrich's comment about the drink was, "rich, fragrant, and delightful... [like] a New York Sazerac!"