The young Matjes, whom the Dutch affectionately call "Hollandse Nieuwe", is more than just a delicious fish. He now has a cult status in the land of tulips and canals. But what would this delicacy be without the Genever? Undoubtedly imperfect. And that's why the Dutch were quite displeased when their neighbors opened a Genever Museum in Hasselt, Belgium. As a result, they also opened such a museum on the outskirts of Rotterdam. More specifically in Schiedam, which claims to be the world capital of Genever. But what makes Genever the object of transnational desires?
In the beginning there was medicine for the poorest
From jenever you have to know that this high-proof drink looks back on an amazing history. Already in the early 11th century it should have been Dutch monks who put a probably quite sour wine with the berries of Juniper, to make a tonic, which was said to have healing effects.
But it was not until the 16th century that a physician named Sylvius de la Boe at the prestigious University of Leiden remembered this recipe handed down by the monks. Originally, he was looking for a remedy for stomach and kidney disease as medicine for the poorest of his Dutch compatriots. He certainly did not suspect that he came up with the idea for a juniper-added schnapps, which has become a success story to this day – here Gin and Genever share another story.
The complicated way of the gene to maturity
No less a person than Kurt Tucholsky devoted himself to this distillate and found that the genever was a "step twin of the gin". Some connoisseurs of matter, however, believe the genever is rather the mother of gin, What comes very close to reality, because the original form of this drink comes clearly from Holland and is made from distilled grain.
The gin gets its spice from fruits, herbs and especially juniper. He must have at least an alcohol content of 37.5 percent – say the law enforcers of the European Union. The production of genever is a bit more complicatedbecause the national drink of the Dutch is distilled on the basis of a mash of cereals not dissimilar to the beer and enriched in the course of the process by juniper, ginger, coriander and above all hops. Quasi a mixture of distilled beer and gin, if one may say so simplified.
Genever varieties at a glance
Genever has many "children". The different Genever varieties differ depending on the proportion of malt wine, the sugar content and the duration of storage. The following varieties are currently on the market:
In addition, there are still many names that are mainly used in the marketing of manufacturers. For example, the aged genever. The rules are the same as the Oude Genever, he must at least be stored for 1 year in barrels (often oak barrels) with a maximum capacity of 700 liters, But it depends on the manufacturer, how long it actually ripens the product.
The difference between Genever and Gin
Genever is therefore, to a certain extent, the source of gin – and it can be said that genever even contains a certain amount of gin. However, it is the additional "malt wine" in Genever, which makes the difference between Gin and Genever. Of course you can tell by taste: the geneva is often fuller in the aroma, has a softer viscosity on the tongue and also differs in color from the gin. The added "Malt Wine" brings along the aromas of grain in the finish.