Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics

Summer in the OId Square

Summer in the Old Square


1oz Barrel Aged Genever

1oz Domaine de Canton

1oz Dolin Blanc

.25oz Benedictine

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Lemon Twist


Add the Barrel Aged Genever, Domaine de Canton, Dolin Blanc, Benedictine, Angostura, and Peychaud’s bitters to a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


Sweet malted nose with a hint of ginger and citrus. Much lighter than it’s inspiration, the malty and slightly botanical Barrel Aged Genever adds a really elegant flavor to this one. Notes of cognac, light anise, clove, herbs, burnt sugar, light tobacco and citrus round out the pallate. Substituting Domaine de Canton for Cognac simultaneously softens the drink while adding a strong ginger note to the finish.

Summer in the Old Square 2


This months Mixology Monday is hosted by the host with the most, Fred Yarm over at the excellent Cocktail Virgin Slut. Fred has come up with a great one called “Flip Flop.” Here’s the scoop:

“I thought of the theme for this month’s Mixology Monday shortly after making the Black Rene, an obscure drink from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. The combination of brandy, amber rum, lemon, and Maraschino was tasty, but I felt that the recipe could be improved if I swapped in different ingredients. Taking a page from Max Toste of Deep Ellum who converted the Black Devil into the White Devil, I flipped around the ingredients to be pisco, white rum, lime, and Maraschino instead. With this combination that I called the White Rene, the drink really sang but it was still recognizable as being an alteration of the original recipe. Others have done similar swaps with grand effect including the Bluegrass Mai Tai that that changes the two rums to two whiskeys and swaps lime for lemon from the classic while holding everything else the same.”

I at first thought that this Mixology Monday would be totally simple. I’ve done a lot of variations on a few of my favorites, such as the Negroni, Boulevardier and Last Word, among others. That being said, while I still have a slew of variations on these (which I may post at some point… if you need more ideas, shoot me a message, I’ve got plenty),  I thought it would be nice to do something a little bit different.

One of my other favorite classic cocktails is the Vieux Carre. I’ve done a few variations, swapping say Old Tom Gin for the Rye, Rum for Cognac, mixing up the vermouth/bitters, etc. However, this time I wanted to do something a little bit different. Being warmer out, I had the idea to do something of a “white-ish” Vieux Carre.

This proved to be a little more difficult than I had imagined. My first thought was to use St. George Spirits excellent Dry Rye Gin in place of the Rye, Dolin Blanc (white sweet vermouth) instead of the typical darker sweet vermouth and Domaine de Canton in place of Cognac. While this turned out pretty tasty, and worked in theory, in practice it tasted absolutely nothing like a Vieux Carre (but definitely worth a shot if you are in for something light and a bit different).

Summer in the Old Square 3

I decided to swap the gin for Barrel Aged Genever and the results were pretty awesome. To those who are unfamiliar with Genever, it is the precursur to the more popular gin. While it has the juniper flavor of gin, it also has a malted taste as well. Very crudely speaking, think of it as a cross between gin and whiskey. There are the standard Genever’s which are typically clear, while “Barrel Aged” Genever is aged a bit (in this case I used Bols which is aged 18 months) and has a slightly darker and more richer color.

While I knew Summer in the Old Square would be a bit lighter compared to the original, it is also somewhat sweeter and certainly less bitter. Obviously there is also the ginger flavor in Domaine de Canton as well. The idea was to “summerify” the VIEUX CARRE and in this regard, the sweeter ginger laced taste is quite refreshing.

Make no mistake though, Summer in the Old Square ended up tasting quite different than the traditional Vieux Carre, but for a warmer weather counterpart, why not give it a shot. My wife definitely prefers it to the classic. (Myself, I could go either way, both are good, but more different than they might sound.) Hell, why not try them both and see what you think? Be sure to drop me a line and weigh in.

12 Responses to “Summer in the OId Square”

  1. fredyarm

    Oude and Jonge deal with the malt content and style of product than with the aging. Cheers!

    • The Straight Up

      Thanks Fred! I know better than that…the problem with juggling too many things at once/writing and proof reading when you are half asleep. I updated the post as I meant to say Barrel Aged… although incidentally the Barrel Aged Bols is Oude as well.

  2. Paul

    I tried Summer in the Old Square and I must say it is one of the very best drinks I have ever tried. The genever tastes pretty bad on its own and even in the Alaska, but here it came out perfect. Thank you for your wonderful blog and all the fantastic recipies you share : )

    • The Straight Up


      Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you liked it. I’m hoping to get some time to add some more soon. My day job is killing me right now hours wise


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