Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?

posted in: Gin and Juniper | 0

It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini.

Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre for craft gin distilling. In fact, last year there were more than 240 gin distilleries listed in Scotland. And, when you think about it, why not.

Centuries of retained knowledge

The country is chock full of whiskey distilleries, with centuries of knowledge carefully contained in the minds of its famous distillers. And the country is rich in natural, exotic, local ingredients such as heather, honey, naturally foraged herbs (and even seaweed), which make this one of the most diverse gin landscapes in the world. Some are even run through whiskey casks to absorb some of the heavier whisky aromas, while others remain more true to the original London Dry.

Two spirits, one cocktail

So, how can we combine the rich tradition of whiskey making and the rich tradition of gin drinking in one simple recipe. Welcome to the Smoky Martini. This is a wicked combination of Scotch and gin. Basically it’s a Scottish version of a Dry Martini, but it replaces a drop of vermouth with a drop of Scotch whiskey. It’s a really relaxing drink – perfect for an after dinner tipple. But since it only has two main ingredients, you’d better make sure you use the good stuff. A premium gin such as Caorunn (paid link) or Isle of Harris gin would work well, but really it’s a matter of your own preferences. And for your whiskey, we recommend something smoky and peaty such as a Laphroaig (paid link) to give it just the right balance. It’s really easy to make and it tastes absolutely delicious. So, if you’re looking for a change this evening, whip out a Scottish gin, a Scottish whiskey and a Martini glass and make a toast to the glories of Scotland.

Or as they say in these parts, Slainte!


Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 oz premium Scottish gin
  • A dash of your favourite Scotch whiskey (the peatier and smokier the better!)
  • Lemon twist

Method:

  1. Gather the ingredients above
  2. Pour gin into a mixing glass, filled with ice
  3. Stir well
  4. Strain into a chilled Martini glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist

Slainte!


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?

Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail?

One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to dial up your taste sensation, you can add flavour to your syrup by simply adding extra ingredients of your choice while making it. Try flavouring it with mint leaves, citrus peel, ginger, elderflower, chili or blackcurrant. In fact, the possibilities are endless, so whatever floats your boat. If you’re into making cocktails with your gin, this is the ideal way to customise them to your tastes.

Keeping it sweet

Because it is a liquid sweetener, you can just pour it directly into your drink without the need to stir or heat the sugar – ideal to soften up the sharpness of a Tom Collins or to take the citrus edge off a French 75.  Plus, there’s one more advantage – keep your simple syrup in a bottle in the fridge (it should last a month or so). That way, it’s always handy for your impromptu cocktail making sessions. And remember, this is not just “gin juice”. You can also use it to sweeten up your favourite recipes, pour it straight into a long iced coffee or iced tea, just pour it into your morning cuppa when you run out of sugar.

Here’s an easy recipe for home made syrup.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½  cup of water

Steps:

  1. Add sugar and water to small saucepan on medium heat
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved and add flavouring (if desired)
  3. Allow to cool and decant into a glass jar or bottle
  4. Seal lid and leave in fridge
  5. Kept refrigerated

One batch of simple syrup will last for around one month and is sure to sweeten even the sourest of cocktails!


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

Basil Gimlet: a new twist on a classic cocktail

posted in: Gin and Juniper | 0

In our never-ending search for the perfect gin cocktail, we will spare no effort.  The Barcelona gin team (guided by our faithful gin dog, Ruddles) are constantly searching for new gins and out of the ordinary cocktail recipes that will elevate gin into a thing of pure beauty. And the wonderful thing about gin is that (unlike vodka) its unlimited flavour combinations and subtle infusions mean it is now one of the most versatile cocktail spirits out there. Gone are the days when we simply poured Gordons (paid link) into a gin and tonic with a few lumps of ice. These days, gin is high art.  It is now made from everything from cows milk to seaweed and infused with everything from chili peppers to lobster (yes, really!)

The current wave of talented mixologists know the subtle secrets and closely guarded flavour combinations that bring out the subtle aromas and complex flavours that modern gin now delivers.  Some of these can be extremely fancy (even, dare I say it, pretentious). But, whatever you think about fancy mixologists, they have livened up the gin scene dramatically over the last 5 years.  In fact, we are now only limited by our imagination.

Upgrading an iconic cocktail

But for some of us, we just keep going back to the classics. That’s why we want to share with you a simple recipe that offers a clever slant on an established classic gin cocktail.  Most of us will already be familiar with the iconic Gimlet, full of tart, limey acidity and lots of gin.  But here’s a nice twist on the original which softens the tartness by adding some simple syrup.  And a handful of muddled basil leaves gives it a lovely earth taste which counters some of the acidity. This is the perfect drink to bridge the gap between summer and winter – well worth a try.

