Do you know that the Dutch love their traditions? The British drink gin, the Russians drink wodka. And the Dutch: we drink jenever. For over 500 years, jenever is our national alcoholic favourite drink.
Until a few years ago, jenever was looked at as an oldfashioned drink. But recently this drink is becoming very popular under youngsters. It is cool to drink a jenever cocktail in your favourite pub, club or restaurant!
History of jenever
Did you know that the process of distilling alcohol was invented by Arabs? In the Middle Ages, in the late 14th century, this technique was brought to Europe. In Holland, the first jenever was made in 1552. Doctors prescribed jenever as a cure for musclepain. Never thought that jenever was meant to be a medicine, right? Soon the Duch discovered that drinking jenever also has pleasant side-effects as well. So it became a popular drink.
Since the golden age in the 17th century, Amsterdam and Rotterdam were our national jenever cities. During the years, the distilleries moved out of the city centers to the suburban cities as Weesp and Schiedam. Many famous brands make their traditionals jenever. You can enjoy Bols, de Kuyper and Hoppe is almost every pub anywhere in the world!
In the center of Amsterdam, there is only 1 original distillery left. The ooievaar still produces their jenever. The famous brand Bols returned to Amsterdam in the early 21st century. If you are interested in the history of making jenever you can visit the museum ‘ House of Bols’. You can taste free samples. As you know, the Dutch like ‘ gratis’.
The best way to enjoy jenever is to combine with salted herring. This is a Dutch traditional combination, made in heaven. Basic, fresh and straight forward: this is typical dutch in optima forma.