Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the buurman

2 oz Nolet's Silver Dry Gin
3/4 oz Ambre Vermouth
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
8 drop Pimento Dram

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Ardbeg Scotch.

A little over a week ago, Andrea and I were invited to attend a dinner at Eastern Standard hosted by Nolet's Gin. The gin is the newest creation from the Dutch distillery that is most famous for making Ketel One Vodka. Well, the recipe is new, but the distillery has a long history of making gin in the past. In a collaboration between the 10th and 11th generations of Nolets using the distillery's vast library of recipes and distillation techniques, they crafted this spirit. The company has been very hush-hush about the botanicals in the gin save for Turkish rose, white peach, and raspberry beside the juniper needed to call it gin. We did pick up on a floral note that reminded me of the lavender in North Shore Distiller's Gin No. 6.

The drinks for the night were created as a collaboration between Eastern Standard's bartender Kevin Martin and one of the chefs. After a welcome punch, the night started with a classic - the Gibson using Nolet's and garnished with Eastern Standard's delightful housemade cocktail onions; Kitty did a great job of describing it in this week's LUPEC Boston post (also appears in this week's The Weekly Dig).

I figured that I would cover my favorite Nolet's drink of the evening, the Buurman, which means "neighbor" in Dutch. The drink was at essence a gin variation on the Red Hook with a few changes. Instead of the more amaro-like Punt e Mes vermouth, Kevin Martin chose Eastern Standard's flavorful ambre vermouth. Moreover, the additions of smoke from the Ardbeg Scotch rinse and spice from the Pimento Dram were welcome additions. What made this drink work for me was how well the gin paired with the Scotch; in fact, it reminded me of two things. The first was the classic Automobile which pairs gin and Scotch with sweet vermouth and orange bitters. And the second was a curious bottle in the collection of Avery and Janet Glasser (of the Bittermens Bitters) -- Alambic's Special Islay Gin, a gin that had been aged 12 years wood with the last two in an old Scotch barrel. While the Buurman had a lighter touch of smoke than the other two, that accent provided the right amount of complexity to make the recipe victorious.

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