The Flemish pronunciation of genever (or jenever) is [juh-nay-ver], the English pronunciation of genever is [juh-nee-ver]. I'm abeliever in genever is a helpful expression with the pronunciation of genever. LISTEN HERE to the pronunciation of genever.
Traditionally the Belgians serve genever in completely full shot glasses that have just been pulled from the freezer. The first step to drinking the genever properly is to keep the glass on the table, bend down and take the first sip without holding the glass. Once this traditional first sip is completed one can drink the rest of the drink normally. Gezondheid!
Genever secured a place at America's early cocktail bars. If you were having a cocktail party in the 1800s you were shaking up genever cocktails. Quite popular in the U.S. during the 19th century, before prohibition in 1920 brought legal liquor consumption to a halt, the import of genever to the U.S. was six times greater than gin. Many of today's classic cocktails were originally made with genever.
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Belgium has two types of genever, "oude jenever" or old jenever and "jonge jenever" or young genever. Old and young does not refer to a matter of aging but of distilling techniques.
Old refers to the old-style genever, crafted according to 16th century distilling techniques, must contain at least 15% malt wine (a grain mash) and is often barrel-aged. A worldwide tendency for a lighter less dominant taste, paired with a grain shortage, led to the development of a new-style or young genever, crafted according to 19th century distilling techniques which can contain no more than 15% malt wine (grain mash). An old and young genever distilled from 100% grain is called "graanjenever" or grain genever.
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For centuries genever has been bottled in jugs handcrafted from clay. The clay jug doesn't alter the taste of genever, is impervious to light and provides an excellent protection against temperature fluctuations. Its iconic shape is recognizable and unique to genever. These historic handcrafted clay jugs are still being found in old shipwrecks. Check out the bottles' imperfections, as every jug is unique. Even though the disposal of these pieces of art is still extremely environmentally friendly, reuse the jugs for olive oil containers, flower vases, candle holders, or art projects.
The French have their cognac, the Scots their whiskey.
And Belgium? They have genever. To many, Belgian specialties and cuisine means waffles, chocolates and beers. While beer may be Belgium's most famous alcoholic beverage, genever has been the country's traditional and national spirit for over 500 years.
Credited as the grandfather of gin, genever (pronounced "juh-nee-ver") is a juniper flavored spirit crafted by the blending of neutral alcohol and "moutwijn" or malt wine (grain mash), whereas gin doesn't contain any malt wine at all. Unlike gin, genever does not have to have an apparent juniper aroma or taste to it. Traditional genever has an alcohol content of 35% - 38% ABV (70 - 76 PROOF).
Genever (also known as jenever) is a "Protected Product of Origin", receiving eleven different appellations or AOCs, and can only be crafted in Belgium, the Netherlands and a few areas in France and Germany. Most of the genever AOC's are exclusive to Belgium making Belgian genever one of the best-kept secrets in the liquor industry.