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Why Philly is smoking hot!

Aug 2016

As Lucas Bols Master Bartender I am in the lucky position of visiting many bars around the world. Once in a while you come across a hidden gem. A bar that is not necessarily world famous, but serves you amazing drinks in a nice ambiance without being pompous about it. A.kitchen + bar is such a venue. Located at the Rittenhouse square in Philadelphia, the small bar and restaurant is filled with excitement and Philadelphia’s hip crowd. The restaurant is centered around the bar and I would highly recommend sitting at that bar where bartender Paul MacDonald reigns over his castle with a gentle sovereignty.

As we were seated at the bar, the food menu was explained to us and we asked Paul to make us some Bols Genever drinks. I was very much surprised by his take on Bols Genever. For many bartenders it is not the easiest spirit to work with, but once you get to understand it, they love working with it. Paul really understands Bols Genever, I can tell you that much. He served us three drinks and was so nice to share the recipes with us. You can find them at the bottom of this article! What I personally liked in these drinks is the original ways of pairing the malt spirit and the botanicals that make Bols Genever and still letting the characteristics of the spirit come through.

My personal favorite was the China Bull. A drink where the arrangement of ingredients was done following a Fibonacci sequence (a sequence in which the next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it). I personally like drinks with a story and since I am a sucker for math and science, I really liked the concept of this drink. Besides that I like classic and dry drinks high in herbs and spices. The China Bull combines brings out the earthiness of the Malt Spirit in Bols Genever, where the wine based amaros and aperitives together with the bitter Becherovka make for a perfect combination with the botanicals of the Genever.

For me the drinks were a perfect example of how to be creative with Bols Genever but not overdoing it. The Genever was still the star of the show and Paul paid respect to it. Complex ingredients but clean and simple recipes, I loved it! Whenever you are in Philly, drop by a.kitchen + bar. I am sure he will share his creativity with you!



2 oz Bols Genever

1/2 oz Smoked Eggplant syrup

1/4 oz savory herbal tincture

Stir and serve on a rock with a lemon twist.


How to make the Smoked Eggplant Syrup?

2 large eggplants halved. Place facedown on a grill and smoke at 200 degrees Farenheit for 4 hours. Remove from smoker, slice into strips, and add 2 cups of white sugar. Muddle thoroughly, add 4 cups of water, bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat robs simmer. Simmer the mixture until it has reduced by half, and strain out the solids.

How to make the Herbal Tincture?
Caraway, fennel, mustard seed, black peppercorn, star anise, and dried lemon peel. The botanicals macerate in high-proof grain alcohol for 2 weeks.


The Fifth Humor:

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever

3/4 oz Mulled Wine reduction

3/4 oz lemon juice

8 droplets olive oil

Egg white 

Dry shake, proper shake, serve in a large coupe. Sprinkle superfine sugar on top and brûlée.


The China Bull

1 1/4 oz Bols Genever

3/4 oz Cardamaro

1/2 oz Becherovka

1/4 oz Nux Alpina

1/4 oz Cappelletti

Stir and serve up in a coupe with grated cinnamon


The Singularity

1 1/4 oz Bols Genever

3/4 oz Banyuls Wine

1/2 oz Amaro Nardini

1/4 oz Amaro Nonino

1/4 oz Lemon Hart 151

Stir and serve on a rock with grated cinnamon.

Proost Ivar!

please share if you liked this!

you will like this too!

Ivar de Lange

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