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Cocktail Stories: Flying Dutchmen

Representing her country in a glass was the challenge Amsterdam-based bartender Tess Posthumus set herself when creating the genever-led cocktail.

Tess Posthumus, owner of Amsterdam bar Flying Dutchmen Cocktails
Tess Posthumus, owner of Amsterdam bar Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

“I created the Flying Dutchmen Cocktail to capture The Netherlands and our vision for the bar in a cocktail,” says Tess Posthumus, owner of Amsterdam bar Flying Dutchmen Cocktails. The bar’s namesake was created as a “crowd-­pleasing” drink that Posthumus and her team could mix up while guest bartending in locations around the world.

Posthumus recalls: “I wanted to use genever in the cocktail, as the title for my sociology masters degree thesis was ‘Genever and the effects of globalisation on our Dutch drinking culture’. Ever since then I have had a soft spot for it.”

The typically Dutch spirit is mixed with a spiced syrup, which is made using a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, cardamom and ginger – the spices used to make speculaas biscuits in The Netherlands.

She adds: “We also use orange flower water and an edible flower to garnish, which are both a wink to one of our country’s biggest exports: flowers.”

Through its ingredients, the Flying Dutchmen Cocktail also references other elements of Dutch drinking culture. Orange bitters are used to emulate the Oranje bitter liqueur drunk during royal celebrations, and an orange zest garnish represents the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange.

“The Flying Dutchmen is not super strong, and even if you’ve never tried genever before it is easy to drink, while still being complex enough,” says Posthumus. She also claims the genever provides an “aged malt spirit and botanical flavour”, while the lemon juice helps to keep the cocktail refreshing.

Flying Dutchmen Cocktails was opened in December 2017 by Posthumus and Timo Janse with the aim of educating bartenders, hospitality experts and consumers about classic cocktails.

Click through to the next page for a list of ingredients and how to recreate the Flying Dutchmen Cocktail at home. 

Flying Dutchmen Cocktail


45ml Bols Barrel Aged Genever

30ml Lemon juice

15ml Speculaas­gum syrup

2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters

1 dash The Bitter Truth Orange Flower Water

Method: Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and hard shake to combine and chill.

Fine strain the cocktail into an Embassy glass and garnish with a twist of orange zest and an edible flower.

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