About Genever

About Genever
Genever (Jenever in Belgium) is a white spirit that is flavored with juniper berries and so-called botanicals (a varied assortment of herbs and spices). Genever is made primarily from "malt wine" (a mixture of malted barley, wheat, corn, and rye), which produces a fuller-bodied spirit similar to raw malt whisky. A small number of genevers in Holland and Belgium are distilled directly from fermented juniper berries, producing a particularly intensely flavored spirit.

The chief flavoring agent in Genever is the highly aromatic blue-green berry of the juniper, a low-slung evergreen bush (genus Juniperus) that is commercially grown in northern Italy, Croatia, the United States and Canada. Additional botanicals can include anise, angelica root, cinnamon, orange peel, coriander, and cassia bark. Genever makers have their own secret combination of botanicals, the number of which can range from as few as four to as many as 15.

Genever or Hollands is the Dutch style of Gin. Genever is distilled from a malted grain mash similar to that used for whisky. Oude ("old") Genever is the original style. It is straw-hued, relatively sweet and aromatic. Jonge ("young") Genever has a drier palate and lighter body. Some genevers are aged for one to three years in oak casks. Genevers tend to be lower proof than English gins (72-80 proof or 36-40% ABV is typical). They are usually served straight up and chilled. The classic accompaniment to a shot of Genever is a dried green herring. Genever is traditionally sold in a cylindrical stoneware crock. Genever-style gins are produced in Holland, Belgium, and Germany.

Top Picks for Genever

Herman Jansen Notaris Bartenders Choice Genever
93 points
$32
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of brown buttered walnuts, cake flour and dough, and suede with a silky, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish that shows accents of raisin-fig bran muffin with caraway, powdered milk and farina, dried fruits, and wheat grass and sweet tobacco. A nicely layered Genever that will provide complexity in cocktails.
Old Duff Single Malt Genever
89 points
$49.96
Clear color. Grainy aromas of parker dinner rolls, raw cashew, and coconut shell with a satiny, crisp, dryish light body and a tingling, medium-length peppermint, dried fruits, dill, mace, and balsa wood finish. A smooth sipping genever with hints of herbaceous botanicals and highlights of creamy grain.
89 points $49.96
Old Duff Genever
87 points
$29.96
Clear color. Grainy aromas of dough and pie crust with a round, bright, dry light-to-medium body and an effortless, brisk hint of citrus and tea with cream finish. A mild and creamy, grain-focused genever.
87 points $29.96