Make your way to the House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience to enjoy the newly relaunched Bols Genever, based on the famous 1820’s recipe.
Many people are not aware that Dutch Genever is in fact, the predecessor of gin. When the Dutch-born King William III ascended to the British throne in 1688, his soldiers introduced Genever to the UK. At this point the British, lacking the expertise and know-how to make good malt wine, produced their own stripped-down version of Genever which they called Gin, leaning heavily on neutral alcohol and a pronounced juniper berry flavour.
When Lucas Bols began distilling Genever in copper pot stills in 1664, it was an immediate success around the world. Since then, for well over 400 years, generations of Lucas Bols Master Distillers have always guarded the quality of Bols Genever. In a craft traditionally passed down from father to son, the Master Distillers recorded their recipes in handwritten journals many of which can be seen in the House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience (LINK) to this day. These authentic recipes form the basis of the Genever that Lucas Bols produces today.
In 1820, Bols revolutionized its Genever recipe by mastering the technique of column distilling. This allowed the addition of a pure neutral grain alcohol to optimize the balance and taste of Bols Genever and bring the botanical mix to a more subtle level, suitable for cocktail mixing.
Bols first shipped Genever to the USA in 1823 and soon the USA was importing six times more Genever than gin (1880). Genever was one of the four most important bases for cocktails in the 19th Century.
Bols Genever has gained fans as diverse as Jerry Thomas – the first celebrity bartender and author of the first cocktail guide ‘The Bartenders Guide’ written in 1862, David A Embury – author of a classic 20th century guide to cocktails, Ernest Hemingway and Ray Charles.
Today, Lucas Bols has re-launched its authentic Bols Genever from 1820 - a premium old school Genever - for bartenders worldwide. The new Bols Genever bottle reflects the spirit’s authenticity taking inspiration from the traditional Genever clay jug. This classic shape is updated with the use of distinctive, stylish modern smoked glass decorated with authentic Amsterdam handwritten typography, while retaining a nod to history in the form of a traditional cork closure.
Bols Genever is the perfect cocktail mixer due to the unique blend of more than 50% rich maltwine, redistilled botanicals and an optimum alcohol content of 42%. The original John Collins recipe for example was meant to be made with Genever, which brings a pleasant depth and slight fruitiness this classic cocktail.