Saturday, June 15, 2013

Oude Jenever

One of our welcome-aboard gifts from SRF shipyards was a bottle of Dutch Jenever from Friesland. There are spelling variations, another common one is Genever, and it is also referred to as Dutch Gin. It is the origin of what the Brits corrupted to Gin.

It is believed to have been invented by a Dutch chemist and alchemist named Sylvius de Bouve in the late sixteenth century and was first sold as a medicine. It became a popular beverage in the seventeenth century because of its distinct flavour. Because of the lack of refined distilling techniques, the spirit was unpalatable, so herbs and Juniper berries were added to mask the flavour.

There are two types of Jenever, oude and jonge; old and young and the difference is not a matter of aging but of distilling techniques. Jonge Jenever has a rather neutral taste, like vodka with a slight aroma of juniper. Oude Jenever is smoother and more flavourful, with stronger aromas and malty flavours. Oude Jenever can be aged in oak barrels and its malty, woody and smokey flavours give it a resemblance to whiskey. Different grains, such as barley, wheat and ryes, produce different tastes.

There are countless ways to serve it and many traditions for drinking it. The flavour is something to get used to, but in the meantime, I like the look of the terracotta bottle; perhaps that is a good place to start.

No comments:

Post a Comment