The Dutch Quarter

This lighter-spirited cocktail makes a perfect summertime drink

The weather often dictates what people choose to drink. In warmer temperatures, some gravitate toward lighter spirits like vodka or gin. When it’s cooler, they tend to aged dark spirits like whiskey. There are, however, those who drink the same thing year round no matter the circumstances.

One of the main reasons fans of dark spirits always reach for them is because they can’t get their palates around anything lacking the flavors imparted from barrel aging. But what if there was something that could potentially teach new tricks to an old dog?

The Dutch Quarter is an interpretation of the classic Vieux Carre cocktail, which traditionally consists of straight rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, and bitters. This version takes the same warm, deep flavors and lightens them up, replacing the vermouth with sloe gin and adding fresh juice with a splash of soda for further cool refreshment. The French brandy is still present in a smaller measurement to keep the door to the dark side open, but most of the flavor comes from the lighter components.

The ingredient that ties it all together is Bols Barrel Aged Genever, which is among a class of spirits that are lighter in color, but have all the flavor of something in a much darker hue. It was conceived by Bols master distiller Piet Van Leijenhorst specifically to appeal to whiskey drinkers, who gravitate toward heavier nuances. The genever distillate itself is a hoppier, maltier style than typical dry gin, more akin to a whiskey infused with juniper and other botanicals. It spends 18 months in French Limousin casks to give it more gusto. While it’s great sipped neat, its essence is actually heightened by ice or soda, which is why it works so well here.

So next time you’re craving some refreshment, but don’t want to go full on tropical, this is a great compromise.

Click here for the Dutch Quarter cocktail recipe

— Amanda Schuster, The Spir.it