Ingredients:

  • Basil leaves
  • 45 ml gin
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • 20 ml fresh lime juice

Method:

  • Muddle the Basil leaves, lime and simple syrup in a shaker
  • Add gin and fill to top with ice cubes
  • Shake for 10 seconds and strain into cocktail glass
  • Garnish with Basil leaf and serve

Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

Whitley Neill Scottish Raspberry gin: a real gin, bursting with red fruit

If any of you saw my post on our Facebook page the other day, you might know that I’m on a bit of a Whitley Neill tasting drive. I like their gins anyway, but this little bottle was courtesy of a lovely birthday gift from my sister. Well, I broke out the Whitley Neill Scottish Raspberry gin (paid link)  just the other day and I am pleased to report that it was absolutely delicious. Much better than I had expected. 

So, let me tell you all about it.

Powerful, but not overpowering

I know that Whitley Neill flavoured gins are not to everyone’s taste, but I love them. I think they’re  great value and in the past, they’ve come up with some really creative and unusual combinations.

These include rhubarb and ginger (paid link) and one of my favourites from last year, their Lemongrass and Ginger gin. So, when I opened the bottle, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. What I got was a big blast of raspberry on the nose, which I found powerful, not overwhelming – a very seductive start.  This is a full-on gin , sweet (but not too sweet!)

When I poured it (long) into my brand new Silent Pool gin tumbler (paid link), I could really smell the raspberry.

Then I loaded the glass up with giant ice cubes and filled it to the top with some standard Nordic Tonic Water. Finally, I added a slice of orange and took a long deep sip.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Big burst of “raspberry-ness”

I got a full on hit of pure Scottish raspberry – but not the kind of raspberry taste you get from a Raspberry Ripple ice cream. It was the kind you get from freshly picked raspberries from a hedgerow. It was packed full of delicious raspberry-ness. It tasted of lush, slightly over-ripe fruit, but it also had a little edge of bitterness which stopped it becoming a “bubble gum” gin.

A big blast of flavour opens the account, with a tangy fruity burst that lingers in the mouth.

The Scottish raspberries come through loud and clear and it doesn’t taste fake.

The guys at Whitley Neill have added coriander, licorice and hibiscus (amongst other botanicals) all of which give way to delicious red fruit. But it’s well balanced and not too much.

Whitley Neill first  introduced this mouth-watering gin to the Whitley Neill range in 2018 and, I’m pleased to say that it’s not as sweet as I had expected.

The perfect pour: At 43% ABV, they have not sacrificed strength or flavour. Whitley Neill seem to have the knack of producing  great gins at great prices. I highly recommend this one. Somebody has suggested that it tastes even better when paired with frozen raspberries and elderflower tonic.

I think I’ll have to give it a go.

www.whitleyneill.com

www.silentpoolgin.com


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

Spirit in the Sky: EasyJet and Fever-Tree team up with “premium gin bar” at 30,000 feet

posted in: Gin and Juniper, Gin the news | 0

Last month, I found myself on an EasyJet flight to London. I’d paid a few quid extra for some for a front row seat and was dreaming of my first gin and tonic as the cabin crew prepared their service. The nice flight attendant duly came to take my order and I asked what gin they had.

What happened next took me by surprise. “Which gin would you like, sir. I’ll bring you the gin menu”.

Gin menu? On EasyJet? I kid you not!

I was presented with a beautifully produced, well-designed, glossy bar menu featuring high class photos of their in-flight gin selection which included: Bombay Sapphire, Bloom, Hendricks and The Botanist (paid links). All 50 ml bottles. All paired with specially selected Fever Tree tonics. And all priced under 9 euros (including the tonic).

Now I know this isn’t cheap – but it is fun.

They even had a small section devoted to vodka and whiskey (but that’s for another blog!)

So, back to the gin.

I was thirsty, so I ordered two – Bloom and The Botanist.

According to their menu, The Botanist is: a “small batch Islay Dry gin, made with 22 hand-picked local botanicals, paired best with Fever Tree naturally light tonic”.

Despite the plastic airline glass, it tasted delicious – dry and fragrant and the lightness of the Fever Tree tonic gave it just the right amount of zest, while allowing the complex flavours from the botanicals to shine through on the palette. It worked a treat, so I thought I’d break out the second one.

This time, I ordered Bloom, described by EasyJet as: “refreshingly light and delicate, enriched with honeysuckle, chamomile and pomelo, paired best with Fever-Tree Elderflower tonic”.

This was a triumphant combination. The fruity notes from the gin were enhanced and enlivened by the subtle notes of elderflower from the tonic water, making it refreshingly easy to drink and the perfect accompaniment for my short journey between Barcelona and London.

Hats off to EasyJet and Fever-Tree for this aerial tribute to gin! – and for elevating my humble budget airline seat into a true luxury experience.

