So, gin is actually oriGINated in the Netherlands. I only found this out when I was visiting Schiedam. Once, Schiedam was a world renown gin city with as many as 400 active distilleries at the peak of 1900. Did you know that?
To make it clear, it is called “jenever” (Dutch: [jəˈneːʋər]). Probably derived from the Dutch word jeneverbes for juniper-berry. Jenever was originally produced by distilling malt wine to 50% Alcohol By Volume. This product is distilled again and infused with juniper berries and other botanicals, producing a final alcoholic content of about 35 percent. A malted grain-based spirit that can only be made in Holland to be called jenever.
Naturally, there is a Jenevermuseum in Schiedam! The historic museum is housed in the former distillery of P. Melchers, known as the ‘Locomotive’, at Lange Haven 74-76, since 1996. It has: a small museum section where you can learn all aspects of jenever industry (all in Dutch language only!), a working distillery on site where malt wine is still being produced according to the Old-Dutch Method recipe from 1700, a tasting room where you can try three gins for €7.50 per person and a liquor shop selling … GIN!
Since this juniper-flavored drink is the national and traditional liquor of Schiedam, the Netherlands, I felt culturally obligated to go and familiarized myself on this heritage that know nothing about. All part of becoming more Dutch.
The museum is Dutch oriented so it was hard for me to fully grasp reading through everything. My entry ticket allowed me to visit the distillery ‘Branderij De Gekroonde Burnersketel’ right next door. A (Dutch) tour/presentation around this distillery was included for FREE, happening according to schedule several times a day. I did not try any of the gin because I rarely ever drink alcohol. Clearly, not a museum for me, or for kids, but I learnt a few things.
Website: https://www.jenevermuseum.nl/jenevermuseum.html (Dutch only)
Tours & Tasting Schedule: https://www.jenevermuseum.nl/agenda.html
Address: Lange Haven 74. 3111 CH Schiedam.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am – 5pm.
Entrance Fees: €8.50 for adults, €8.00 for kids age 13-17 years old and free entry for children up to 12 years old. Free entry for Museumkaart holders.
Getting There: About 20 minutes walk from Station Schiedam Centrum. Use https://9292.nl/en to plan your journey.