The Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius is often credited with the invention of gin in the mid-17th century, although the existence of genever is referenced in literature in 1623 and in 1585 in reference to Eighty Years’ War (when the phrase “Dutch Courage” was coined). The earliest known written reference to genever appears in a 13th century encyclopaedic work.
By the mid-17th century, numerous small Dutch and Flemish distillers had popularized the re-distillation of malt spirit or malt wine with juniper, anise, caraway, coriander, etc., which were sold in pharmacies and used to treat various medical problems. Gin emerged in England in varying forms as of the early 17th century, and at the time of the Restoration, enjoyed a brief resurgence.
Gin became popular in England after the Government allowed unlicensed gin production and at the same time imposed a heavy duty on all imported spirits. This created a market for poor-quality grain that was unfit for brewing beer, and thousands of gin-shops sprang up throughout England, a period known as the Gin Craze. Because of the relative price of gin, when compared with other drinks available at the same time and in the same geographic location, gin became popular with the poor. Of the 15,000 drinking establishments in London over half were gin shops. Beer maintained a healthy reputation as it was often safer to drink the brewed ale than unclean plain water. Gin, though, was blamed for various social problems, and it may have been a factor in the higher death rates which stabilized London’s previously growing population. This negative reputation survives today in the English language, in terms like “gin mills” or the American phrase “gin joints” to describe disreputable bars or “gin-soaked” to refer to drunks, and in the phrase “mother’s ruin”, a common British name for gin.
Genever is the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved.
Traditional jenever is still very popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. European Union regulations specify that only liquor made in these two countries, two French provinces and two German federal states can use the name jenever/genever/genièvre.
Genever was originally produced by distilling malt wine (moutwijn in Dutch) to 100 proof. Because the resulting spirit was not palatable due to the lack of refined distilling techniques (only the pot still was available), herbs were added to mask the flavor. The juniper berry was chosen for its alleged medicinal effects, hence the name genever (and the English name gin).
Our Gin & Genever:
Aviaton 84° Batch Distilled (Oregon)
Death’s Door 94° (Wisconsin)
DH Krahn 80° Batch Distilled (California)
Dorothy Parker 88° (New York)
Farmer’s Botanical 93.4°Small Batch Organic (Minnesota)
Ford’s 90° (California)
Junipero 98.6° (California)
No. 209 92° (California)
Perry’s Tot 114° Navy Strength (New York)
Ransom Old Tom Gin 88° (Oregon)
Spring 44 80° (Oregon)
Beefeater Dry 94° (England)
Beefeater 24 90° Artisan Cut, (England)
Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve 86° (England)
Blackwood’s 95° Small Batch (Scotland)
Bombay Dry 86° (England)
Bombay Sapphire 94° (England)
Boodles British London Dry 80°(England)
The Botanist 92° (Scotland)
Bulldog London Dry 80° (England)
Cadenhead’s Old Raj Dry 110° (England)
Citadelle Wheat 88° (France)
Citadelle Wheat Reserve (France)
Damrak 83.6° (Holland)
Edinburgh 86° (Scotland)
Gabriel Boudier 80° Saffron Infused Gin (France)
Hendricks 88° (Scotland)
Magellan 88° (France)
Martin Miller’s London Dry 90.4° (England)
Monkey 47 94° (Germany)
Nolet’s Silver 95.2° (Holland)
Plymouth English 82.4°(England)
Schlicte Steinhager 80° (Germany)
Tanqueray 94.6° (England)
Tanqueray Malacca 80° (England)
Tanqueray No. 10 94.6° Batch Distilled (England)
Bols 84° (Holland)
Boomsma Fine Old Genever 80° (Holland)
Genevieve Genever Style Gin 94.6° (California)