While returning from Spain through Amsterdam, I found myself flipping through the pages of KLM’s Skymall equivalent—that not-so-clever temptress. Usually all sizzle and no steak, the KLM flying shop recently revived the long dormant practice of selling various overpriced goods during long flights to weak-minded passengers… naturally, I felt the need to purchase something. Clusius Craft Distiller’s Dutch Tulip Vodka called my name, and I went to the back to swipe my card and collect my just rewards.
Could anything be as impossibly Dutch as Tulip Vodka? The wicked and beautiful flower painted best my Rembrandt and responsible for economic crisis has found another way to the marketplace, and despite only being in Holland for a short layover, I felt the need as a traveler to give it a taste—or several. After all, any pretty flower turned into an addictive intoxicant, really couldn’t be that bad going down.
After placing my beautiful new bottle—and it truly is a splendid-looking glass vessel—in a highly embarrassing “do not open” vacuum sealed Skymall bag, I became a miniature king of fools. The steward explained to me that while the particular vodka I purchased was not available in flight, they’d wanted to celebrate the sale by giving me two free cocktails—possibly in hopes of enticing me to make another purchase. I—not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth—accepted without duress.
They poured me two plastic cups of Kettle One—Holland’s much more famous vodka—and tonic, and I returned to my seat. Somewhere over Greenland and part way thru the newest Fast & Furious joint, I tuckered off.
The steward had informed me that I might be carrying too much alcohol through customs, but—in no doubt due to my standing as an American citizen—getting through border check was hassle-free. Thanks to traffic, I arrived home some time later in the need of a stiff drink.
Dutch Tulip Vodka’s deep earthy flavor is filled with notes of grain, and has intoxicating floral notes on the nose to go along with touches of dried fruit. It gives depth to bright flavors and longevity to more herbal notes, making it great to mix with intense juices and strong herbs.
Twelve hours on a plane, and another one-and-a-half in traffic, will make anyone feel a bit stale, so I swung by the local market for some sprigs and leaves and antioxidant heavy juice. I threw it together with the flower-made Vodka and the need for something stiff and, voila, Rembrandt’s Sky… Mall.
- 1.5 oz. Premium Blend Dutch Tulip Vodka
- 1 oz. club soda
- 2 tablespoons Green Chartreuse
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz. simple syrup
- 3 basil leaves
- ½ rosemary sprig
- 0.5 oz. pomegranate juice
Muddle basil, rosemary, lime juice and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass (or jar if that’s all you have). Add Dutch Tulip Vodka and Green Chartreuse and shake with ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Stir in club soda and attempt to top with a float of pomegranate juice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig just because.