A while ago I had the pleasure of visiting Amsterdam where I tried several types of genever (pronounce zhen-AY-ver and also written as “Jenever”). Genever is considered to be the forefather of modern gin. It is an interesting drink in that, unlike scotches and tequilas and many other types of spirits, genevers actually get a bit harsher as they age, instead of mellowing.

Well, that’s not entirely true, as it turns out. I started out with the Bols Genever Jonge (Young) which is a clear liquid with a clean crisp taste and was surprisingly smooth. I then tried the Bols Oude (Old) which had a yellowish tint to the liqueur. The oude was definitely a bit harsher, with a slight burn but also a bit more flavor. I talked with the bartender about it and he laughed, acknowledging that genever was odd in this regard.

It was only later I learned that the Old and the Young are produced by different techniques, and that aging is not really the difference between them. Even my Dutch bartender thought that aging was the difference between the two! Wikipedia has a good article on Jenever.

Aging, as it turns out, really does make genever smoother. The next evening I got the chance to go to a genever house in Amsterdam (really a bar that served only genever is all of its various forms). I was able to try one that had been aged for 8 years (about the oldest I could afford) and the flavor was rich and the drink went down smooth with no discernible “burn”.

Genever may be the forefather of modern gin, and share similarities with modern gins, but genever is not gin. It is a unique product in its own right. You can buy genever in the US and Canada and throughout Europe. I suggest, as always, getting a taste of it before you go out and spend your hard earned money on it, but I liked it well enough to bring a bottle home from Europe.

– The Drinkler

 

Amazon.com is now a premier partner with Drinkler. What does this mean? Well it means that when you browse through items in the Drinkler application, Amazon will be listed first for all pertinent items (which is pretty much everything these days). So now along with the other vendors, you can quickly and easily order online from Amazon.com.

Drinkler is progressing nicely, with most users on Google Play, but the Amazon app market users are rapidly rising. We are currently working on the next version of Drinkler to add more features. As always, if you have any suggestions for the application, please let us know by emailing me.

– The Drinkler

Version 1.0.9 is now available on Google Play for download and should shortly be ready on Amazon’s market also. 1.0.9 has the following changes:

  • Fixed a crash-on-launch bug for android 2.2 devices. If you had this problem, uninstall Drinkler and re-install this version to fix the problem.
  • Now stores drink image files on the SD card, if one is available
  • Fixed the default setting for “Sync images on demand”
  • Removed unused privileges for Location and Contacts. We may ask for these permission again when the related features are added.
  • Drinkler only attempts to download information if the network is active

Two New Cocktails!

Arriano has posted 2 new drinks to Drinkler, the Zombie Punch and the Mai Thai (a variant of the Mai-Thai). Thanks Arriano!

Amazon just approved Drinkler for use on the Amazon market. If you have a Kindle, or any of the Kindle Fire family of products you can now install Drinkler directly onto your Amazon device.

Version 1.0.8 Released

We have made some nice improvements in this release:

  • The default setting for downloading drink images is now set to “on demand”. Uncheck this setting in the Settings screen if you want to do a batch download of all drink images (takes about 20+ minutes to get 8K images, but you only have to do it once!)
  • Added a “splash screen” when you first launch the app
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the database to be overwritten
  • Greatly improved loading time of the app
  • Improved the time it takes to do a Refresh of the data.

Our next release will be a small patch to remove some of the privileges the app requests but does not yet use. Specifically we are removing the Location and Contacts privileges. We will add those privileges back to the app when we have added the new features that will use them. Thanks to indivisible on reddit for pointing this out.

Over 2,000 spirits and liqueurs have been added to Drinkler today. Be sure you have a wifi connect before you do the next refresh to get the best download time. This is the last of the “big” data updates. Fron now on there will be much smaller and incremental (by that I means about 200 items or less at a time) to the database.

Enjoy!

– The Drinkler

In the past week we have added 1700 beers and 5800 wines to the application. Making Drinkler one of the most comprehensive applications for adult beverages available today (possibly THE most comprehensive, I’m still doing my research).

