Ingredients: Bols genever, passion fruit, lime, bitters
Backstory: “This was kind of back to basics for us,” assistant general manager Collin Driscoll says of the tropics-inspired drink. “And there’s nothing really as basic as when it comes to Bols genever, which is a predecessor to the London dry gin we know today.”
Gin Haters, Fear Not: Though it’s also flavored with juniper berries, genever’s piney quality is much subtler, giving the liquor a neutral taste profile like vodka, plus hints of malt. And if it’s gin’s herbaceous flavor, with components such as coriander, grains of paradise and cardamom, that turns you off, you won’t find those in the traditional Dutch spirit.
Ideal Drinker: “Certainly the sweet and acidic flavors play to someone who likes those lighter, sweet drinks,” Driscoll says. And for those looking for another dimension, he adds, “we have spicy notes from the bitters.”
Pair it with: Grilled watermelon salad ($11), with pickled rind, goat cheese and cherry gastrique.
Basic Instincts: As for the bar program in general, “We try to keep it simple,” Driscoll says. “All the best drinks in my mind are Manhattans, old fashioneds, daiquiris—three to four ingredients, maybe a dash of bitters. Those are the ones you’ve been hearing about for 100 years and there’s a reason for that, I think.” Exhibit A: Paris Saint-Germain ($12)—Bastille’s best-selling cocktail since its opening, with vodka, elderflower, lime and basil.
Bastille Kitchen 49 Melcher St., Boston (617-556-8000) bastillekitchen.net