Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gin Mare with Barcelona Shadows

I don't know why it came as a surprise to me to learn that gin was a huge thing in Spain, but it turns out they're Europes biggest gin drinkers (bigger than Britain which was specifically what surprised me) and they're serious about their tonic too. With that in mind, not having a Spanish gin around the place would be seriously remiss.

The easily available, and excellent, if slightly extravagent option is Gin Mare. It's a gin that pushes the boundaries of what gin is with rosemary, thyme, olive, and basil amongst the botanicals. It's deeply rooted in the area it comes from (just outside of Barcelona) and the history of Spanish gin. It's distinctive enough to stand out from the crowd - it really does taste distinctly Mediterranean in character and has a certain savoury quality about it that makes it an acceptable match with tapas. It's also a splendid excuse to go all Spanish with the garnishes (there's more to this than the choice between lemon or lime)...
I know almost as much about Spanish literature as I do Spanish gin (which is at least an invitation to drink and read more widely on my part) but even if I'm selecting from a very small choice 'Barcelona Shadows' by Marc Pastor is an attractive option. Warm August nights are not the worst time to be reading darkly gothic horror, or drinking well iced gin-tonic. Maybe it's the contrast between sultry air and well iced gin, dark subject matter and a clean crisp spirit, it certainly helps that the flavours in the gin echo the culinary produce of the region. It's just faintly exotic and that too, in its way feeds back into the book.


  1. I never knew about Spain and gin either - how interesting!

    1. Thinking about the climate it makes sense, so I don't know why it surprised me - I guess my image of gin is very homegrown.

  2. I'm sure I read on some foodie site about this gin used in a martini with very dry sherry in place of vermouth. It sounds like a tasty 'neat' gin too *adds to now hopelessly long wishlist*

  3. Another good thing about doing this is that I'm finally coming to believe I may have enough gin in the house. The ones I've picked are the ones which have come my way but it's a big gin world out there and there's always more to explore.

  4. I believe that I am now overwhelmed by the world of gin!

  5. I'm getting that way myself, but there are still a few I really want to write about...