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Weduwe Joustra Beerenburg
Bottle of Sonnema Berenburg

Beerenburg (West Frisian: Bearenburch) is a Dutch drink, made by adding herbs to jenever, with about 30% alcohol.[1]

The original Beerenburg was made in the mid-19th century with a secret mixture of spices made by the Amsterdam spice merchant Hendrik Beerenburg, to whom it owes its name.[1] Soon local Beerenburg varieties emerged, each with its own recipe. These were, however, not allowed to use the name Beerenburg, which is why there are variations on the spelling, such as Berenburg and Berenburger.

Despite the Amsterdam (North-Holland) origin of Beerenburg, the drink became the most popular in Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe. Related to Italian amaro.[2]

In the European Union, Beerenburg classifies as a spirit drink.[3]


Old building of the distillery F.J. Sonnema in Dokkum

Some famous brands of Beerenburg are Bokma, Sonnema (Dokkum), Weduwe Joustra (Sneek), Plantinga (Bolsward) – all in from Friesland. And Hooghoudt Kalmoes, from Groningen.


  1. ^ a b "Using Beerenburg for your cocktail". Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  2. ^ Wilson, Jason (2010). Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. p. 63. ISBN 9781580082884. berenburg.
  3. ^ "Annex II". REGULATION (EC) No 110/2008 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89. 13 February 2008. p. 29. Retrieved 30 September 2013.