Inspired by history and the opportunity to use bolder flavors, a growing number of American distillers have added genever-inspired spirits to their lineups. That\u2019s right: genever inspired.\r\n\r\nGenever, the malt-based botanical spirit that resembles a cross between whiskey and gin, can be made only in a specific area that covers the Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of France and Germany. This requirement has earned genever the nickname \u201cHolland gin.\u201d\r\n\r\nJust like American distillers that make single-malt whiskey that\u2019s not classified as Scotch because it\u2019s not made in Scotland, these producers makes faux-genever.\r\n\r\nBut why? Some distillers love that genever toes the line between mellow whiskey and botanical gin. Based in Denver, Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse claims its spicy, citrusy version is \u201ca gin for the whiskey drinker,\u201d a characterization shared by many other producers.\r\n\r\nIt also provides the opportunity to play up botanicals like regional fruit or nuts. Compared to the pine-like juniper blast that marks London Dry-style gin, genever typically allows flavors like lemon peel and cherry back a chance at the spotlight.\r\n\r\nOthers are drawn by the historical aspect. Genever was made by early American settlers who sought to recreate their favorites from Europe. New York Distilling Company, based in Brooklyn, New York, partnered with a drinks historian to find a colonial-era ingredient list. Similarly, Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh relied upon vintage distillers\u2019 guides to make its genever riff.\r\n\r\nHere are several versions to seek out. While all nod to genever for inspiration, none can use the name. But the contortions that these American distillers have gone through to land on an original name are almost as entertaining as their genever-inspired spirits.\r\n\r\n\r\nChief Gowanus New Netherland Gin\r\n New York Distilling Company, Brooklyn, NY\r\nThe recipe, created with help from drinks historian David Wondrich, is based on what Dutch settlers distilled when they first settled in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, says co-founder/distiller Allen Katz. \u201cThey were looking for ingredients to make \u2018genever,\u2019 but found an abundance of rye, which they ultimately distilled with juniper berries and hops,\u201d he says. The rye spirit is then barrel-aged for at least three months but up to nine.\r\nDeerhammer Dutch Style Gin\r\nDeerhammer Distilling, Buena Vista, CO\r\nThis is the only gin made by this craft producer, which otherwise focuses on grain-to-glass single-malt whiskeys. \u201cQuite honestly, it is the only gin we have ever wanted to make,\u201d says Amy Eckstein, co-owner/founder of Deerhammer. Like its whiskeys, the spirit starts with a base of 100% malted barley, which is infused with 15 botanicals like coriander, chicory, coconut, grapefruit and cacao nibs. \u201cWe love the way the malt base contributes to the spirit,\u201d she says, as it adds a richness that\u2019s missing typically from American gins.\r\n\r\n\r\nFEW American Gin\r\nFEW Spirits, Evanston, IL\r\n\u201cWe make a genever-style gin because it\u2019s different,\u201d says Paul Hletko, founder of FEW. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot of great London Dry gins on the market and fantastic American Dry gins, but not as many genever-style. So we tried to create our own American style inspired by genever.\u201d The small-batch spirit has a robust, earthy core highlighted by banana-like fruitiness and a spicy finish.\r\nFreeland Spirits Geneva\r\nFreeland Spirits, Portland, OR\r\nReleased in May, this spirit starts with Oregon-grown rye, while Willamette Valley hazelnuts gives it a warming, nutty tinge. Freeland\u00a0Spirits\u00a0founder/CEO Jill Kuehler and master distiller Molly Troupe created the historically inspired\u00a0spirit\u00a0as a window into their future whiskey programs. They even traveled to the Netherlands to get feedback on experimental batches and taste different styles of authentic genever. \u201cWe can\u2019t wait to show the folks here how it\u2019s done in Amsterdam,\u201d says Troupe.\r\n\r\n\r\nGeni\u00e8vre Gin\r\nIronton Distillery, Denver\r\n\u201cA gin for the whiskey drinker\u201d is how Ironton describes its genever-style gin. Compared to the distillery\u2019s flagship Ponderosa gin, which co-owner/founder Kallyn Romero describes as dry, floral and piney, Geni\u00e8vre is \u201ca little sweeter, with lots of spice and citrus.\u201d Why attempt a genever? \u201cWe like to gather inspiration and ideas from outside of the U.S.,\u201d says Romero. Ironton\u2019s portfolio also includes an aquavit, and it\u2019s also working on a shochu.\r\nGenevieve Genever-Style Gin\r\nHotaling & Co., San Francisco\r\nThe base of this spirit is pot-stilled from equal parts wheat, barley and rye malts, then infused with 12 botanicals that include lemon peel and cardamom. The result is pungent, herbaceous and malty, with a hint of anise on the finish. A golden, barrel-aged version is also available, which layers on warm honey and spice-box tones.\r\n\r\n\r\nTamworth Garden Dutchess Gin\r\nTamworth Distilling, Tamworth, NH\r\nThe wry \u201cDutch\u201d in \u201cDutchess\u201d says it all. This genever-inspired spirit debuted in the spring as part of the distiller\u2019s Tamworth Garden gin line. The barrel-aged gin was engineered to be on the sweeter side, with candied fruit notes. To that end, the botanical blend includes cherry bark, orange rind, apple pomace and raspberry. For now, it\u2019s only available in the tasting room.\r\nWigle Dutch Style Gin\r\nWigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh\r\nAs the distillery\u2019s name suggests, Wigle is best known for whiskey, not gin. \u201cWe're determined for our products to express their regionality and the terroir of western Pennsylvania, so it made a lot of sense for us to produce a gin that featured the beautiful malts, earthy ryes and soft wheats we get from our local farms,\u201d says Meredith Grelli, co-owner/co-founder of Wigle. Another factor was the discovery of vintage distillers\u2019 guides for Dutch-style or Holland gins. The substantial, flavorful base is filled out by a triumvirate of lavender, cardamom and cubeb berry. The bottling was named \u201cGinever\u201d originally, but regulators demanded the name be changed.