Bols Genever, The Original Gin

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Drink | 0 comments

Bols Genever, The Original Gin

Source: Margaret Bourne

Bols Genever is like taking a sip back in time. Bold and seductive, it is the original gin produced by Lucas Bols, which is the world’s oldest distilled spirits company. Founded in Amsterdam in 1575, they began producing genevers in 1664 and production is strong as ever. Master distillers spent hundreds of years perfecting their craft and in 1820, a revolutionary genever was created which continues to be enjoyed today. Powerful and complex, the final product is a whiskey-like, triple grain distillate made of corn, wheat and rye.

The best way to describe its complex flavor is that it is very similar to a white whiskey. In 2007, Bols Genever was awarded the prestigious A.O.C. status (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) because it is only produced in Holland and a few neighboring areas, thus ranking it alongside champagne, cognac and Scottish single-malt whiskey.  Bols Genever was reintroduced to America in 2008 and has been an essential part of the hand-crafted cocktail revolution.

Bols Genever

Bols Genever

Source: Margaret Bourne

Many bartenders and mixologists are reinventing classics and giving them their own unique spin. Here are some great spots to enjoy exquisite cocktails made with Bols Genever.


    1. Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen: Nestled in the Tenderloin district, Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen was named after Jasper O’Farrell who was an Irish immigrant that came to San Francisco in 1843. His vision was to create a promenade that would bring the city together over trade, commerce, food and drink. His vision became a reality and Market Street was conceived under his direction and has been compared to the likes of 5th Ave. and Broadway. It is only fitting that Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen serves cocktails as stunning and unique as San Francisco and their menu is filled with liquid masterpieces. Starring Bols Genever as the main character, Jasper’s “The Brat” also combines Creme Yvette Liqueur, lime, pineapple juice, black pepper and rose water tincture and yields a refreshing, spring-like cocktail. Creme Yvette is a violet liqueur that blends violet petals with fresh berries, cassis, orange peels, honey, vanilla and spices and truly gives takes the smokiness of the Bols Genever to another level. You will find this seductive cocktail will begin with sweet notes from the luscious pineapple juice and Creme Yvette and end with a bit of spice from the black pepper. Sip on one of these and toast one of San Francisco’s legends.

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    1. Comstock Saloon: Named after Henry Comstock (after whom the famous Comstock Lode was named), the Comstock Saloon occupies a historic space that has served as a favorite local watering hole since the early 1900’s. Maintaining traditions of the past, Comstock Saloon serves up saloon-inspired fare and cocktail classics. Truly breathtaking, this unique spot preserves the historic design elements of San Francisco’s famed Barbary Coast past. Their John Collins is a classic blend of Genever, lemon, sugar and seltzer. Perfect for summer, their John Collins is a refreshing way to enjoy a classic from the 19th century. At first sip, you will taste the bold smokyness of the Genever that will then yield to a light essence of lemon and sugar followed with fizz from the seltzer. The first true collins was made with Bols Genever and is a great way to introduce your palate to this smoky and complex spirit.

      Comstock Saloon on Urbanspoon


    1. Absinthe Brasserie & Bar: Located in Hayes Valley, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar is one of the most romantic fine dining establishments in the city and is well known for their avant-garde cocktail menu. A recent addition to their menu is their Wonderlust which is a sexy blend of Bols Genever, Small Hands Foods pineapple gum, creme de violette, lemon juice and a dash of Absinthe. Slightly sweet with an herbal-like quality from the Absinthe, the Wonderlust is a great representation of ingredients that were ubiquitous in the 1800’s and after years of being practically non-existent, are now becoming more mainstream. We love how the Bols Genever is softened with the sweetness of the pineapple gum and creme de violette, which makes this drink easy to sip and savor. Although hard to find, creme de violette is a beautiful addition to your bar collection and its slightly sweet violette taste makes an elegant statement in many cocktail recipes

      Absinthe Brasserie and Bar on Urbanspoon


    1. Alembic:  The Haight is home to one of our favorite local spots, Alembic. Known for their handcrafted cocktails and savory bar bites, they have become a top dining destination in the Haight with their innovative and eclectic dining menu. Cocktails have always been a focus and their Death in the Gulfstream is a magnificent concoction that is both bitter and tart. Combining Bols Genever, Lime, Sugar Cane Syrup and Angostura Bitters, Death in the Gulfstream is both reviving and refreshing. Perfect for cleansing the palate, it is the perfect start to an evening of culinary adventure.

      Alembic on Urbanspoon


    1. La Mar Cebichería Peruana: When in comes to authentic Peruvian cuisine, San Franciscans flock to La Mar in the Embarcadero for  a taste of Peruvian culture in a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Their cocktail menu is a reflection of life in Peru in that it focuses on fresh fruits and quality ingredients. We love their version of a Raspberry Gimlet that features Bols Genever, lime juice and freshly muddled raspberries.Unlike the traditional gimlet, the Bols Genever gives this classic a whole new dimension of flavor and it’s bold flavor is slightly mellowed with the tartness of the lime juice and sweet flavor from the raspberries. One sip and you will revel in the exotic taste of Bols Genever mixed with the juicy raspberries. Although a bit tart, this cocktail is the perfect start to your evening.

      La Mar Cebicheria Peruana on Urbanspoon