COLONIAL COCKTAILS! (part 1)
Discussions about colonialism can get tense—especially in the Netherlands, where certain aspects of the country’s colonial past remain very touchy. Since liquor loosens tongues, we’re starting an every-now-and-again series called “Colonial Cocktails,” where we’ll sit down with historians, journalists and filmmakers, make them drinks of our own devising, and ask them for their take on colonialism.
This week’s cocktail is called The Jodensavanne. We named it after a 17th Jewish settlement in northern Suriname. Destroyed in a slave revolt in the 19th century, then converted into a camp for Nazi sympathizers during WWII, Jodensavanne is really worth a wiki.
The cocktail is basically a variation on an Old Fashioned, except with the addition of sugar cane juice—to symbolize Jodensavanne’s history as a sugar plantation manned by West African slaves—and burnt orange peel infused bourbon. Bourbon, being corn-based, is meant to evoke the New World, while the burnt orange represents the Dutch houses that went up in flames when local slaves got fed up with being forced to work the fields and decided to torch the place. Drink up, kids!
- One orange
- 50 ml bourbon infused with burnt orange peel
- 50 ml freshly squeezed sugar cane juice
- pinch of sugar
- 3 dashes of angostura bitters
Infusing the bourbon
Peel an orange, then tear the peel into small strips. Toast 2/3rds of the peels in a frying pan until their edges are black. Put these peels into a bottle of bourbon, and let it sit overnight. Save the rest of the peel.
Squeezing the sugar cane
Get someone to squeeze your sugar cane for you. It sucks doing it yourself without the proper tools, as we found out.
Making the drink
Pour the cane juice into a glass. Throw in the sugar and the bitters, and mix thoroughly.
Next, add half the bourbon and stir. Follow up with a handful of ice, then add the rest of the bourbon. Stir again, then add more ice. The key here is to stir so much that the ice melts, allowing the water to serve as a mixer.
Squeeze a bit of the leftover orange peel and rub it’s oil around the lip of the glass. Toss the peel in the drink and serve.
Next up: sampling the merchandise with Tristan Mostert, junior curator at the Rijksmuseum