Sazerac Cocktail (Anchor Genevieve Gin)

Sazerac Cocktail 9 out of 28.

I have challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.


Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Anchor Genevieve Gin)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Continuing with the non-traditional Sazeracs, I thought if I could make one with Genever, I could make one with Anchor’s Genever Style American Gin, Genevieve.

I’ve been a fan of Genevieve since it was introduced back in 2007.  Not everyone has agreed with me, with some friends claiming it is unmixable.  Personally, I think they are just going about it wrong, and trying to make cocktails typically made with Dry Gin with the Genevieve.  A lot of those just don’t work, or well, don’t work in the same way.

It is better to stick with recipes typically made with Genever, when playing with the Genevieve.

Which isn’t to say, Genevieve isn’t still a bit of an acquired taste.  Most modern Genevers are pretty tame and sophisticated beverages.  Genevieve really isn’t.  If a little bit of rough trade isn’t up your alley, you might want to stick with girly gins like Plymouth and Bols Genever.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a bit of frontier justice in your alcoholic beverages, Genevieve might be right up your alley.  Some spirits professionals have gone so far as to say Genevieve isn’t really a Genever style at all, being more akin to the “Country Gins” made in America in the 19th Century.

The main difference between Genevieve and most modern Genevers are:

1) It is made from 100% malt wine.  Like a making a whiskey, Anchor makes a beer, then distills it.  There are no neutral spirits added to Genevieve.  Most Genever is blended with neutral spirits, Bols Genever being something like 60% alcohol distilled from Malt Wine has one of the higher percentages.

2) It is more highly flavored than most Genevers, and flavored with a more eclectic blend of botanicals.  In fact, Anchor uses the same botanicals to flavor their Genevieve, as they use to flavor their Junipero Gin.  Most Dutch Genever is far more mildly flavored.

3) Genevieve is flavored by adding the botanicals directly to the spirits, steeping for a period, then redistilling.  This is the same process they use for their Junipero Gin.  Almost all Genever is flavored using flavor essences distilled from the individual botanicals.  These essences (perfumes) are then combined with the neutral spirits and spirits distilled from malt wine.  Actual botanicals are not added to most Genever distillate at any point.  This is a ballsy move on Anchor’s part, prone to error and may result in some inconsistency across batches.  On the other hand, there’s no arguing with the honesty of their methods or the intensity of their flavors.

So how is a Genevieve Sazerac?  Pretty intense and pretty damn good.  If it’s too much for you, maybe stick to your Cosmos and Mojitos, I promise not to judge you too harshly.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

11 thoughts on “Sazerac Cocktail (Anchor Genevieve Gin)

  1. I hate Genevieve… unless it’s mixed as an old fashioned (perhaps with mole bitters?). So it makes sense that it would work in a sazerac, too.

    Loving this series, btw.

  2. I’ll likely stick with yesterday’s “quite delicious” genever variant, thanks.

    (I am sure you know that Bols makes a whole range of corenwyn which we don’t see here. I would love to try some of those.)


    • It would be totally sweet to get to some of the aged cornenwyn. Slurp!

      (And OK, yes, I will at least give this a try. I’ve just never liked the Genevieve all that much.)

  3. I’ve done this with Genevieve, following the notes on the Sazerac in Wondrich’s “Imbibe!” Very good. I’d agree that genever is very successful in old recipes. And I got a positive reaction from my audience in combination with akvavit too. (I forget now what else was in the glass.)

    • (And I got a positive reaction from my audience in combination with akvavit too. (I forget now what else was in the glass.) )

      I am very interested in using Aquavit in cocktails based on classics. I surmise that brand is very important to the success of the drink (much more so than type of rye or cognac). If you have had successful forays into the world of classic cocktails and akvavit, please post.

      • Yes, the brand matters, as I discovered when I was fooling around tonight with Linie, which is way too light and smooth for anything I tried to do. Great for snaps, but completely overpowered by things like curacao, maraschino, absinthe. Aalborg seems to work better. More on this soon.

  4. Great comparison of the genever and genevieve, something I’ve been toying with comparing recently… but your analysis and background on each spirit is probably unmatched. Great post! I assume cognac based sazeracs are next? I made one tonight and somehow it didn’t match up to a rye one, but it could be the mediocre cognac I happen to have atm.

  5. I love the Genevieve. Maybe it’s because I was born in SF and Fritz Maytag is my hero. I guess I was naturally predisposed to give it a good chance. Anyway, the Improved Gin Cocktail is currently in heavy rotation for my wife and me. I haven’t made a Sazerac yet, so I think I’ll make one with Rye tonight before trying the Genevieve version.

  6. Loved this variation, had Genevieve at home and was looking for something else to do with it..quite an enjoyable cocktail. I cannot get Bols where I am, but look forward to someday making a comparison.

    Just bought a 1/5th of WT Straight Rye…my first, based on this thread…looking forward to that Sazerac…hoping it holds its own in my other rye fav’s..Manhattan’s and redHook’s, somethings been missing using Michter’s Sraight Rye..a great sipper, but not enough bite to mix.

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