Jenever is the most characteristic strong drink in the Netherlands! The oldest jenever recipe dates back to the end of the fifteenth century, so jenever has been around for quite some time. In the VOC era not even a single ship left without a few jars of 'Dutch Courage'.
The English first tasted jenever during the Thirty Years' War (1618 – 1648) when they fought as mercenaries in the Low Countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of northern France). They drank our local drink to keep their nerves under control – and spontaneously called the stuff 'Dutch Courage'.
The mercenaries were impressed and took their love of gin back to England, after which gin quickly became a success all over the world. The more than five centuries old drink is now part of our culinary heritage.