So much to say here - and too much to quote.
I'll just start here: Normally Drinkboy and I agree on most basic cocktail postulates. I utterly diverge from his talk of master distillers changing recipes on vintage brands - most specifically those of gin. While it may have happened in the commercial business of this spirit, swapped over the years as all valued brands have been, the very people DB cited distain all that. Desmond, a dear friend, has made quite clear that he makes decisions picking the herb crops suited to the recipe, he views his job as accurately conveying to us the gin formula of James Burrough. I believe that. Maybe not so much with bitters, where certain mainstays of their composition have found themselves skewered for and by terribly unheathly effects.
I believe the honorable and serious gin distillers stick adamantly to the recipes that made them great.
New recipes occur and always have. We'll see, as long as we live, how many make the cut the classic brands we still have - have done. Miller's is good, Hendricks is wonderful. I alway come back to Beefeater, original Tanqueray, and Plymouth as seriously-produced London Dry Gins. They correctly follow a profile, but within that profile, there is much freedom, much individual character.
Le Gimp, you are a beloved and wonderful contributor but your manner of constructing orange bitters is akin to soaking wormwood and anise in vodka and calling it absinthe. DB is correct; correctly made, it deserves the same level of respect as absinthe.
Overproof gins: DB is again right. The best gins are underproof. It's entirely about the flavor. The English master distillers look at the higher proof versions as an American affectation (Navy rum notwithstanding.)
Actually "overproof" means over 100 proof. In this case what I think conversely he is trying to say is that the traditional recipe strength tends to be lower than the strength demanded by Americans.
Citadelle: I hate it. Same as T10, same as Rangpur and for similar reasons.
Bitters in a Martini: DB corners himself in a certain era when he speaks of orange bitters in a Martini. For as many years, Angostura would have been well accepted.
Genever: Yes, of course - I love this stuff too - especially the thing we have that is most like the ORIGINAL genever: korenwyn, especially the Bols Corenwyn. They are really two different spirits, though...not the same thing at all. We can appreciate both as different entities.
There it is; my take. Welcome back, Grim.