Who needs a business class seat with a budget bar service like that!!

 


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

Warm your cockles on a cold Autumn weekend with a Hot Gin Toddy – a hug in a mug!

Autumn is definitely in the air and we all know that Winter is just around the corner.

So, while you’re feeling the comforting crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet and before the cold Winter wind drives you towards the mulled wine, how about something a little different – a nice warming Hot Gin Toddy to get you through the weeks between now and Christmas.

Hot gin might sound a bit weird but it’s delicious.

Why not give it a try this weekend if you need a little “gin hug” to revive your spirits..

There are some great seasonal gin cocktail recipes that are perfect for the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. They are easy to make and guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out as the nights grow colder, longer and darker.

You can even drink them from a coffee cup – nobody will ever know!

Here’s one of our favourites, a simple recipe, full of Autumn goodness and gingery warmth.

Wrap up warm, put the kettle on and enjoy.

Hot Gin Toddy Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ginger tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 8 oz hot water
  • 1 lemon

Method:

Put all the ingredients in a mug.

Add 8 oz hot water.

Garnish with a cinammon stick.

Cheers!


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

Toto, our Barcelona gin joint of the month

posted in: Gin and Juniper | 0

Imagine if you could click those ruby slippers and transport yourself to a classic cocktail bar, with a great bartender, a nice selection of gins and the best almonds in town.

You’ve just landed at Toto – one of my favourite places to sip on a gin in Barcelona (and a great place to eat as well!).

Nestled on the corner of Valencia and Balmes (in Barcelona’s elegant Eixample district) and only a block away from Barcelona’s iconic Rambla Catalunya, this is one of the classiest bars in Barcelona. Inside, it’s all art deco and modernism with a classic bar with half a dozen barstools, a stunning and well stocked selection of bottles, antique mirrors and a fab wine and cocktail list.

But the king here is Mathias, their Argentinean bartender, who will mix you up a fabulous drink of your choice. Gins behind the bar include some of the classics – Monkey 47, Gin Mare, G-Vine, Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire.

They also have a delightful little gin trolley that they can wheel out to your table and mix right in front of you. G&Ts are served in giant Barcelona style Copas, ice cubes are round and large and you can choose from Schweppes or Fever Tree tonic to give it that extra fizz. But the star of the show here is the presentation – a beautiful selection of small glass jars adorn the bar and Mathias plunders these regularly to make sure that the ingredients – from dried rosemary to chili peppers, to burned orange peel adorn your drink in the prettiest way possible while adding a unique flavour and character to each drink.

It can take a bit of time to mix one of these babies up, but it’s well worth the wait. Order up a G&T, soak up a little of that fabulous classic cocktail bar atmosphere, listen to the jazzy soundtrack and order a little plate of snacks. Their almonds are delicious, but then so is their cheese, locally sourced dried sausage and giant, juicy olives (in a jar the size of a small child, tantalisingly perched on the edge of the bar).

If you don’t fancy a G&T, then there’s a nice selection of cocktails on offer here – some gin-based and some not, but all good. Ask Mathias for a Lost in Caribbean Sea – they are to die for.  Officially, this is a vodka based drink, but ask him to substitute gin and it becomes the perfect gin cocktail. Spiced up with ginger and dried chilli peppers, it has a lovely sweet/spicy kick that’s a great way to start or end the evening.

This is a great place to sit at the bar and soak up a little classic 1920’s ambiance.

It must be good, since I sat next to Bono at the bar after a U2 gig last year. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.

For more information about Toto, click here:


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

5 beautiful gin bottles

posted in: Gin and Juniper, Gin the news | 0

We all know that gin is a thing of beauty, but beauty exists not only on the inside but the outside too.

Packaging is increasingly important as the gin revolution gathers pace, so here are our top 5 gins that both look good and taste good.

Let us know what you think are the most beautiful bottles out there and send us some pictures.

Here’s our personal top 5.

1. Silent Pool gin

A  true work of art, it reflects the colours of the legendary pool itself, nestled in the Surrey Hills in the south of England.

A pale blue wash on the bottle and a stunningly embossed exterior etched with bronze Autumn leaves (like the pool itself), it’s a real stunner. Plus, they do beautiful copa glasses to match!


2. GINRAW

As befits a city with Barcelona’s design heritage, this bottle breaks the rules with its elegant shape, subtly frosted exterior, hand-made ash wood stopper and aluminium ring to top it all.

This is a modern design classic and will stand out on any gin bar.


3. Opihr 

A bulbous, squat, rounded bottle with a richly coloured exterior with gold and purple and a gold cord around the top, there’s something “fez like” about this presentation.

Eye-catching, exotic and bold, it makes a statement, and that statement is “drink me”.


