A Dutch Delight

A Dutch Delight

It's a well-known fact that gin is a beloved drink among the British, and many people assume that it is an English invention. However, the truth is that gin actually originated in the Netherlands during the 17th century. In the early 1600s, a Dutch spirit called jenever was being sold and served in the Netherlands. Jenever was juniper-based alcohol that was an amber-like colour and known for its potency.

Jenever quickly became popular throughout the Netherlands and soon made its way to England, where it was referred to as "Dutch Courage." It wasn't long before the English began producing their own version of the drink, which eventually became known as gin. However, the original spirit was still primarily produced in the Netherlands and remained popular throughout Europe.

The Dutch have a long history with juniper-based spirits. In fact, jenever was created in the Netherlands during the 16th century as a medicinal drink to treat a variety of ailments, including kidney problems and stomach ailments. The drink was made by distilling malt wine with juniper berries, and it was often flavoured with herbs and spices to make it more palatable.

During the 17th century, the Dutch began exporting jenever to other parts of Europe, including England. It quickly gained popularity in England, where it was used to treat a variety of ailments, including malaria and the plague. In fact, the British army used to give their soldiers a daily ration of gin to help prevent malaria.

Over time, the English began producing their own version of the drink, which was made using a higher proportion of juniper berries and other botanicals. This new version of the drink became known as gin and was eventually exported back to the Netherlands.

Today, gin is enjoyed all over the world and is produced in a variety of styles, including London dry gin, Plymouth gin, and Old Tom gin. However, it is important to remember that gin's origins lie in the Netherlands and that it was the Dutch who first discovered the delicious combination of juniper berries and alcohol. So the next time you enjoy a gin and tonic, remember to raise a glass to the Dutch for their contribution to this beloved drink.

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