Amsterdam Sights

Did you know that ...

.. the Dutch invented gin?

Gin originated in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Its invention is often credited to the physician Franciscus Sylvius. It was sold in pharmacies and used to treat such medical problems as kidney ailments, lumbago, stomach ailments, gallstones, and gout.

William of Orange

It is called Jenever or Genever after the Dutch word for juniper. There are two types: Jong (young) which is the closest in taste to gin, and normally drunk neat and very cold, and Oud (old). It was introduced to England when William of Orange became king in 1689, and spread from there.

Dutch gin is a distinctly different drink from English-style gin; it is distilled with barley and sometimes aged in wood, giving it a slight resemblance to whisky.

In Holland the production of Genever was quickly integrated into the vast Dutch trading system. The port of Rotterdam became the center of Genever distilling, as distilleries opened there to take advantage of the abundance of needed spices that were arriving from the Dutch colonies in the East Indies (present-day Indonesia).

Dutch brands of gin

Many of today's leading Dutch Genever distillers can trace their origins back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Examples include such firms as Bols (founded 1575) and de Kuyper (1695). Other Dutch brands of gin are: Damrak Gin, Bokma, Claeryn, Hartevelt, Hoppe, Rembrandt Korewijn, Old Geneva, Klarenaer, Jonge Wees.


Other names for a glass of jenever are: borrel, hassebassie, keiltje, neutje, pikketanussie, recht op en neer, slokkie, uppercut, kamelenrug, over 't IJ-kijkertje.

more tips for visitors

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Tasting rooms

Visit one of Amsterdam's authentic decorated beer or jenever tasting rooms

Wynand FockinkJenever tasting room Wynand Fockink

Amsterdam in numbers

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