Gin Mare with Tonic
Gin Mare is as original as it is unmistakable. It speaks of the Mediterranean with botanical notes of juniper, thyme, rosemary, basil, arbequina olives and lemon and orange peel.
Here are two ways to prepare a gin and tonic with Gin Mare:
a) The simplest is to put ice in a wide glass, and add a bottle cap of gin. Stir in a simple tonic (which doesn’t have competing aromas) like Fever Tree or Schweppes and enjoy.I like this version which leaves out superfluous ingredients and decorations that the gin itself already has.
b) But if you want to be fancy, put a match to a bouquet of rosemary, and smoke an upturned wide glass with care. After 3 or 4 minutes, right the glass and add the ice, a bottle cap with Gin Mare and decorate with a bouquet of rosemary and some basil leaves. Add a couple of slithers of de-pithed orange or lime peel and finally your tonic (Fever Tree or Schweppes). Stir and enjoy.
Price: 30-40 euros.
Vi “Glass” Gewürztraminer Gramona Wineries, D.O. Penedes
Ice wine (Eiswein) is highly regarded in Germany where it is made from grapes that remain on the vine until after the first frost. After they freeze, grapes are harvested and ice wine is made.
As Penedés isn’t very cold, the freezing of the grapes happens in the winery rather than on the vine. This is achieved by using liquid nitrogen, usually more home to prestigious avant-garde kitchens than wine bodegas! After pressing, the must remains in stainless steel tanks for two and a half months for fermentation. It is then bottled where it will stay for up to ten years.
A very concentrated wine is obtained, which is sweet but refreshing at the same time. Tasting notes: exotic fruits, mango, apricot, orange blossom, lychee. Ideal for pairing with foie and cheese or all types of desserts, especially chocolate ones.
Price: 15-20 euros (but keep in mind that it is a 37.5 cl bottle).
For a change from the classic sangria recipe, here’s one made from cava. There are loads of recipes for this fizzy punch as everyone prepares it in their own way. Have a go at creating your own!
1 bottle of cava (I recommend a Cava Brut Nature)
1 can of orange soda
1 can lemon soda
10 cl of Brandy
10 cl of an orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Manier)
Fresh mint leaves
2 pieces of peach in syrup (cut into small pieces)
Slice of pineapple or other types of season fruit (strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, cherries)
4 or 5 slices of lime and orange
2 slices of fresh ginger.
1 stick of cinnamon stick
2 pieces of star anise.
Cut the fruit into a large bowl and add the brandy and orange liqueur then leave to marinate for a few hours.
Add the cava just before serving. Without bubbles, sangria cava loses all jollity.
Add a little sugar to taste and ice cubes to chill.
Quintaluna White Wine Ossian Vides and Wines, Nieva (Segovia)
Quintaluna is made with grapes from different plots in the north of the province of Segovia. This wine is a shining example of Segovian Verdejo.
Quintaluna grapes are harvested by hand. After passing through the selection table, they are de-stemmed and gently pressed. Fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. For the next nine months, part of the wine elaboration remains in these same tanks on its lees while other elaborations are moved to foudre vats and barrels.
Tasting notes: A greenish-yellow wine with greenish touches. Aromas of flowers and hints of citrus and fresh herbs. The project is part of the prestigious Pago de Carraovejas winery from Valladolid.
Price: 13-15 euros.
Sentia Gaba Spirit
In my seasonal role of Santa I have handed out many gifts in the past few weeks. But I was on the receiving end of one that absolutely stumped me. Two bottles of Sentia Gaba Spirit (Black and Red).
As it is not a Spanish drink it should not probably be included in this series but as I believe this concoction will revolutionize the alcoholic beverages market, I’ve decided to make an exception.
The makers claim that their new drink produces the relaxing and disinhibiting effects of alcohol, but without the usual negative effects, such as hangovers, because it is alcohol-free.
I prepared a gin and tonic with Sentia Rojo (50 ml of Sentia, 150 ml of tonic and ice). It tastes like an alcoholic drink similar to the bitter in Campari or Aperol which I found pleasant.
The Sentia Negro, however, did not convince me as its licorice flavor predominates.
The manufacturers promise that they will introduce new flavours soon. I recommend a visit to learn more about this drink:
And here are a few more links about it: