Jenever only from Netherlands and Belgium

26th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 November 2007, BRUSSELS - Jenever can only be made in the Netherlands, Belgium and a few German and French provinces. The ministers of agriculture granted jenever the status of protected geographic indication on Monday.

26 November 2007

BRUSSELS - Jenever can only be made in the Netherlands, Belgium and a few German and French provinces. The ministers of agriculture granted jenever the status of protected geographic indication on Monday.

The Netherlands traditionally has a number of large jenever distilleries, in Schiedam, Amsterdam and Groningen, to name a few. In Belgium Hasselt is the best known city for this strong alcoholic drink.

A glass of jenever is at least 35 percent alcohol. Young jenever is the most commonly drunk spirit in the Netherlands: 170,000 hectolitres in 2005, according to figures from the Commodity Board for Alcoholic Drinks.

Jenever was discovered in the middle ages during the search for medicines: the medicinal juniper berry was added to brandy wine. These days grain or treacle from the sugar industry is the basis for the alcohol in jenever.

Agriculture minister at the time Cees Veerman suggested to his EU colleagues last year that jenever be declared a protected product. There were no objections.

Many other countries are working to protect certain regional products. Greece has secured the exclusive rights to produce ouzo and France has claimed certain types of rum.

The decision on Monday comes in the margins of an EU accord on vodka. This spirit may only be made from potatoes and grain from now on. Vodka made from other ingredients, like grapes or sugar beets, must report this on the label.

Initially European vodka-producing countries wanted to ban vodka made from raw materials other than grain and potatoes in an effort to quell competition from Russia. But the majority did not support such a ban.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news

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