Nothing says summer's arrived like a cold jenever on ice. Jenever is a liquor made from juniper berries (and often grain) that comes in many varieties. Only those made in Holland or the northern part of Belgium are able to use the name jenever.
Marisa, editor of CH sister site Needled stopped by CH HQ with a few bottles that she brought with her from Belgium. Somewhere in the middle of researching our epic Summertime Rules post we busted out the jenever and put it to the test.
The Filliers family has been making jenevers for five generations. Though production has grown too large to make jenever from the grains they raised on their farm, like they used to do, the family still produces the entire product on site.
The fruits used in their line of fruit jenevers (apples, plums, currants, lemons...) add natural flavors and colors to the liquor. The flavors we sampled were bright and subtle with strong fruit aromas. They were not sweet at all, but the presence of the fruit was pleasantly noticeable. Best enjoyed chilled over ice, or with a splash of soda, fruit jenevers add a little flavor to any summer gathering.
The Filliers family makes a full range of fruit, grain, premium and organic jenevers, and sadly is only one of two distelleries in Belgium that continue to make jenever in the traditional (i.e. time consuming and expensive) manner.