Tag Archives: De Moor

Dust. A new Belgian genever 2.0 style, handcrafted by Black Lion.

Belgian webdesigners from Black Lion said 'to hell with gin' and decided to make genever instead. A very modern tasting genever, that is or genever 2.0, as they call it. Dust was born. Also you need to know that "dust" is actually a Flemish dialect word for "thirsty".

The story starts when a web design company named: Black Lion moves its offices to an old grain distillery in Kortrijk. A new name, a new building, a fresh start. So they decided to celebrate this appropriately. At first they wanted to make their own gin, but they realised soon that there’s probably one too many gins on the market today. No shit Sherlock. If you still want to make a gin these days you better make sure it is better than very, very good.

So genever it was going to be. Why, you ask? Well, because it is the much richer grandfather of gin of course and because genever is starting to attain a substantial amount of “hipster cool”, especially in the States. Aaaaand besides waffles, sprouts and chocolate it is one of our national delicacies of course. The next thing they needed was a master distiller of this delicacy and soon they found Patrick Van Schandevijl of De Moor Distillery, famous for his Dirk Martens malt wine, genever, ‘korenwijn’ and ‘roggewijn’. His genever, by the way, is already distributed in the States under the name of Diep9.

DUST foto 3

And then there was “Dust”. It comes in a very nice black, modernised earthenware genever jug (500ML/38%ABV). Dust is created through the combination of 2 malt wines: a) a double distillate from barley, wheat, malt and rye aged for one year in used oak casks and b) a double distillate made 100% from malted barley, aged for more than 2 years on used French oak casks. This mixture was enriched by botanicals typically used in today’s gins: juniper (duh!), coriander, angelica, lemon peel, cinnamon, licorice, cubeb pepper, grains of paradise, iris, cardamom, orange peel, cumin, nutmeg and aniseed.

DUST foto 1

The result is another miracle of balance by Patrick Van Schandevijl. It is at the same time fresh, citrusy, peppery and on the other hand deep, rich and malty. Delightful to drink neat or over ice, but also works very well in cocktails (we made a very yummy Martinez with it). So, tired of gin and tonic, but still thirsty? Get Dust!

More info: www.dustjenever.be

 

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O’de Flander Geneverfestival shows extreme versatility of Flemish Master Distillers and their favourite product

O’de Flander is an organisation that safeguards,showcases and promotes the loveliest local product of East Flanders: genever. Both a quality label and a brotherhood they organise a festival each year to promote their genevers to the public and all the things you can do with them, like for instance cooking or cocktails. The Cocktail Nation was asked to make some genever cocktails.

Genever is a spectacularly rich spirit with a fantastic array in flavours similar to gin ( duh), whisky (duh) and in one case even rum like. Products like the Vintage 1997 from Filliers distillery and the XO Founders Reserve by De Moor distillery are brilliant and I was happily surprised to see quite a few of the distilleries sporting these long aged whiskey  like genevers. Also almost all of them have started to make their own gin or even more than one. I love the way they speak about this, they shrug their shoulders, look you in the eye and say “why not”. Most of these gins are amazing too by the way. Last one I tasted was the Hertekamp gin, if you ever have the chance then taste and try it.

Explaining about genever cocktails... although it looks like something else... love that picture :)
Explaining about genever cocktails… although it looks like something else… love that picture 🙂

Actually it was quite impressive to see all these different kinds and types of spirits spread out over the tables. These guys make everything! Spirits, liqueurs, anything! I have visited old whiskey distilleries, gin distilleries, rum distilleries and so on, having generations of experience and craftsmanship in creating their drink. But these people have 100 or 200 years of experience in distilling everything. It is amazing really, to speak to these people about some old liqueur only to see them reaching behind the counter, saying: “you mean this one?”.

Sophie Doutreligne and me prepping the first cocktail
Sophie Doutreligne and me prepping the first cocktail

So we set out to make three different genever cocktails. The location  was the ‘Meat House’ near castle ‘Gravensteen’ in the medieval city centre of Ghent, a beautiful – if somewhat chilly – location. The weather was shite, perfect circumstances for the consumption of genever. We set up en prepared for the first cocktail and I was a little bit anxious because I needed a sourdough bread to make a food pairing with my first cocktail and there’s a lot of different styles of sourdough bread and also the quality ranges from “bweeeeuurk!” to “waw, that’s amazing!”. Now, apparently one of the organisers was a bakery teacher and he had made an Italian style sourdough bread with a 12year old sourdough, he told me. People, readers, this bread was amazing!

