The premium spirit segment has gained ground in recent years in consumption terms, both in and outside of the home. The new gin and tonic culture has driven an increase in modern locales with an extensive menu of carefully-prepared mixed drinks.
Verónica Martos. Journalist. @martosveronica
"The Perfect Serve" has become something of a ritual in which the gin's best nuances are brought to the fore. Juniper berries with lime, a twist of lemon with raspberry, and cinnamon and licorice are some of the ingredients used to prepare a perfect gin and tonic. Most of these gin bars generally respect each gin's tasting notes, and drink preparation has become a ceremony in itself.
Spain, which has traditionally been a nation of whiskey drinkers, has moved up the ranks in the last year to become number three worldwide in gin consumption. Clear liquors like gin and vodka have been gaining ground in the local market. According to the report on spirits consumption drafted by the Spanish Spirits Federation (FEBE), gin drinking exceeds 22 million liters per annum and is the third most-consumed distilled spirit in Spain, after whiskey and rum, with a market share of 12.81% (2011 data). Gin consumption has increased in Spain to 0.6 liters per person, ranking it third worldwide in terms of sales. The Philippines takes first place, with 1.4 liters per person, and the US comes in second. The global average is 0.44 liters per capital.
The gradual increase in gin consumption among Spaniards has led to the emergence of gins and tonics of various flavors and aromas, and new products on the market greatly increase the drink's possible combinations. Moreover, in view of the tremendous growth in top-shelf gin consumption in Spain, producers are eagerly promoting their gins for the most discerning palates. Among these new launches, Spanish brands have made a name for themselves with excellent quality, distinctly-flavored products.
High-end vodkas have also really taken off. Watch this space for an article on that sector in the near future.
Gin Mare (Global Premium Brands)
Type: Super Premium Mediterranean Gin
Preparation: Gin Mare is made with four main botanicals: rosemary, Arbequina olives, thyme and basil, and four additional botanicals: juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom and citrus peels. They are macerated and distilled separately to isolate each note and refine the composition.
Tasting notes: Refreshing, Mediterranean notes which distinguish it from the dryness of other, more classic gins. Intense juniper aromas, with vegetable and herbaceous notes and a touch of citrus. Smooth, creamy, with a fresh, sharp and spicy flavor.
Tonic: Blue Tonic.
Only® Premium Gin (Destilerías Campeny)
Type: Premium Gin. Aromatized.
Preparation: Produced with 100% grain spirit, Only® Gin Premium is infused with a selection of flowers which give it that a special touch: juniper berries, jasmine, lemon balm, hibiscus, violet, rose petals, mallow, lavender, pansies, veronica and orange blossom.
Tasting notes: It is very aromatic, with sweet and floral notes and clear juniper attributes. A range of floral nuances and slight citric notes are especially noticeable. It is fresh, elegant and fine. Silky, rounded and with character, this gin opens slowly to reveal spicy notes that are very well balanced. The finish is long, clean and very pleasant, marked especially by sweet and perfumed notes.
Tonic: Fever Tree.
Tann's (Destilerías Campeny)
Type: Premium Gin. London Dry.
Preparation: Produced with 100% grain spirit, it combines a predominant flavor of juniper berries with a triple infusion of 10 botanicals, which give it a special and refined touch.
Tasting notes: Aromatically speaking, it is complex and perfumed. The alcohol is softly integrated. Juniper, botanical and citric notes. Thick and delicate aroma where botanicals mix in harmony. The cardamom and coriander are especially notable, as are notes of licorice. It is energetic in the mouth and is dry but has a subtle enveloping sensation. The finish is fresh and slightly bitter, with hints of cucumber.
Tonic: Tónica 1724
Rives Premium (Rives Pitman)
Type: Premium Gin. London Dry.
Preparation: The process includes double distillation to obtain a pure neutral alcohol, to which 11 botanicals are added. A third and final distillation is performed, of which only the central part is used.
Tasting notes: In terms of aromas, this gin has clean scents, smooth complexity and notes of juniper. On the palate, the aftertaste is fresh and personal with a predominance of toasted almonds.
Gin M5 (Vinícola Real)
Type: Super Premium Gin
Preparation: It is made with the highest-quality English and Spanish grain alcohols, and is distilled up to 6 times using 20 different botanicals to obtain a unique gin which satisfies the most demanding drinkers.
Tasting notes: It is blue and highly transparent with a strong, complex, expressive and very elegant aroma and notes of quality juniper, blending together an endless mix of aromatics (citrus, spices, and floral). On the palate it is elegant, pleasant, complex and very tasty, as well as silky, long and enveloping. It has notes of juniper, citric peels, aromatic herbs and a spicy touch, and a persistent finish.
Tonic: Ledger's Mandarina