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Genever

Genever (or jenever) is a spirit originally distilled in the Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of Germany and France, from which the more familiar spirit of gin eventually evolved. Genever typically combines neutral spirit with malt wine, juniper, and other herbs and spices, all of these varying with the distillery, though it is most closely connected with the Netherlands (which is technically the only country in which it can be made and legally called genever). There are two main types of genever, jonge (young) and oude (old), although the terms do not refer to aging but rather the different ways in which the spirits are distilled, with old genever having more malt wine in the mix. Both can be bottled unaged, or can be aged in oak for as long as the distiller desires and must be bottled at a minimum of 70 proof. (Complicating matters, some distillers do refer to “old” genever as aged stock.) A lesser-known third style, korenwijn (grain wine), must be made with grain alcohol and can be as low as 60 proof. Genever is often served with a chaser, and is traditionally served in a tulip-shaped glass which is filled to the brim. The drinker leans over and sips from the glass before he picks it up to drink the rest.

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