Genever is so much fun to play with in a variety of cocktails. Many classic gin-based drinks originally contained genever, rather than the London Dry that is so ubiquitous today, so the substitution lends an added layer of complexity and an air of history to many drinks. Even better, the substitution of genever in a whiskey-based drink tends to showcase the rich, malty, and whiskey-like character of the spirit. As good as the Negroni (gin, sweet vermouth, Campari) and the Boulevardier (bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari) are, the substitution of genever seems seems like a logical extension of the basic formula. With that in mind, I present to you the Dutch Negroni:
Dutch Negroni (via Liquor.com)
1 1/2 oz Genever
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Campari
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a large piece of orange zest.
Notice that instead of the traditional 1:1:1 ratio, this recipe uses a 1.5:1:1 ratio. I tried the drink both ways and found I enjoyed this formulation better. I enjoy the taste of the genever, and it is certainly forward here. This drink is rich, smooth and malty. The bite of the Campari is certainly more mellow here than in a traditional Negroni, and while I generally look forward to that strong bitter finish, here it would be too assertive for the quiet confidence of this drink. Instead, the Campari appropriately provides a gentle kick at the end of each sip to ensure you remember that this is indeed a Negroni. This is an enjoyable play on a classic drink, and an opportunity to experience the versatile nature of genever as a base spirit. Enjoy.