As a by product of all of these new drinks, if you have an older version of Drinkler, I strongly suggest that you upgrade before doing another refresh in the app. The latest version (1.0.7) updates much faster than earlier versions. Downloading all those image files still takes time (I can’t make the net run any faster than it does), so try to do your next refresh with a wifi connection.

Absente

The other day I bought a small bottle of Absente. Absente is a new product in the Absinthe category. The last time I had absinthe as in the early ’80s in Yokosuka Japan. I really didn’t remember much about the drink so I thought I’d try it again. I really love the flavor of Absente. It has a strong licorice flavor, but it is not syrupy or sweet (like Anisette is). Mix it with a little water and an ice cube in a rocks glass and I think you’ll enjoy it. The traditional service of adding water and sugar and pouring it through a special spoon is a bit lost on me, I must confess. However, it must work for some. Give it a try when you get a chance.

– The Drinkler

We released Drinkler last night and so far the response is great. It’s been alot of work by alot of people but its finally done (if software is ever, “done”). If you are an Android user you can get it from Google Play at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kaptkaos.drinkler.free As soon as the Kindle version is published by Amazon (a matter of hours I believe) I’ll post that link also. More »

The Drinkler App for Android

Well the application for Android is very close to complete. We have over 1400 cocktails in the database and we are currently putting some place-holder data in for beer and wine.

I’ve been using the application every day to track my own drink favorites, write reviews, etc. As a result I have learned a ton about cocktails, how to prepare them, why you double-shake egg drinks, what the heck Galliano is (tasty, but expensive). I have also been using the Drink Design Lab to try out new drink ideas. The Hairy Sangrita is More »

I recently had a critical failure with my Oggi shaker. The darned cap got stuck to the lid and for the life of me I couldn’t get it off. I was using it to make a drink and it was leaking. So I put it down on the counter and gave the lid a light slap (or so I thought) to better the seal. It sealed up great until I tried to pour the drink into the cocktail glass. While the larger lid was able to come off, the smaller cap was wedged into place and would not budge!

oggi_26oz I really liked the Oggi shaker, but I had only had it for a month or so before this happened. So instead of buying another one, I thought I’d try a different brand. So I went to my local Total Wine and More and bought a Mertokane flip-top cocktail shaker in red. Why red? Why not!

houdini_shaker_redThe price was right at $16.99 USD. However, it wasn’t long before my appreciation of this shaker began to wane. First let me say that it does work as advertised. You can shake with it using a single hand because the flip-top really does stay closed and the lid itself screws onto the body of the shaker. So far so good. It does seem to leak a little bit, but I found with some practice I was able to shake it with very little leakage at all.

The downside of this shaker is two-fold. First, the shaker is made almost entirely of plastic. The only metal in it is the built-in strainer (more on that later). When I bought the shaker I thought the body was stainless steel, somehow colored to a nice, bright red. I was really surprised to find out it was plastic when I got it home. I prefer steel because its easier to gauge the temperature of the contents of the shaker, so you know when everything inside is truly cold enough to serve. I find that the plastic acts as an insulator, making it harder to me to feel the temperature change.

houdini_strainerThe second drawback to this shaker is the design of the built-in strainer. While the fliptop design does really work, you cannot get easy access to the strainer to clean it, raising concerns with sanitation and general cleanliness. If you mix drinks with leafy contents this could be a problem for the strainer. I’m also concerned about mixing creamy drinks.

shhaker_lid_undersideThe underside of the lid is also interesting. Notice that the opening is in the center, not near the edge. This means that if you want to completely drain the contents of the shaker you have to completely invert it.

So now I’m changing gears a bit with the shakers. I want a traditional Boston Shaker, but I’m not willing to spend $40+ dollars on one. I spent a little time on Amazon.com and decided to order the following 2 items independently

steel_shaker_bottom 26 ounce Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker for under $3!

16oz_glass Paderno World Cuisine 16 7/8 ounce glass. for $8.99

They should arrive in the next few days and when they  do I’ll report in with my level of success or failure. Until then, happy Drinkling!

– The Drinkler