Corenwyn and Chai – The Dutch Traveler

Mix a traditional Dutch malt spirit with exotic chai spices for a sweet and flavorful cocktail. A taste of lime adds freshness.

More than a year ago, I wrote about cooking up various simple syrups. One of those syrups was my chai tea syrup which is also the main ingredient in my spin on the White Russian.

Last weekend, I made a new batch of chai tea syrup and served some White Indian cocktails. As it turns out, I still have a lot of syrup left over. I thought about how I could use it, without the recipe calling for milk, and thus came up with this week's cocktail.

Corenwyn, It's Barrel-Aged Genever

Genever is the predecessor of the gin we know today, but much smoother, sweeter and has a subtler juniper aroma. I like to keep a bottle around, since it's an essential ingredient for old-timey cocktails. My favorite style of drinking genever is Old-Fashioned style, which is also a good alternative for people who don't dislike bourbon, but find gin much more appealing.

Like genever, Corenwyn is somewhere in between bourbon and gin. It's aged in wooden barrels and develops a mellow, malty flavor over time.

Cocktail Development

Up until now, I only drank Corenwyn neat, or in the form of an Old-Fashioned. But as I saw the bottle on my shelf, while searching for spirits to mix with my chai syrup, I imagined that it would be a great match.

I started with Corenwyn and added just a bit of chai tea syrup. As I tasted the mixture, I noticed that I had to use more syrup, if I wanted to really release the chai flavors. You will see that the recipe contains quite the amount of syrup, compared to my usual cocktails at least. But it really is necessary to get that exotic flavor.

As my next step, I had to find a way to bring down the sweetness, since every cocktail should be properly balanced. While a lot of that sweet taste goes away by reducing the temperature, I also added lime for its acidity. Both, lime and ice, reduce the sweetness, creating a pleasant cocktail.


The Dutch Traveler

The Dutch Traveler Cocktail

Pour the Corenwyn, chai syrup and lime juice into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Fine strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.


How does it taste?

The mellow, malty Corenwyn flavor is the first thing you'll notice. It's immediately followed by sweet chai spices, delivering that colorful aroma. While the cocktail is a bit on the sweeter side, it's balanced well enough for everybody to enjoy.

The splash of lime adds some much needed tartness. As always, I recommend to adjust the amount of lime according to the sourness.

If the cocktail is too sweet for you, reduce the amount of syrup. Some chai flavor will be lost, but the resulting cocktail keeps a pleasant exotic flavor as long as you don't go too far.

Final Thoughts

It's the first time I used Corenwyn in a cocktail and even if I count genever, there is only one cocktail I usually prepare and drink. Despite that, I was pleasantly surprised how well I could use this old spirit in a contemporary cocktail.

While this recipe produces a slightly sweet drink, I find it pleasant enough to add it to my repertoire. It's a civilized sweetness and not like the sugary concoctions you might find on a beach bar. Maybe I will come back and try to add something to the recipe to balance this cocktail further.

If you decide to try out my recipe, let me know what you think on Twitter. You can also subscribe and get the latest updates immediately.


Title image via pixabay.