Nowadays, the question is which gin and what tonic?
A Little History #
Gin has shaken off its downmarket ‘mother’s ruin’ image and is back to being as popular as it was in the 1800s when a pint of gin was cheaper than a pint of beer. There is a whole range of gins to choose from; grapefruit, seaweed, nettle, saffron, baked apple & salted caramel, even Yorkshire Tea Gin – I kid you not!
Our neighbour, Menorca, is more famous for producing gin, thanks to the British occupation of the island. When the British Fleet arrived in the 1700s they brought their gin-distilling with them and today Xoriguer gin is made in Mahon port and exported all over the world.
So being 300 years behind, Mallorca is playing catch-up when it comes to producing gin. But, once again, we can thank the Brits for bringing gin to the Med. A couple from Newcastle in England, Bryon and Amber, together with master distiller James Gibbon, spent six months perfecting PALMA GIN at the Mallorca Distillery. Using natural, local ingredients including wild flowers and fresh citrus fruits, coriander, cardamom, licorice, cassia bark, wild lavender, almond flowers, and juniper berries they have created a dry gin with a delicate smooth finish.
Who's Making Gin Today? #
Probably one of the best known local island gins comes from Llucmajor. GIN EVA has been around since 2014 and is the product of husband and wife team Stefan Winterling and Eva Maier who adapted their wine-making skills to creating gin, first in their kitchen and then a 150-litre copper still in the distillery. Only 70 bottles are made by entirely hand in each batch, using wild juniper from the dunes of Es Trenc beach and water from the Sierra Tramuntana. Each bottle is lovingly labelled with a handwritten note of the month and year it was made.
One of the newest newcomers is MERCANT GIN which began producing bottles from the small Llubi-based Pareis Distillery in May 2018. This gin is also totally made by hand including the bottling and each bottle features a unique label and stopper made from real wood. The experts say that it tastes better with a slice of orange rather than lemon.
And finally in the rather uninspiring streets of the Son Castello industrial estate you will find the family run distillery that produces DOS PERELLONS gin. This comes in distinctive blue and pick bottles which look like perfume bottles. They recommend that you drink this gin with either tonic, or the local liquor Palo – which they also produce.
Yet more gins are being made on the island including Can Gourmet Fig Gin, Cabraboc Gin and Onze London Dry Gin which is produced at the Can Vidalet Bodega in Pollensa.
Last Call #
Whichever local gin your choose you can be sure of one thing: Here on Mallorca, you get will a decent measure of G to your T.
30 January, 2021