MxMO – Ginger

June 15th, 2009

Mixology Monday - Ginger

I tend to be something of a procrastinator, so Mixology Mondays are usually a last-minute scramble to find a drink that is appropriate to that month’s theme. However, when Matt, a.k.a. Rumdood, announced this months theme was ginger I knew immediately the drink I wanted to feature. Even better, it gave me a good excuse to order a rare bottle of booze I’d been umming and arring over for some months. Thanks Matt!

Back at the beginning of this year I had the chance to visit Philip Duff’s new bar, and recent nominee for World’s Best Bar at the 2009 Spirit Awards, door 74 in Amsterdam. Being in the land of Genever I was keen to sample some locally influenced cocktails, and after a look through the menu one drink stood out – the Mr. Antoni. The drink is a variation on the Penicillin, a whisky-based cocktail created by Sam Ross of Milk & Honey in New York that can now be found on bar menus the world over. All that had changed was one ingredient.

Philip took this delicious cocktail and gave it a Hollands twist by replacing the blended scotch with a very special Genever from Rutte & Zn called Paradyswijn. Coming from their oldest barrels of limousin oak-aged genever, and bottled in very limited quantities, Paradyswijn has a luscious malty nose and a beautifully rich, smooth flavour that at once reminds me of Genever, Cognac and whisky. Paradise indeed – as Phil likes to say, this stuff would make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window…

Mr. Antoni cocktail

Mr. Antoni

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The smooth, nuanced Paradyswijn is nicely brightened up by the tart lemon and spicy ginger, and given that extra depth with smoky Peat Monster whisky. The ginger-honey syrup is made by simply adding chopped ginger root to a saucepan of water, cooking for one hour at a low heat then adding honey to taste and straining. You want the syrup to have a decent ginger bite, but enough honey to add a rounded sweetness and mouthfeel.

In case you’re wondering the drink is named after Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutchman who became a pioneering Dutch microbiologist (hence the Penicillin link) in his spare time, whilst going about his daily duties as a councillor, textile trader and (at one stage) executor of the estate of Johannes Vermeer. Quite a man, and quite a drink to have named after you.

If you’re not able to get hold of a bottle of Paradyswijn, and aren’t able to make it to Amsterdam for a Mr. Antoni at door 74, then I suggest you skip trying to make this drink with any other Genever and go straight to its inspiration, the Penicillin. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Scotch cocktails, but the Penicillin is a real masterpiece and a drink that caused me to re-examine the whole Scotch whisky category.


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Posted in Genever, Lemon, Mixology Monday, Recipes, Scotch

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2 responses to “MxMO – Ginger”

  1. Mixology Monday XL: Ginger! says:

    [...] (have you noticed the bevy of cocktail blogs with exclamation points in their names?) brings us the Mr. Antoni.  This riff on the Penicillin uses a Genever in the place of whisk(e)y as the base, and makes me [...]

  2. Pimm’s Up & Charleston « Bottoms Up says:

    [...] petit doigt me dit qu’il se rapproche de la recette définitive. J’ai aussi pu découvrir le Penicillin qui devrait éveiller l’appétit (et l’intérêt) de tous les amateurs de whisky : sur une [...]

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