Picture by John Hearn – The Bastard´s Booze Blog.
Genever manages to taste like gin and whisky at the same time..Initially gin was very similar to genever, but over time it developed a distinctive style, eliminating malt wine. But the original juniper flavored spirit was genever – originating from Holland.
As always this TDN was fun and educational. Little did i know about the history and making of Bols Genever but that was soon changed when Tal Nadari started to educate us on the history of the making of genever and gin.
There are several recipes for genever but this specific recipe do not use any sugar. There`s Jonge jenever “Jonge” (young) jenever which has been in existence since the 1950`s – and there´s Oude (old) jenever, often spelt as genever, is jenever prepared according to an old recipe.] So “oude” refers to an old “style”, rather than the spirit having been aged.
The malt wine content in actual Jonge Jenevers out there in average is around 5% while oude jenever this is around 20%.The reason why the distillers made a less malt wine genever is that they had just survived two world wars and the supply of grains was low.
Genever (or “jenever”, as it is often spelled in Holland and Belgium, or “genièvre” as is common in France) may only be labeled as such and sold as such in the EU if it is made in Holland, Belgium, the departments 59 (Nord) and 62 (Pas-de-Calais) of France and the provinces Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen of Germany according to the European Union in EU declaration 110/2008.
Here´s how Bol´s Genever is made:
It starts with the malt-wine which is based on rye, wheat and corn.The whole grains are milled and treated with malt.The malt has to transfer the starch into fermentable sugars. After addition of the yeast it takes 5 days ( 5 x 24 hours) to finalize the fermentation.These 5 days are very important for the creation of all the critical taste components in the Bols maltwine. In a 3 step distillation( in copper stills) the alcohol percentage reaches 47% abv.
The maltwine needs a maturation period( the marriage time)of several weeks to balance the taste component.Only after this marriage time the maltwine is ready for blending in the final product.
The neutral grain spirit used in Bols Genever is base on wheat. After a 3 days fermentation and a distillation process in 6 copper columns ,the taste of this alcohol at 96% abv is very neutral.
Then the Juniperberry distillate is added. Bols Genever has a slightly juniperberry smell and taste.The juniperberries are soaked in maltwine and after some time distilled in copper pott-stills.
And the mix of botanicals – as part of the taste profile there´s a mix of botanicals soaked in grain neutral spirit and after some time this mixture is distilled in copper pot- stills.
The final blend is adjusted to 42% abv by adding very neutral tasting de-mineralized water. A marriage time of several weeks is needed after blending to create the smooth, complex and well balanced taste of the 1820 recipe of Bols Genever.
And here are two drinks i fell in love with that night..
Muddle pineapple & pepper with juices and add the rest of ingredients and shake, strain and serve up.
Garnish lemon twist ( well..i added a jalapeno and a pineapple wedge instead – bec i was too lazy to make a lemon twist….yes for real…it was TDN..)
Then Rick from KaiserPenguin came up with this one – equally tasty…and no joke..the JWray has power.
I like the name – Malt Gasolene = Genever + JWray
There were much more tasty concoctions made, you can sample them at http://twitter.com/mixoloseum
Every week cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts, experts, and novices get together for a virtual cocktail party mixing drinks in real time, tweaking, rearranging etc until the night is gone and well into the morning. Join us every thursday at the TDN!