We feel like the Winter Olympics just started, but believe it or not, they end on Sunday. That means this is our fifth and final installment of “Drinking Around the World With the Winter Olympics” – sad, right?
The last country we’re going to cover is the Netherlands. Those laid back friendly Dutch folk have been destroying every other country in the sport of speed skating. A total of 30 speed skating medals have been given out in Sochi and 21 of them have gone to the Netherlands. Talk about domination. The Netherlands has a total of 106 Winter Olympic medals from over the years, and 101 of them are for long track speed skating.
Moral of this story? If you’re hanging out one day and a Dutch person challenges you to a speed skating race… just don’t.
We do, however, think it would be nice if you decided to join them for a drink. Although when most people think of the Netherlands, their mind automatically goes to the legal, public use of marijuana, there’s actually a very lively drinking scene with a rich history.
Jenever is Dutch gin and it’s the juniper-flavored national beverage of the Netherlands. According to Holland’s tourism website, there are two main types of jenever known as “jonge” and “oude,” which translates to “young” and “old” jenever. “Jonge” is clear and a bit more bland, while “oude” is more yellow, aromatic, and mellow because it has a higher malt content. Both, however, are made from juniper berries, grain, and molasses alcohol.
You know the term “Dutch Courage”? That can be attributed to jenever and the way it warmed and calmed down British troops who “discovered” it when they were sent to fight the 80-years war against Spain.
Maybe jenever is actually the Dutch speed skating team’s secret weapon? Well, maybe not – but we have a feeling it’s a favorite among their fans from the Netherlands who are cheering them on in Sochi and back home.