4. Beefeater 24

Its confident straight lines, heavy glass base and big blob of red glass anchoring its bottom, this is a gin bottle that looks stunning.

With a little light shining from behind and that red blob, it always reminds me of a lava lamp from the 60s.

A bottle fit for a cocktail bar (and a great gin as well).


5. Saffron 

A classic French bottle that feels like it’s been made for an 18th century pharmacy.

But the real star of the show is the golden orange saffron colour of the gin itself. Liquid gold, this one lets the gin do all the talking.


What’s the prettiest bottle of gin you ever saw?

Drop us a line or even better, post a photo in Instagram tagging @barcelonagincommunity and mentioning #myfavouriteginbottle.


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

Top 5 gin drinking countries in the world: prepare to be surprised!

posted in: Gintriguing facts | 0
  1. The Philippines tops the list drinking a massive 1.4 litres of gin per person per year (almost 6 times as much per head than the USA)
  2. Slovakia comes in an impressive second place in the gin drinking table, clocking up an impressive 1.2 litres per person per year
  3. The Netherlands lands at number 3 with around one standard 70cl gin bottle per person consumed every year
  4. Spain is in 4th place and consumption is on the rise, driven by its leading role in the gin revolution, its huge copa glasses and its dramatic garnishes, Spain has elevated drinking gin in to an art form
  5. The UK comes in at a lowly number 5. Despite being synonymous with all things gin. Brits drink around 400 ml of gin per person, per year. However, let’s put this in some sort of perspective. I have many friends who could easily quaff that much in an afternoon

Guardar


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued

100 years of gin making in Menorca: Spanish gin, the old-fashioned way.

posted in: Gin of the month | 0

Most gin lovers have already heard of Gin Mare (paid link) – probably the best known of the Spanish brands. But Spain, having changed the way the world thinks of gin, is now starting to discover a range of new gin brands to add to its traditional gin distilleries. This new attention is also helping to revive the fortunes of some older Spanish gin brands that have been around for a long time.

One of these is Gin Xoriguer, made by Destilerias Xoriguer on the tiny and beautiful island of Menorca, set like a glittering jewel in the beautiful Balearics – it’s the perfect setting for a gin and tonic.

Gin and Menorca

Not something you would always connect, but there is a reason why this little distillery exists.

In the mid-18th century, Menorca was briefly under Dutch and British rule and the locals were encouraged to make gin to keep the naval forces happy. At one stage, there were 5 distilleries on the island, producing a diverse range of gins, but now there’s just one.

In 1910, master distiller Miguel Gusto established a little distillery on the harbour front of Mahon and the Xoriguer distillery is still making 60,000 litres of Mahon gin every year along with a couple of budget gins and almost a dozen local island liqueurs.

Tasting notes

This local gin doesn’t get much airplay outside of the island and is heavily juniper dominant. In fact, that’s the only botanical they use in their domestic version. The berries, hand picked from the Pyrenees, are stored in hampers for a couple of years to concentrate the oils before being macerated and added to the neutral grape based spirit.

While the ingredients and the process are simple and the product perhaps lacks some of the complexity of a Monkey 47 or a Silent Pool, it packs a big juniper punch with a hint of pine sap and a soft, oily palate. Peppery and with a hint of tobacco, it’s a great drink to sip on while watching the sun set over the Mediterranean, nibbling on local cheese and sucking on plump, juicy giant olives.

Drink it with tonic, by all means.

But to drink it like a local, have a “Pomada”, traditionally made by mixing the gin with freshly squeezed local lemon juice. And at only 38% ABV, you can afford to have a couple of them!

 


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

  • Prawn scampi: made with gin!
    Some things are made for each other. Let’s face it, where would gin be without tonic? Where would fish be without chips? Where would salt be without pepper? But what if we could have the best of all worlds and use our favourite drink to make one of our favourite dishes. As the current gin … Continued
  • Glasgow’s Gin Spa: the ultimate indulgence
    Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we came across Glasgow’s amazing Gin Spa. We’ve seen gin bars, gin buses, gin cruises and gin hotels. But this is the first time that we’ve ever seen a Gin spa – and we want to book now. If you’re into massage and are partial to a … Continued
  • Scottish Gin Day: Smoky Martini, anybody?
    It’s time to celebrate International Scottish Gin Day. And there’s no better way to do that than by raising a glass and sipping on a Smoky Martini. Over the last few years, Scotland has had a real gin renaissance. The country most associated with Scotch whiskey is now building a huge reputation as a centre … Continued
  • Simple syrup: what is it and why do I need it?
    Ever struggle to get sweetness into your cocktail? One of bartending’s greatest secrets is simple syrup and just as it says on the tin, it’s really simple. If you’re into cocktails, always have a supply of this available in your fridge. It will be the best thing you ever did. Plus, if you want to … Continued