Jenevers (aka Dutch gin, genever or junever) are a distant variety of gin on which the modern London dry gin is believed to have been based when first distilled, having the same base ingredient yet varying slightly in the minor ingredients, probably due to the availability of certain ingredients in Holland and Belgium as in comparison to the UK.
Jenever is believed to have been invented in Holland during the 16th century by a prestigious chemist, Sylvius de Bouve, and was sold with as a remedy against various afflictions which were common at the time.
Unlike Holland gin, London gin wouldn't appear till nearly one century later, also being rather common for it to be sold as a remedy for such different medical problems as lumbago or gallstones. Yet the real boom received by gin in Great Britain would be the arrival on the throne of William of Orange, that was also the ruler of the Dutch republic.
Overseas and known brands
Over the past four centuries different jenevers brands have become a common drink in Holland and Belgium, yet they have only received minor success over seas, with only South Africa, an old dutch colony among its consumers. Some of the best known genevers spirits are Bols and Loos.
In that same period London dry gin has spread all over the world, becoming a spirit which is drunk by many people and used in many cocktails, to such an extent that brands like Gordon's, Tanqueray and Beefeater as some of the best known of all types of spirits.
The cocktails made with these two variants of gin are many, because despite that it's little known among the general consumers, the different jenevers are spirits that are actually rather well known among barmen, being used in such cocktails as the Holland Martini, Carla or Dutch Trade Winds.
London dry gin is also commonly used to make some of the best known cocktails as can be asserted by Bloodhound, London Fog, Pink gin or the White lady.
To sum up, despite the direct difference in recipe which now clearly marks the difference between jenevers and London dry, it has to be said that they both owe one another quite a lot. We recommend that if you get the chance you don't miss the opportunity to taste these great drinks.