There are few things that we enjoy more over here at Dapper Chapper HQ, than a nice and relaxing Gin and Tonic. No matter how stressful or hard your day has been, the right G&T can immediately make everything right in the world in an instant.
If you ask us there are very few drinks out there that are as refreshing and uplifting as this British classic. So it will come as no surprise that we also only want to use the best ingredients when we make our favourite drink…..there’s no cutting corners here, so there are only a select few brands that we would endorse as worthy of gracing your ice filled tumbler.
So forgive us if we were a little sceptical when we heard about Gin Mare (pronounced Mar-ray) – a Mediterranean Gin that boasts arbequina olive from Spain, thyme from Greece, basil from Italy and rosemary sourced from Turkey as it’s four principal botanicals. OLIVE! THYME! BASIL! ROSEMARY! Yes, you did read that correctly…it sounds more like the ingredients to a Jamie Oliver recipe than a Gin….but we thought we’d give it a try.
Gin Mare is a truly Mediterranean Gin – incorporating all local ingredients and produced in a small fishing village in the Costa Dorada. It’s ingredients do hark back to traditional Gins with a long list of more common botanicals – Juniper, Cardamom, Coriander Seed, Bitter Orange peel, Seville Orange peel and Lemon peel – all of which are individually distilled before eventually being combined.
The distillation process for the Citrus elements is particularly impressive, with each of them macerated individually for over 300 days in neutral 50% spirit (the rest of the ingredients are only macerated for 24-36 hours) before they are all individually distilled before being combined with more neutral spirit and water to create the finished Gin Mare product.
So, to the all important question – what does a Gin that’s made with ingredients you might expect to find on an Italian Stone Baked Pizza taste like. Well, the good news is, that somehow this unique combination of ingredients works…..and it works well.
Don’t expect a traditional tasting Gin, because you will be sorely disappointed – Gin Mare pushes the boundaries of what Gin can and should taste like. There is no denying that the four more unusual botanicals take centre stage with this drink. To the nose, the Rosemary and Juniper are particularly prominent, with the citrus and olive flavours obvious on the nose.
When sipping neat, the Rosemary again jumps to the top of the flavour profile, along with the other herbal elements and slightly savoury olive taste adding a completely unique element to it.
Overall, while being a long way away from what you’d expect from a traditional Gin, this really does work. The flavour profile does take a few sips to get used to, but eventually once you get used to the prominent Rosemary, Thyme and Juniper flavours, you’ll be happy to add this to your drinks cabinet – offering a little variety to your Gin options…something very few Gins can do.
While it’s definitely worth drinking this neat to get a full taste of its unique flavour profile, we’d also like to recommend this quite frankly incredible Triple Orange G&T.
Gin Mare Triple Orange G&T
50ml Gin Mare
200ml 1724 premium tonic water
1 bar spoon of bitter orange marmalade
5 dashes of orange bitters
1 orange twist
Stir the orange marmalade, orange bitters and Gin Mare together with a bar spoon.
Add ice and tonic water.
Garnish with an orange twist.
Gin Mare is available from selected Waitrose stores, Harvey Nichols and Oddbins (£36.95 70cl). Gin Mare can also be bought online at Thewhiskyexchange.com