The Interwoven History of Gin and Jenever: Discover the Fine Nuances of Two Spirited Seducers

Rynbende vintage genever bottle, cork and tulp glass on bar

In the world of spirits, gin and jenever have a rich and intertwined history dating back to the 17th century. Both drinks have complex origins, and while each has its own unique character, they share an intriguing history that has captured the hearts of aficionados worldwide.

Short history about Jenever and England ▼

DALL-E generated image of rembrandt style boat with barrels and sailors
DALL-E generated image of rembrandt style genever in a bar with botanicals

The Historical Dance of Gin and Jenever

Gin: A Dutch beginning

The journey began in Holland, where jenever, originally called “genever,” was first distilled as a medicinal beverage. Juniper berry, the essential ingredient, was added for its alleged medicinal properties. Dutch soldiers discovered this tasty diversion during the Eighty Years’ War, and it wasn’t long before jenever set sail and crossed into England.

Jenever: An English Revolution

In England, jenever was soon embraced as a trendy drink, but local distillers gave it their own twist. They replaced the malt wine with neutral alcohol and added botanicals, resulting in a more refined and lighter drink: gin. The gin craze, also known as the Gin Craze, broke out in the 18th century, with gin houses springing up like mushrooms.

Similar but also different


  • Juniper as the Essence: Both gin and jenever owe their unique flavor to juniper. This aromatic ingredient adds a spicy and tangy touch to the drink.

  • Spices and Herbs: Both drinks make use of various spices and herbs to enrich their flavor profiles. Think coriander, angelica root, lemon peel and more.

  • Distillation Process: Both gin and jenever undergo a distillation process that enriches the alcohol with the flavors of the ingredients used.


  • Malt wine in Jenever: The addition of malt wine to the distillation process is characteristic of jenever, resulting in a fuller and more complex flavor. More information about malt wine production ▼

  • Neutral Alcohol in Gin: Gin, on the other hand, uses neutral alcohol, which results in a lighter and more pronounced taste of the botanicals.

  • Dry gin vs. young and old jenever: The distinction between dry gin and jenever lies in the sugar content. Gin is usually dry and contains no added sugars, while jenever has a mild sweetness. In doing so, there is still a difference between old jenever and young jenever.

    More information about the difference old and young jenever ▼

DALL-E generated image of rembrandt juniper berries
DALL-E generated image of rembrandt style botanicals

Discover and Enjoy

The historic dance between gin and jenever has opened a world of flavors for foodies and cocktail lovers. Whether you prefer the rich tradition of jenever or the refreshing aftertaste of gin, one thing is certain: these spirited seducers will enchant your taste buds with their unique nuances.

Be surprised by the refined complexity of jenever or the bold innovation of gin. Toast the timeless relationship between these two drinks that have stood the test of time and discover history in every sip.

Discover first now Rynbende's Vintage Genever 'The Mayor of Exploration’!

Discover the timeless elegance of ‘The Mayor of Exploration,’ our exclusive vintage genever. This handcrafted jenever takes you on founder Simon Rijnbende‘s sea voyages and on a journey through the history of distillation with its rich blend of traditional spices and the unique characteristics of pot still distillation.

Enjoy the depth of flavor and subtlety of the botanicals, making this vintage genever a tribute to craftsmanship and refinement. A real treat for spirits enthusiasts, ‘The Mayor of Exploration’ embodies the essence of enjoyment with style. Taste the past, embrace the present, and let your taste buds go on a journey of discovery with this exquisite vintage genever.


Unfortunately you still need to wait for our first gin, however our Vintage Genever can already be bought:

Welcome to Rynbende Spirits

Are you 18 years or older?