In an article about gross drinks people order in Dutch bars according to the bartenders who work there, one drink that came up a lot was red wine or white wine with cola. I’m thinking the wine has to be really cheap and used purely to put some alcohol in the cola, but the person ordering it is too cheap or broke to ask for rum, vodka or something else half way decent to go in their cola. Or it’s really great and/or very popular and we’re missing out.
Another questionable combo was alcohol with any kind of dairy: Malibu (coconut flavored liqueur) with chocolate milk or Safari (liqueur flavoured with exotic fruits) with Fristi (Dutch dairy drink with red fruits, usually for kids). Both drinks tell me you’ll still a child, but want alcohol to help you grow up. Unscientifically, since the 1990s more and more young people start drinking alcohol by way of sweet drinks, and as you get older, you move into more normal tasting alcohol.
Last weekend I was in a bar in Amsterdam and a couple from London was trying to ask for a glass of half Amaretto and half brandy. I didn’t mind my own business and asked why they wanted to drink that, if it had a name and what it tasted like. The answer came from the woman: “this is what my grandmother used to drink at Christmas and it reminds me of her”. The drink had no name and she just said, “here, try it” and I did. It’s OK, but the story is much better.
For all the newcomers, if you want to blend into a random Dutch bar, order a ‘kopstoot’ (a head butt): a shot of jenever (aka genever, no, not gin) and a beer (don’t specify any further). If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for ‘zeer oude jenever’ (very old genever) and skip the beer altogether.
Tags: alcohol, bars, booze, genever, jenever
First you follow the link to the cute little Delft blue houses, and then you can click on any of the 91 bottles and find out what house it is and where. Most of them can be found in Amsterdam, but a few of them are from towns like Amersfoort, Delft, Breda and Schiedam.
I spontaneously clicked on number 81 and got ‘proeflokaal’ (roughly ‘tasting pub’) De Drie Fleschjes (The Three Bottles) in Amsterdam pictured above (here is what it looks like today). Ironically, it is a place to sample gin and have a drink.
What I thought was odd though is that there is the same house twice (11 and 23), another ‘proeflokaal’ in Amsterdam, Wijnand Fockink. I think the makers of the site made a mistake, as 90 is a much nicer number.
(Link and image: klom.com, via amsterdamadblog.com)
Tags: Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Breda, Delft, Delft bue, genever, KLM, Schiedam
It’s called jenever in Dutch, referred to as ‘genever’ in English and the rest of the world calls it ‘gin’.
Jenever can only be made in the Netherlands, Belgium and a few German and French provinces. The ministers of agriculture granted jenever the status of protected geographic indication last Monday.
The Netherlands traditionally has a number of large jenever distilleries, in Schiedam (shown here), Amsterdam and Groningen, to name a few. In Belgium, Hasselt is the best known city for this strong alcoholic drink.
Read more about this underrated drink and if you want to visit Schiedam, the town with the five biggest windmills in the world, check out Ontdekschiedam.nu, a site I did some work on.
I read a few articles that said that the Dutch introduced gevener (gin) to Ghana through the slave trade some 150 years ago. It is still used for special occasions, but then the real Dutch variety, not the local moonshine.
A glass of jenever is at least 35% alcohol. Young jenever is the most commonly drunk spirit in the Netherlands: 170,000 hectolitres in 2005, according to figures from the Commodity Board for Alcoholic Drinks.
‘Jenever’ was discovered in the Middle Ages during the search for medicines: the medicinal juniper berry was added to brandy wine. These days grain or treacle from the sugar industry is the basis for the alcohol in ‘jenever’.
Agriculture minister at the time Cees Veerman suggested to his EU colleagues last year that ‘jenever’ be declared a protected product. There were no objections.
Tags: genever, gin, jenever, Schiedam