Leo Borovskiy

Dizzy Recap: Nirvino & Bols Genever

Bols Genever, Dutch grain spirit. All photos by Leo Borovskiy of Lush Life Productions. Earlier this week, Nirvino, a social networking site (and mobile application) that encourages users to recommend and review drinks, hosted a Bols Genever cocktail party at Beekman Bar & Books. Created in Holland during the 16th century, Genever is the original recipe for gin, although the white spirit tastes very different from the London Dry style of gin. Made with maltwine (distilled from corn, rye, and wheat), and various botanicals (including ginger, coriander, and, of course, juniper berries), Bols Genever has a rich, slightly floral, malty flavor and is very smooth and neutral. Relaunched last year, the spirit has been a hit with NYC mixologists and won the Best New Spirit award at this summer's Tales of the Cocktail. It's especially relevant to the classic cocktail revolution since Genever was one of four main ingredients called for in many cocktails created by the pioneer of American bartending, Jerry Thomas.

For the Nirvino event, Ben Scorah, mixologist and managing partner of Bar & Books, mixed cocktails that would normally feature scotch whisky and used the Bols Genever instead. Guests were encouraged to sample three different concoctions--a Green Apple-Infused Old Fashioned, a Dutch Blood & Sand, and a Holland Razorblade (Bols Genever, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cayenne pepper).  A laptop was connected to a large flatscreen TV that scrolled live reviews by Nirvino users of the cocktails, so everyone could see that the Blood & Sand was clearly the crowd favorite.  Tal Nadari and Katie Darling of Lucas Bols Spirits were on hand to share more information about Bols Genever, and at the end of the event, two Nirvino users were chosen at random to win bottles of Bols Genever and cocktail shakers. Tomas Delos Reyes, the NYC representative for Nirvino, says these cocktail events will be happening monthly, so if you want to join in, just sign up as a member at Nirvino.com.

Bols Genever is a crowd-pleaser.

Tomas Delos Reyes of Nirvino and Tal Nadari of Bols.

Ben Scorah's Green Apple-Infused Old Fashioned.

Dizzy Recap: The Dalmore Tasting

Ben Scorah of Bar & Books, The Dalmore Master Blender Richard Paterson, and David Blackmore of Glenmorangie. Like a rockstar on summer tour, The Dalmore's Master Distiller Richard Paterson swept through New York yesterday to pour some delicious drams of the Highland single malt whisky for those in-the-know before heading off to Chicago, Dallas, and Florida. I was in-the-know thanks to Twitter (it was my first "tweetup," actually), and I was pleasantly surprised to see several friends at the tasting at Keen's Steakhouse. Sadly, I missed the tasting of an extremely rare Dalmore 62-year-old (one of the most expensive single malts in the world), but I did enjoy a few drams of Dalmore 15-year, which was exquisitely smooth. Richard recommends just adding a few splashes of water (no ice!) to lower the alcohol content a bit, and let the whisky roll over the top of the tongue. Aged in Spanish oak sherry casks, the 15-year has notes of Seville orange, toffee, and vanilla, with a prominent orange aroma. Richard suggested pairing a taste of The Dalmore with bittersweet dark chocolate, and I have to say, this was the highlight of the evening. The third generation of his family to serve as Master Blender of the 170-year-old distillery in Alness, Richard really is a master of his craft, and it's easy to see why he has achieved such a rockstar status. Now if I can just get myself to Scotland in the near future to drink scotch by the sea with the wind whipping my face. Slainte!

The Dalmore 15 year.

Tweeting and greeting.

A dram will do!