Echo Spirits Distilling Co will debut their newest spirit on
Monday — Genever.
Owners Joe Bidinger and Nikhil Sharoff first stumbled upon the
uncommon sprit in 2013 while in Belgium when Bedinger’s cousin
suggested they seek out a hidden “not quite gin” bar.
“Genever is kind of the ancestor to gin,” said Bidinger.
“To make gin, you make a neutral-base spirit like a vodka and
infuse botanicals on top of it. Genever comes from the days when
everything came off of a pot still so it was very flavor-forward
and flavor-rich and everything was kind of a whiskey. Many
traditional gin cocktails were originally made with Genever.
[America] used to import [Genever] 4-to-1 over gin prior to
prohibition. Even things like the gin and tonic, the martini, and
the Tom Collins – known as the John Collins at the time — were
originally made with Genever in mind.”
Echo tapped several top local bartenders to help develop the
flavor profile of their Genever. The names of those who assisted in
the spirit’s creation will be listed on the inside of every
Echo’s Genever will be released on Monday, November 2 at noon
and will initially only be available at their Grandview area spirit
shop, which is located in the former Four String Brewing
Originally targeting a March opening delayed by COVID, the
distillery now hopes to have its bar open by Thanksgiving. Once
open, customers will be able to try the spirit in several cocktails
or on its own in a traditional genever tasting.
“Genever is typically served in a tulip shaped glass set on
the bar and filled all the way to the brim cresting over the top so
that the person can’t pick it up to taste it — you have to put
your hands behind your back and bow to the bar and slurp off the
top before you’re able to pick it up,” said Bidinger. “It’s
a whole experience.”
Echo Spirits Distilling Co is located at 985 W Sixth Ave.