Mixology Monday XL: Ginger


I was this close to writing another of my FAIL posts about how Mixology Monday has come again, and all my experiments yielded crap. It’s happened before. Also, it’s come close before as well. Well, it seemed to be happening again this time for real, in a big time way. Everything I had on tap just stank.

The Mixology Monday theme this month is a fabulous one. One that I’ve been looking forward to since Rumdood announced it: Ginger.

I wasted a lot of my precious supply of Canton Ginger Liqueur on several failed drinks. That sucked on several levels.

I tried making some cool dried ginger garnishes with a funky homemade drying rig idea that I stole from Alton Brown. They looked so awful, I trashed them.

My best idea, in keeping with my current exploration of Old Fashioneds, was to try a Ginger Old Fashioned. It suffered the worst fate of all: It was boring.

So I gave up. Another MxMo missed, I said, and decided to work on another post for later. I went back to the lab to work with my bottle of Bols Genever that I was sent for review. That’s when the Watson come here, I need you! moment came.

I intend to do a full review and discussion of genever and Bols in particular soon, but since they saved my MxMo, I’ll do a bit of my best thoughts here and now. Genever is one of those sadly almost forgotten spirits that our cocktail renaissance is allowing to emerge from the shadows of history. Commonly called Dutch Gin… genever ain’t gin. It is the precursor to the London Dry Gin so many love (or loathe) today, but while it is also a gin infused white spirit, it has an unmistakably different flavor and especially aroma. The reason I haven’t written my full review on this fascinating spirit is that I’m still searching for the right words to describe the difference between it and gin. I’m a wordy bastard though, so I’ll get it soon enough.

In the meantime, I have found the drink that I’ll be featuring when I do get to the review: The John Collins, which is a Tom Collins made with genever.

So I rolled down to the basement in a failed MxMo funk to make a John Collins and try to find those words I needed. I was halfway into it when I discovered that I had a problem. I rather contemptuously kicked around soda and seltzer water in a recent post, and the fizzy water gods were angry. I had no bubbly water on hand! I was even out of cartridges for my seltzer bottle!

Words failed me. Well, actually they didn’t. I won’t relate the word I used repeatedly, but you should be able to guess from the suggestion that my word choice was a bit scatological.

Then I looked around in frustration and my eyes were drawn to the word ginger! I recently bought a new six of Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew, to replace the bottles I received from the sample fairy. (This reminds me I need to review that stuff too! I’m so behind.)

I had no carbonation for my drink. I was still steamed at not finding a use for ginger. I was thirsty. This is what we in the fiction writing business call a coming together moment.

  • 2 oz. Bols Genever
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • Reed’s Jamaican Style Ginger Beer

Mix genever, juice, and syrup in a tall glass. Add ice and fill with ginger beer. Garnish with a broad strip of lemon peel.

I was fully prepared for it to suck. To be swamp water. In short, for it to top off my weekend nicely.

But, it’s good. It is refreshing, spicy, and tart. It shows off the unique qualities of the Bols Genever in a gentle way. It leaves your mouth clean and tingly like ginger does. It makes me smile.

Try it, you’ll like it too.

Now go back to Rumdood’s for the rest of this month’s MxMo ginger proceedings. You’ll be glad you did!


  1. cocktail

    1 July

    You never know what you will find in times of need and I suppose that’s how you come up with new variations of drink. I will be sure to give this cocktail, it does look refreshing and with this mini UK heatwave we’re having at the moment (yes it’s only 30 degrees, but thats hot for the UK) I will be sure to be mixing it soon!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. Doug

    1 July

    I’m watching Wimbledon (Go Fed!), and I can tell how hot it is!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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