First, a little bit of history… Gin, or jenever as it was originally known, is an aromatic liquor flavoured with juniper berries. Since its origins as a medicinal drink in the Middle Ages, the British love of gin spread to its naval base in port Mahon, Menorca and before long, Spain was producing its own version of the drink and is now among the biggest consumer of gin in Europe.
Gin Xoriguer is a celebration of gin’s unmistakable fragrance and versatility with a Spanish twist. Xoriguer is the most popular Spanish gin on the market and is at the core of the classic Menorcan Pomada cocktail – a mixture of gin and lemonade over ice.
The traditional pairing for Spanish gin is tonic, a carbonated beverage flavoured with quinine. Capture the vibrancy of Spain with our top tips for making the perfect Spanish style gin and tonic.
So, let’s get to it. Here are our top tips and essentials to making the best Spanish Gin and Tonic:
First thing’s first: the glass is as important as the drink it contains. For an authentic Spanish gin, use the balloon-shaped Copa Balon glass. Bulbous and with a glass stem, the Copa Balon dates back to the 1700s and is from the Basque region in Northern Spain. Its unique design helps to trap the aromas of the gin and has plenty of necessary space for ice and garnish.
The size and temperature of the ice is also very important for getting that perfect gin Mahon natives would be proud of. Larger ice cubes will melt slower, keeping your drink cold for longer without diluting it so you’ll really be able to taste the quality of the gin.
The most important aspect of the drink in all its herbaceous glory is of course the gin. To buy Spanish gin that truly captures authentic Spanish gin culture, treat yourself to a bottle of Xoriguer. Achieve the perfect balance of a Spanish G&T by adding a quarter of gin to three-quarters tonic to your copa glass. Remember, though, that ultimately, he measurement is up to you and will depend on how you’re feeling that day!
As the tonic amounts to three-quarters of the G&T, it should be top quality. Stick to traditional, unflavoured tonic waters so as not to mask the subtle notes of the garnish. The luxurious new 1783 range from Schweppes combines classic flavours with contemporary innovations from expert craftsmen to produce exquisitely balanced cocktails. Pair Gin Xoriguer with Schweppes’ premium 1783 Crisp tonic to experience the original fragrance and punch of a traditional Menorcan gin.
This is the bit where you can get adventurous. Satisfy all the senses by completing your Xoriguer Mahon gin with the perfect garnish. For something refreshing and citric, you can’t go wrong with a classic lemon twist. To bring warmth and spice to your palette, orange peel, star anise and cinnamon are a delicious option. Alternatively, Menorca gin lends itself well to a delicately floral G&T: add some fresh herbs such as thyme, lemon peel and edible flowers for a botanic flourish. Xoriguer gin is made with local juniper and herbs, so adding some freshly crushed juniper berries will enhance the natural essence of your G&T.
50ml Xoriguer Gin
Schweppes 1783 Crisp Tonic Water
Lemon twist or wedge of lemon to garnish
5 Juniper berries
Start by rubbing very quickly the rim of the glass with some lemon peel. The oils in the lemon zest will flavour the glass.
It’s crucial to get your glass as cold as possible by initially stirring a few ice cubes around the glass to chill it. Drain out any excess water.
Fill the glass with plenty of cold ice.
Add the gin, then the tonic pouring it very slowly over a bar spoon to avoid losing all the carbonation.
Finally, stir the drink very gently before adding the lemon twist and the juniper berries freshly crushed.