The first in our year-end lists bonanza, we take a look at what the most popular gins and features on this site were according to you, our readers.
Bombay Sapphire East [Gin Review]
In the first full year of its release, this is by far the most popular gin review on The Gin is In. And why not? Its a great gin made by one of the biggest names in gin, and its widely available. Through and through, this is what most of you were looking for in 2012, and I surely hope you found it, because its worth seeking out.
Bols Genever [Gin Review]
Last Year’s most popular page falls to #2 this year. Still, the biggest name in Genever is frequently searched and frequently sought after. Only narrowly beat out the Botanist again this year to stay around near the top of the popularity poll.
The Botanist [Gin Review]
The Botanist continues to be frequently searched for in 2012, and it really picked up steam in the second half of the year as the gin became more and more widely available in the United States.
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Today we have a very special “behind the bar” as part of Negroni week here at the Gin is In. Bols Genever isn’t really a gin. And generally won’t rise to the occasion when mixed like a normal gin. But the one HUGE exception (there’s a few good ones, the Corpse Reviver #2, the martini but, let me have this moment) and that is the Negroni.
It is by far my favorite “use Genever as if it were a gin” cocktail. A good gin shines in a Negroni, but so does a good Genever. In fact, the malty, complex, almost bourbon like qualities of the Genever – in particular Bols- that make it ill suited to be mixed with tonic water, are exactly what makes the Bols Genever Negroni such a special drink. The Bols Genever makes a strong statement and can standup in this cocktail. It has an unmistakable signature which contrasts with the other two ingredients like a great dish. The Campari brings the bitter and the sour; the Vermouth brings the sweet; and the Genever brings an element of spice and heat. It perks up the cocktail and transforms it from a simple aperitif to a complex sipping drink.
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The other day I reviewed Bols Genever and I compared it to whiskey due to its almost malty complexity. So I decided to put it to work with the rest of my Manhattan equipment.
Setting the Scene and the Recipe: My current supplies include a classic and reasonably priced vermouth. Currently I’m using Martini & Rossi. There’s nothing wrong with Angoustra bitters, but I love the Bitter Truth’s Orange bitters. Instead of Rye or Bourbon, I used Bols Genever. I mixed them together using the classic recipe (5 parts Genever, 2 parts vermouth and a dash of bitters).
Bols Genever held up very well in a Manhattan. I think the orange bitters worked better with the subtle hints of gin-like citrus underneath the richness. The vermouth was good, but I think a richer, and perhaps more herbal vermouth (perhaps Vya?) might have worked better. Though I can’t tell you for sure, this is a cocktail I will try again, and perhaps tinker with it. I’m thinking next time, a perfect Manhattan, which brings in the dry vermouth as well.
Author’s Note: This is technically very similar to a Martinez.
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