Holland America toasts its 150th anniversary with a new signature gin

Holland America specialty gin, De Lijin Gin and cocktails, photo provided by Holland America
Holland America specialty gin, De Lijin Gin and cocktails, photo provided by Holland America /

Stepping aboard a cruise ship is more than just a vessel to a stunning destination. Guests want to experience a full range of sights, sounds, and flavors. For many guests, the food and beverage offerings influence not only their travel decision but also their memories on board. As Holland America toasts its 150th anniversary, its new signature gin and specialty cocktails  invite guests to sip on a Dutch inspired spirit.

While some people have a preferred spirit, other people are willing try to a new sip, especially on vacation. Recently, Holland America announced that it has launched a new gin available to guests on board its ships. The De Lijin is a nod to the company’s Dutch heritage in both flavor and design.

From the vibrant Dutch orange font on the label to the interpretation of Modern Delft with the blue juniper berries, just the bottle invites drinkers to not only celebrate the past but ponders the future’s potential. That blend of new and old never fades from view.

While the bottle makes an impression, it is the flavor that excites guests. Borrowing from Dutch-inspired botanicals, the gin features notes of orange, rose, elderberry, lemon verbena, lemon, raspberry, and juniper. It is approachable but still has classic gin characteristics.

Holland America specialty gin, De Lijin Gin and cocktails
Holland America specialty gin, De Lijin Gin and cocktails, photo provided by Holland America /

The gin of choice at all bars and lounges, the spirit is delightful drunk simply with tonic or enjoyed in one of the specialty Holland American Line anniversary signature cocktails. They are Dutch 150, 150th Martini, and 150th Gin and Tonic.

The Dutch 150 is a twist on a French 75. The 150th Martini is served with an orange twist. The tableside 150th Gin & Tonic is an exclusive at the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant and features an assortment of five seasonal botanicals.

Cruise lines embrace signature spirits to enhance their bar programs

As Holland America announces its new signature gin for its 150th anniversary, it seems to signal a new trend on board ships. For example, earlier this year Norwegian Cruise Line launched its ‘66 Gin aboard its new NCL Prima. The signature gin’s name is a reference to the brand’s founding year. More importantly, the gin represents the brand’s commitment to sustainability.

A unique component to the NCL ‘66 Gin is that seaweed is one of the flavor components. That slightly briny flavor adds a lovely balance to the more modern gin. Featured in the Metropolitan Bar, which also features a wide array of sustainable cocktails, the gin is approachable for both the spirit’s fan and the person who is a causal drinker.

In addition to this gin, NCL has a ‘66 beer on board. Served at the Soliel Bar, the yuzu notes in the beer are exciting and pair well with the various dishes at the Indulge Food Hall. Brewed in partnership with Terrapin Beer Company, that brand is known for its support of sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives. It is another way that NCL shows that it is committed to forward thinking within its beverage program.

As these two cruise lines embrace a signature cocktail brand, it will be interesting to see how other cruise lines follow suit. While Celebrity Cruises has the World Class Bar in partnership with Diageo, that could be expanded to include a specialty spirit.

This concept might be a way for guests to bring a taste of the on board experience home. Even if that cocktail is not served with a picturesque view, the flavor has all the memories come flooding back. More importantly, it could spark a thirst to book another vacation escape.