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The Old-School Cocktail Tony Abou-Ganim Says You Need To Try - Exclusive

Tony Abou-Ganim holding a drink and laughing
Tony Abou-Ganim holding a drink and laughing - Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

When you think of old-school cocktails, your mind probably goes to drinks such as a smooth Old Fashioned or a classic Negroni. But for The Modern Mixologist himself, Tony Abou-Ganim, his definition of an old-school cocktail goes back even further. Tasting Table had the opportunity to speak to him recently at Nassau Paradise Island Wine and Food Fest's Jerk Jam event, where he shared the cocktail that he feels everyone should try at least once. Abou-Ganim is a fan of the Holland House, an "old, old school" genever-based drink that was popular before Prohibition.

"Resurrect those lost and forgotten classics," says Abou-Ganim. He goes on to explain how he has an appreciation for modern, original cocktails but likes that the Holland House pays homage to the people and drinks that have come before. The Holland House is made with genever, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and Maraschino liqueur. It's a bit similar to a classic dry gin Martini, but the Maraschino liqueur gives it some extra sweetness. If you're itching to sip this drink, you can try your hand at making it at home or visit a traditional cocktail bar.

Read more: 23 Cocktails To Try If You Like Drinking Gin

Th Origin Of The Holland House Is Murky

A Holland House cocktail garnished with lemon peel in a martini glass
A Holland House cocktail garnished with lemon peel in a martini glass - Bhofack2/Getty Images

The Holland House cocktail's origins are bathed in mystery and the story of how this drink came to be is not super clear. The official recipe was first published in the 1895 book "Modern American Drinks: How to Mix and Serve All Kinds of Cups and Drinks." This version included rye whiskey, bitters, and triple sec, so it was considerably different from the classic version of the drink that we know today. The 1930s book "The Savoy Cocktail Book" included the recipe for the Holland House that gained the most popularity. Despite its murky origins, the cocktail was popular at the beginning of the 1900s -- though it initially lacked the now signature genever.

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Before the Holland House, a drink known as the Martinez existed and is believed to be a starting point for the Holland House (and also the Martini). The main difference is that the Martinez includes bitters. But what truly sets the Holland House apart is its inclusion of genever. Genever is a clear, malted-grain spirit with heavy juniper notes that is only produced in Holland or Belgium -- hence the cocktail's name. This spirit has been described as a sweeter gin, and given that juniper is gin's main flavor, this comparison makes sense. Some have even described it as a cross between whiskey and gin. So, if you enjoy the idea of a gin Martini but are looking for something not quite as intense, a Holland House could be the drink for you.

Read the original article on Tasting Table