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Free Gin Fountain

Posted By Guru4Travel on Feb 12, 2018 at 5:59AM

The UK is in the middle of a Gin renaissance, with hundreds of micro distilleries showcasing their botanical flavourings of the juniper infused spirit, Genever. Originally from what were once termed the low countries of the Netherlands and Belgian Flanders, this Genever became popular with English soldiers fighting the thirty years wars of 1618-1648. Soldiers who tasted this 'Dutch Courage' were calmed before battle, and when they returned to England had acquired a taste for gin.

Free Gin Fountain

But England isn't the only country with a gin tradition. Spain has provided the G'n'T 'coppa' glassware of choice,  Holland and modern-day Belgium celebrate gin as well. Most popular of all is Hesselt about an hour east of Brussels by train which hosts a gin-fuelled Hasselt Jeneverfeest weekend celebration in mid-October.

Free Gin Fountain

Although not everyone will appreciate a Gin large enough to climb in, you'll find hundreds of varieties of Genever and Gin, flavoured with every possible ingredient, and distilled in every possible way. October in Hasselt still might have some late summer sunshine, but there'll be enough of a chill in the evening to enjoy the warming effects of a few shots of gin - shaken not stirred, served neat - martini-style.

Never ones to avoid the opportunity for fine food and beverages, Belgians at the Jeneverfeest, not only enjoy street markets and stalls selling gin laced cookies, cakes and snacks, but also many tasting stands and bars.

Supported by local distillery Smeets, they even replace the water fountain with one that serves free gin for the duration of the festival. Check out details at the Hasselt Gin Museum (Jenevermuseum), Witte Nonnenstraat 19, 3500 Hasselt.

The festival runs on the 14/15 October. Take the Eurostar to Brussels from London, then change trains to go to Hasselt for the festival.

Find out more about #jeneverfeesten <here> or check out their facebook page <here>

Photos: Instagram and #jeneverfeesten

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