A recently completed study at Thomas Jefferson University concludes
that, while all alcoholic beverages may provide some protection against
heart disease, red wine offers benefits far superior to those offered by
Hmmmm, we shall see.
I'm on the second last day of our vacation on the Outer Banks of North
Carolina. I just enjoyed a Beefeater and tonic.
Looking forward to the 1982 Ch. Clerc Milon I'm bringing to dinner.
Why, oh why, didn't I buy these 1982 Bordeaux by the case?
=>8^0 Say it ain't _so_, Ian! I happen to really enjoy a good Martini on
occasion - a _real_ Martini, that is, which is _always_ made with gin
(Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray - NEVER vodka), an olive or two and very
With the olives in there, it's a meal in itself! ;^)
I wonder if they also tested Hollands Gin such as made by Bols? It has a
taste as if a whole juniper shrub has been soaked in the alcohol for a
long time with other strong things thrown in. It has a taste that is the
most difficult to acquire a liking for of any drink I know. Apparently
the writer Ernest Hemingway liked it and made a drink with it that he
called "Death In The Gulf Stream." Take a tall, thin water tumbler and
fill with finely cracked ice. Add 4 splashes of Angostura. Add the juice
and peel of a green lime. Fill the glass full of Hollands gin. No sugar
is to be added. Tom should try this. The darkest cigar he can find would
be the perfect match. :-)
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I don't know about the Hemingway story and just came into this thread but it
evoked memories. The aged product is called "Oude Jenever" and when I first
encountered it at age 16, in the youth hostel Herrengraght 88 (sp?) in
Amsterdam, they said that the Dutchmen drank it to show how tough they were.
(Not because anyone liked it.) It smelled (and I assure you that I know my
basic organic chemistry) like toluene. Not acetone (as in the "native rum"
in Vonnegut's Ice-Nine story, _Cat's Cradle_ if memory serves) but toluene.
Harsh, aromatic, and mutagenic.
Max... it's spelled "Herengracht" :)
Well... how Jenever tastes has a lot to do with the way it was distilled
In Holland we make a major distinction between Jonge Jenever (young aged
and vodka like transparant) and Oude Jenever (aged on oak barrels and
whisky like colored from pale yellow to dark amber).
Some of the finest Jenevers come from Belgium btw... I especially like
the Filliers 14 yrs aged)
Young Jenever should be drinked very cold and is often accompanied by
a Pilsner Beer. The smell resembles eau de cologne / toluene.
This is the most popular type in holland especially with older people.
I guess this type of Jenever is difficult for foreigners to like and is
pretty tough on the tongue.
The finer Old Jenevers (Filliers, Van Wees, Zuidam, and much more) are
as different from each other as different styles of whisky. Filliers has
a very soft and smooth taste which has hints of the Juniper berries but
also vanilla tones from the Oak barrel aging come into mind. It really
is a special treat and most people who like the finer Whiskies will not
be unpleasantly surprised by this drink.
Van Wees is more tough on the tongue by the stronger hint of Juniper and
makes it more an aquired taste but in my eyes just as tasty :)
The smell of Old Jenevers varies from the very sharp toluene type
(usually the lesser brands, younger aged types) to smooth vanilla &
Bas van Beek
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Thanks for the needed correction.
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Maybe now we know where that taste began.
A bigger lesson I learned when traveling at age 16, a lesson hard to get in
the US, is the different ways different "Western" countries approach
alcohol. This lesson began when a French flight attendant, eastbound over
the Atlantic Ocean, offered me wine with dinner without asking my age, as an
ordinary matter. (Unlikely within the US.) The lesson continued as I saw,
in various countries, fast-food restaurants and counters, much like those in
the US, but with spirits supplies also, so customers might call for a shot
of rum in their cola or hot tea, for example, if it suited them, or if it
was cold outside. These were choices that I, at age 16, was trusted to make
for myself, generally, in continental Europe. Also, the subject did not
seem to preoccupy European kids. I did not see them paying much attention
to alcohol (or desperate substitutes like plastic glue) nor did I notice
adult drunkenness any more than in the US. Beer and wine were variously
and, it seemed, healthily integrated into everyday dining customs. (At 16 I
had only a little taste for wine myself, no taste for beer.)
Herengracht 88 (the street address as well as the name) was a popular
Amsterdam youth hostel with café and bar on the ground floor, dormitories
above, as I recall (that was 1972). I asked the bartender about Nederlander
drinks and that's where I heard about Jenever (both Jonge and Oude).
In the US, soft drinks and distilled spirits do not overlap casually at
fast-food counters. Alcohol has strict age limits, generally 21. The
culture has had awkward, all-or nothing relationships with alcohol in the
past. Endemic alcoholism in the 1800s brought prohibition movements (as in
several other countries) and then in 1919-1933, outlawing of most alcoholic
beverages. Meaning, in practice, that their price went up and their quality
(Which also, incidentally, seems likely soon with foie-gras in several
regions of the world, including mine -- as one more vision of personal
morality is forced on everyone by one more crop of social engineers whose
root claim to authority is their stalwart self-image of enlightenment.)