What kind of alcohol do they drink in Belgium? Belgian alcoholic drinks that Belgians value and love to drink themselves
Alcohol in Belgium is not limited to an assortment of high-quality beers. Stronger drink lovers will also be able to pamper themselves.
In order to find out what the Belgians are drinking, and to appreciate the taste of local alcohol, you can go to the nearest bar. Also a good option would be a tour with a tasting – such events in Belgium are not uncommon.
Finding Belgian Wine
Unlike Belgian beer, the local wine does not have such a long history. It is practically not exported outside the country and little is known in the world. However, this does not mean at all that in taste and other characteristics it is significantly inferior to the products of world brands.
Wine of Belgium
About 90% of the wine produced in Belgium is white. Of the grape varieties in the country cultivated Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and others. Red wines are produced from Pinot Noir, Dornfelder, Merlot, Regent, Pinot Meunier berries.
In total, about 50 grape varieties are grown in Belgium. The total vineyard area is only 185 hectares, making the country the smallest wine producer in the world.
But even despite the modest size of production, the Belgians sincerely love and enjoy drinking their wine and try so that tourists can appreciate its taste.
In the small town of Beulles south of Brussels, the Chateau de Bioul vineyard is located. Its owner, Vanessa Wickmans-Waxeler, inherited an old castle, on the basis of which tastings are now held. Chateau de Bioul wines are made from grape varieties adapted to the cool Belgian climate, and their use excludes the use of chemical fertilizers. In 2019, the brand expects to receive Bio status, which will serve as an official confirmation of the naturalness and safety of alcohol.
Excursions and tastings of alcoholic beverages are held every weekend from 11 to 18 hours. Entrance costs 15 €. Most often, visitors buy the classic white wine Terre Charlot (13 €). Gourmets prefer to drink In Arduis Constans (15 €) – white wine with fruity and spicy notes.
Another well-known Belgian wine company Domaine du Ry d’Argent is located in the small town of Bovesse. The grapes are planted not on a plateau, but on a small slope, which automatically protects the crop from adverse conditions. For 10 €, guests are offered an hour and a half tour of the vineyard, the wine cellar, as well as a tasting of 4 types of wines.
Take a bottle of Brin de Paille white wine with you. When cooled to 10-12 degrees, this alcohol perfectly refreshes. It perfectly complements seafood dishes. The price for a bottle is 15 €.
Domaine du Ry d’Argent also launches La Source red wine. Spicy notes and pleasant astringency will appeal to those who are looking for original alcohol in Belgium. The price of the bottle is 13 €.
Other famous producers of Belgian wines: Hoenshof, Waes, Aldeneyck, Kluisberg.
Genever – unique Belgian spirits
Genever is considered the progenitor of gin. And although it is also allowed to produce in the Netherlands, Germany and several provinces of France, in Belgium this alcohol is called a national product. Such a reverent attitude and strict restrictions imposed on the process of production of an alcoholic beverage allowed the country to preserve a unique old recipe.
The history of Genevera in Belgium is about 500 years old. Alcohol, which is produced from malted cereals, has a characteristic taste and strength of 35-38%.
Unique Belgian Genever
The main difference of the Belgian alcoholic drink is that it is based not only on juniper berries, but also on various spices that are added at the distillation stage. The English analogue of Genevera, in fact, is a juniper alcohol tincture, subjected to a distillation procedure.
In Belgium, they like to mix alcoholic drinks with a Jongever type Jongever. It is sustained for a minimum time, so the taste of alcohol is quite sharp. But the Oude Genever is aged in oak barrels for several years. They drink it not diluted, in very chilled tulip-shaped shot glasses.
Trying a real Belgian genver is best in the city of Hasselt, where in October the annual festival dedicated to alcoholic drinks takes place. For those who did not attend the holiday, the Jenevermuseum Museum operates year-round. A ticket costs 7 € and entitles you to one tasting.
Belgian Whiskey – New to the International Market
Internationally recognized strong spirits in Belgium are a rarity. In addition to Genevere, Belgian Owl whiskey can be noted in this category. This is a relatively young alcoholic drink; it entered the international market in 2011.
Whiskey Belgian Owl
For the secrets of creating single malt whiskey, you should go to the commune of Fex-le-O-Cloche. Factory workers will talk about the various stages of creating alcohol, show production, organize a tasting. The tour lasts 2 hours and is held on Saturdays. The cost of participation is 20 €.