the red one in the foreground is the Dirk Martinez
the red one in the foreground is the Dirk Martinez

The first cocktail is called “Nen Deugeniet”, in Dutch – or rather – Flemish dialect, this means a naughty boy or girl. The drink somehow reminds me of cold winter mornings with a low sun, reflecting her blinding light on snow-covered fields lined with pollard willows. The drink is dedicated to my late Grandfather who had the reputation of being very naughty (in a friendly way). The base of the cocktail is a 5 year old Filliers genever, fantastically smooth and full of flavour. Added to that is an equal part of Kummel. Kummel is an old liqueur made from caraway and cumin seeds, which give it  an anise flavour. It originated in the Low Countries and was very popular in Prussia and Russia. It is still popular in Scotland, at least in certain Golf Clubs, where they have a shot of Kummel before they take their first swing. The story goes that they brought it with them from Holland after WWII.

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So genever and kummel, both old heroes from the Low Countries, our countries. Mixed in equal parts and stirred over ice. Not too long, you don’t want to dilute it too much. Strained and served with a lemon twist. Accompanied with a little side dish of sourdough bread smeared with an abundant layer of salted butter. (We used Kummel made by De Moor Distillery)

The second cocktail was a Martinez variation, made with Dirk Martens genever. Dirk Martens is a famous 16th century humanist from Aalst, who introduced the art of printing in the Low Countries and a personal friend of Erasmus and Thomas More. So the Dirk Martinez is made with 5cl Dirk Martens genever, 3cl Martini Gran Lusso, a dash of Luxardo Maraschino and two dashes of orange bitters. Serve with an orange twist.

The last cocktail was a variation on Jerry Thomas’ Improved Gin Cocktail. The base for it was a 54% ABV Balegemsche Genever from Van Damme distillery. This distillery is the last surviving farmer’s distillery in the entire country. We used to have hundreds, but wars and so called “government” destroyed them. It is a fantastic genever, it has grassy notes – almost hay – that marry it so smoothly with the juniper berries and the rye. So we used 6cl of it. A hefty dose or in our language “ne goeien dreupel” :). Then 0,5cl of simple syrup, one dash of Luxardo, one dash of absinthe and two dashes of Jerry Thomas bitters. Well stirred over ice and strained and served neat, no garnish. This cocktail was everyone’s favourite. And I can see why…

Cheers!

More info on O’de Flander

 

Belgian Lindemans Cherrybeer Gin – Combining The Best Of Both Worlds

What happens when you combine beer and gin? It shouldn’t surprise you that Belgians came up with the idea since it is the country with the most beers and through their genever harbours the origin of gin itself. Lindemans, famous Belgian family brewery, producing Belgian cherry beer since 1822 and De Moor, famous Belgian family distillery, producing genevers since the early 1900s, put their passion together and created the first cherry beer gin.

The gin is made by distilling Old Lindemans Cherrybeer Cuvée René together with 15 carefully selected botanicals. It is a very small batch (250l) en bottled by hand. The Lindemans Gin comes in two versions: a clear one and a red one.

Patrick Van Schandevijl, Master Distiller at De Moor presenting a bottle of Lindemans Premium Gin
Patrick Van Schandevijl, Master Distiller at De Moor presenting a bottle of Lindemans Premium Gin

The clear one is citrusy with a hint of cardamom and an aftertaste of sour cherries. In my opinion it is balanced out brilliantly (a trademark from De Moor). Not sweet, not too fruity or floral, but everything’s there. When tonic is added the cherry flavour grows more intense and pairs well with the bitter tonic. I assume it would do well in Gin Fizz too.

The red variety is made in the same fashion except for the addition of the juice of sour cherries (whence the colour). The difference in taste is more cherry flavour obviously. Pairs well with tonic too. Another combination that worked out very well for me was red vermouth. Just 2 parts gin and 1 part red vermouth served over ice with an orange zest. Very tasty and easy to make.

Lindemans Premium Gin Red presented here with a cocktail made by Manuel Wouters based on grapefruit and prosecco.
Lindemans Premium Gin Red presented here with a cocktail made by Manuel Wouters based on grapefruit and prosecco.

If you’re a fan of Belgian beers and gin you should definitely give it a try, it is extremely refreshing when the temperatures get tropical.

It’s World Gin Day today! Let’s take a closer look at 3 different gins.

World Gin Day...what does that mean? Honestly, I have no idea, except that it is close to Father's Day. Let's abuse the excuse to tell you something more about 3 gins currently in my drinks cabinet.

