The global gin market is oversaturated, but there’s still plenty of space for Gin Mare (pronounced ‘mah-ray’). Meaning ‘sea’ in Spanish, Gin Mare is a Mediterranean gin, distilled using botanicals sourced from the region; including Spanish Arbequina olives, Greek thyme, Italian basil and Turkish rosemary.
Produced in Vilanova, a small Spanish fishing town near Barcelona, Gin Mare’s pot still is housed within an ex monk’s retreat, purchased by the Giro Ribot family during the 1950s. By this time, the family were already synonymous with wines and spirits, having launched GIN MG during the 1940s: one of Spain’s best selling gins. Some 60 years later, a new generation – brothers Mark and Manuel Jr – sought to produce an exciting new gin, collaborating with Global Premium Brands to create Gin mare in 2007.
Made in a custom designed still, Gin Mare blends individual distillations of Arbequina olives, rosemary, basil, cardamom, thyme and juniper berries with unusually soft skin. Each of these are steeped for at least 24 hours then individually distilled in neutral spirit. Separately, a citrus blend of lemon, sweet and bitter oranges is macerated for an entire year in neutral spirit, ensnared in large clay jars. Once each element is complete, all distillations are blended with more neutral spirit and water. Bottling then takes place on site, housing the gin in a weighty pyramid bottle with a cool blue tint.
Neat, Gin Mare is crystal clear and sticky. On the nose, elements of rosemary and resinous juniper are most prominent, leading a complex, herbaceous bouquet. Elsewhere, some trace basil and thyme aromas are present alongside notes of tomato plants, feint olive and perfume. Further juniper and rosemary are prevalent when sipped, balanced with some basil sweetness, zing of citrus zest, and – finally – some subtle olive flavours with slight salinity which continues into a lingering, savoury finish rife with thyme and olive.
An exciting savoury gin – Gin Mare is enjoyable sipped neat; paired with a dash of tonic, garnished with rosemary or orange peel (not lime); or as the base of various cocktails (see below). The gin’s savoury notes also lend exceptionally to a classic dry Martini, naturally embellished with a plump olive.
Gin Mare Med Fizz Easter Cocktail Recipe
“Gin Mare Med Fizz (photographed) is a unique twist on the classic cocktail Ramos Fizz. Enjoy the aromatic botanicals of Gin Mare with a perfect balance of sweet and sour, enhanced by a silky, creamy and velvety finish.”
40ml Gin Mare
10ml Overproof Rum
40ml White Crème de Cacao Liqueur
2 Dashes Orange Flower Water
2 Dashes Vanilla Extract
30ml Egg White
30ml Single or half & half cream
30ml 1724 Tonic Water
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
Add all ingredients, except the tonic, into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well & double strain into a highball glass. Top with tonic water.
Garnish with fresh rosemary and fresh moss.
Gin Mare is available from The Whisky Exchange, £37.45, 70cl.