Geneva was the city where the British found inspiration to create Gin. During the Eighty Year’s war the British soldiers fought the Spanish troops alongside the Dutch. Before each battle, they would drink a shot of Geneva to warm the soul. Or as it became known Dutch Courage.
The name Geneva comes from the fruit Juniper, jenever in Dutch, and the Gin predecessor, which was being produced since the seventeenth century.
The first Geneva recipe was created by a respected professor at the University of Leiden, Franciscus Sylvius. The term recipe has a double meaning since Geneva was developed for medicinal purposes, particularly for kidney disease, and not for entertainment purposes as we drink it today.
The assignment of the invention is not yet consensus. To increase doubts, or even support the theory that Geneva was born before, there are some publications which say that Aqua juniperi dated many years before Sylvius birth.
The almost exclusive use of Juniper during the distillation and dilution with malt wine are two factors that differentiate Geneva from its successor Gin.
After distillation, the spirit obtained is diluted with water and malt wine. The amount of malt wine used allows to sort the different Genebras. Thus, there is the Jonge style (new) where is used a maximum of 15% and the Oude style (old) where the percentage of wine goes beyond this limit. There is also a third type where the percentage of wine is greater than 50%. It is given the name of Korinwijn and is restricted to the best produced spirits.