The classic combination

Why Genever is drunk with herring

Hollandse Haring met uitjes

Herring is a truly traditional Dutch food. During the hard work on board the ships, herring was traditionally eaten and washed down with genever. Korenwijn was a favourite among fishermen.

Korenwijn is a type of genever with a higher percentage of malt wine than a regular genever. The grain-like character and full flavour of corn wine go well with the salty taste of fatty herring. With an alcohol content of around 38 per cent, the corn wine also has a refreshing effect in your mouth after a bite of the fish.


Until the 1970s, newly caught herring was preserved in a lot of salt to increase its shelf life. On board and ashore, people ate the salty, fatty herring with some sour onions and the whole thing was washed down with a hefty glug of genever. Nowadays, herring is deep chilled immediately after being caught at sea. It therefore tastes much more fishy and is significantly less salty than in the past.

Vintage Genever and herring

Still, herring is considered a tricky fish to pair drinks with. It is fatty and creamy with a salty taste. It is also often accompanied by chopped onions (fresh-sweet), gherkins or other pickles, which does not make the choice any easier.

Now let The mayor of Exploration provides the solution. The full (grain) flavour, hint of citrus and seaweed of our old genever go perfectly with the slightly salty and oily taste of the New mates (the herring).

To read more about flavour combinations with the Vintage Genever click here

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