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Jenever is a clear distilled alcohol, made from grain, molasses and/or juniper berries. It is a traditional drink in The Netherlands and it originates from the 12th/13th century.

There are two types of Jenever, a "Jonge" (young) and an "Oude" (old) jenever. The Oude Jenever is aromatic and mellow , while the Jonge has a blander taste. Several variants exist as well, such as "Bessen Jenever" (currant) and "Citroen Jenever" (lemon).

When you go to Holland, order a "kopstoot" head-butt. Don't worry about your head until the morning after... The bartender will just serve you a shot of jenever and a glass of beer.

While Dutch people (being better marketeers) say jenever (or genever) is a Dutch traditional drink, the truth is jenever is made in Belgium too. So to put it more accurately: it's a lowlands (Belgium and the Netherlands) tradition.

In fact, more than 100 Belgian varieties exist. Well known Belgian brands are Smeets, Hertekamp and Peterman.

The jenevers from Filliers (8 year old, 50 degrees), St. Pol (40 degrees) and Radermacher ('Green Apple' and 'blood orange') are my favorites. ...But when you visit Belgium you can find out for yourself on neutral grounds in 'the Vagant', a cafe in the historical center of Antwerp, owned by a Dutchman :-)

The combination of beer and jenever is not that unusual (especially on ones bachelor night in Belgium ;))

The belgian version of a 'kopstoot' (head-butt) (mentioned in another jenever writeup) is the combination 'Duvel' (devil), a strong belgian blonde beer (8 degrees) and a very strong old jenever (>35 degrees). This is a waste of a good jenever if you ask me.

I prefer a 'Duikboot' (submarine), which is an ordinary lager beer and a young jenever. It tastes better and makes you last longer ;)

  • http://www.dist-radermacher.com
  • http://www.smeets.be
  • http://www.duvel.be (beer for a kopstoot)
  • email jenevermuseum Hasselt: jenevermuseum@hasselt.be

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