All those Days, I don’t get it. There’s mini skirt day, bra less day, international talk like a pirate day,… ridiculous! Some even fall on the same day. So when you meet a topless woman in mini skirt, humping towards you on a wooden leg screaming:  “yaaarrrr!”, you should ‘high-five’ her instead of sending her back to the mental institution where she came from. Anyway, enough ramblings, let’s talk gins.

Star Of Bombay

Star of Bombay cocktail with Kummel and Noilly Prat
Star of Bombay cocktail with Kummel and Noilly Prat

Newest child of the Bombay family and a star it is! Vamped up to 47,5% ABV this baby gives a whole new dimension to the Bombay range and opens up interesting possibilities. Lots of juniper berries going on here (a tad too much, maybe? Is that possible in a gin?). Then again, I’m glad it has juniper berries and stands out proudly to defend it amongst some “flowerbeds” which call themselves gin today. I know, taste is personal, but I don’t like drinking from a vase.

Star of Bombay bottle
Star of Bombay bottle

Speaking about vases, I really like the bottle of Star. It has that statuesque, art nouveaux, roaring twenties thing. It reminds me of the old crystal decanters granddad had. Bombay always has very nice bottles, immediately recognisable with it’s distinctive blue colour. Star does well in a G&T, but also makes a wicked Dry Martini and a splendid Negroni. Or you can make an old style aperitif drink with it, that befits the bottle: 3cl Star Of Bombay, 3cl Noilly Prat, 1cl Kummel. Stirr well and strain in prettied glass. Add lemon zest as a garnish.

Hendrick’s Gin

Hendrick's Gin Fizz with strawberries and cucumber
Hendrick’s Gin Fizz with strawberries and cucumber

Ah, the famous black bottle that stood at the beginning of the gin resurrection. Successfully surfing the neo-retro wave and adding the cucumber bar circus together with healthy dose of Monty Python influenced imagery turned this gin in a high-hitting glory story. In my opinion it opens the door for the new generation of softer floral gins.

Although I prefer the stronger “junipery” gins, I always had a sentimental soft spot for Hendrick’s. Can’t really say why, it’s probably the Python attitude…

Strawberries and cucumber add flavour quite quickly and their great to make a refreshing summer drink.
Strawberries and cucumber add flavour quite quickly and they’re great to make a refreshing summer drink.

Hendrick’s is fine in a G&T and don’t be afraid to add some cucumber if you like, although I prefer a citrus oil and zest. The cucumber thing is older than you think and a very English thing (try a   Pimm’s Cup with cucumber and ginger ale, yummy!). I wouldn’t try a Dry Martini with Hendrick’s, but I do like a Fizz with it. Try 5cl Hendrick’s Gin, 1,5cl lemon juice, 1cl simple syrup and 1cl Hendrick’s Quinetum, add slices of cucumber and some strawberries, top up with soda and enjoy. A delight when it’s hot outside.

FG 20-3 Flemish Gin

My hometown's gin with an etching of our belfry - oldest in Europe - in the background. A bottle of excellent Korenwijn on the left.
My hometown’s gin with an etching of our belfry – oldest in Europe – in the background. A bottle of excellent Korenwijn from the same distiller on the left, a great Dry Martini in the front.

One of the first Belgian gins, FG 20-3 is the gin from my hometown Aalst, distilled by De Moor distillery. It is heartwarming to see how much modesty and passion was put into this product (every product they make actually). I love this gin, not only because it is from my hometown, but because it is so beautifully balanced. Nothing is out of place, nothing is overpowering and still it has a distinct taste. Made with a little bit of malt wine, if I’m not mistaken. This malt wine is extraordinary good, the heart of their beautiful genevers. My favourite however is their ‘Dirk Martens Korenwijn’. This special genever is sheer bliss and was used recently by Jurgen Nobels in his winning cocktail of Diageo World Class Belgium 2015. Every high end cocktail bar in Belgium has at least one De Moor product and even  star restaurants like Pure C or The Jane.

Flemish Martini

– no less than 7,5cl of FG 20-3

– 2,5 to max. 3cl of Noilly Prat dry vermouth

stir passionately between 45 and 47 seconds and strain in antique champagne coup, add citrus oil and zest as garnish.

FG 20-3 superbly balanced gin, very versatile and equally good enjoyed neat over ice.
FG 20-3 superbly balanced gin, very versatile and equally good enjoyed neat over ice.

Cheers!