Ok, first off, yes, it sounds gross. I get it. And if you look at some of the pictures below, it looks gross too. In the beginning. It gets better, though. I promise.
This was an instance where the name for the drink came first. And the name cracked me up. There's a drink from Charles H. Baker Jr.'s Gentleman's Companion (1946) called the Holland Razor Blade (recipe here). It's basically a genever sour with some cayenne sprinkled on top. It's a nice drink and a fun one to put in front of customers who are curious about genever or who like spicy things and want to try something different.
Now, on a side note, but a totally related side note - I love hollandaise. No joke. Eating it regularly probably isn't all that healthy but eggs and eggs and butter and ham is the type of comfort food I'm powerless against. Fortunately, this whole experiment started with a goofy play on words because otherwise I'm not sure how compelled I would have been to risk wasting my favorite sauce along with some booze. But, it seemed weird enough to warrant at least a little bit of attention (which is a not-unheard-of thing around here). And, if viewed charitably, hollandaise does have a couple of things in common with the drink; lemon, cayenne, some sugar. Plus, and most importantly, I only needed a few ounces of sauce. Which meant I pretty much had to start things off with some eggs Benedict. Ok, if I must.
There's a recipe for the hollandaise below. I've tried a bunch of different ones and at this point I tend to avoid the light and fluffy stuff. Those versions are great and I will happily eat them when I'm getting breakfast out. If I'm making it at home though, there's a good chance that I'm putting off doing something else. And pursuing a warm, full belly, and perhaps a subsequent nap is second only to drinking in general, in terms of procrastination strategies. There is no doubt that a large part of the fun at play here is due to the fact that you are availing yourself of both techniques.
That's not appetizing. I know. That's ok. You should be full anyway from all of the eggs Benedict you just ate.
Yes, it still looks weird. But, maybe not as weird?
Alright, now we're getting somewhere. Things are looking better thanks to some vacuum filtering.
Actually, this drink doesn't suck. The maltiness from the genever is still intact and there's enough lemon to play the sour card and keep things bright. The hollandaise component (half an ounce of hollandaise vodka) does round things out but isn't deployed with too heavy a hand. I wasn't looking for it take over and run the show. It basically softens and adds a little richness. There's also a subtle smoothness that ties in well with the genever.
Would I make it again? Probably not regularly, or at least not as regularly as I make hollandaise. But sure, I'd make it again. This sort of ridiculousness is not without its own unique charm.
Hollandaise Razor Blade
1 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Hollandaise Vodka*
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
2 tsp 2:1
Garnish - Cayenne
Shake, strain, up
*Hollandaise Vodka - I wasn't about to risk wasting a bunch of good genever on a weird drink that only exists because I have a soft spot for puns. Adding the hollandaise to vodka at about double the amount I'd usually use for fat washing yielded a strongly flavored ingredient that allowed for more control when it came time to getting that flavor situated alongside the others.
3 oz Hollandaise**
12 oz Vodka
Combine in jar and let sit at room temp for 4 hours shaking occasionally. Place in freezer for 2 hours. Strain through a fine strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. If you have a Buchner Funnel use it. Otherwise just roll with it.
**Hollandaise - There's lots of recipes for hollandaise. Many of them are faster and easier than this one. They're often lighter too, though. I keep coming back to this one by Alton Brown. It's incredibly satisfying and almost always makes me want to take a nap. I like that in a hollandaise.
3 Egg Yolks
12 Tablespoons Butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Water
-1/2 tsp Salt (just under 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Cayenne
Put an inch or so of water in a saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Beat the yolks and water in a mixing bowl that will fit nicely on top of the saucepan while keeping the bottom from making contact with the water.
Put the bowl onto the saucepan and whisk slowly until you can draw a line through the yolks with the whisk. Add a Tbsp of butter and whisk it in. Once that one is incorporated add another. Continue until all of the butter is gone. You may need to remove it from the heat every now and then if it appears to be getting too warm. I speed this step up by increasing the heat to medium low and adding 2-3 Tbsp at a time.
After the last bit of butter has been incorporated add the lemon juice, salt and cayenne. Continue whisking over heat until it begins to thicken. Keep in mind though that it will continue to thicken after it's removed from heat. If it's going to break this often the spot where it will happen. Keep an eye on it.
***One other hollandaise note. People get worried about making it home. Because it can break and that's a huge drag. It doesn't have to be the end of the world though. There's a trick I learned with mayonnaise that also works here. If it does break pour everything into a measuring cup and basically start a separate miniature version. Beat a yolk with a little water put it back over the water that's on the stove, whisk in a Tablespoon of butter and when it starts looking like you've got a decent emulsion going slowly whisk in the broken batch.