Happy first anniversary at Dry Martini

Dry Martini BarcelonaTo celebrate my first anniversary blogging at Il Dolce Stilo, I decided to visit a very top and special place : Dry Martini.

This bar is owned by Javier de las Muelas, considered as one of the most prominent cocktail masters in the world.

With more the 30 years of history, Dry Martini is an icon in the Cocktail World. Its English style of a cocktail bar with leather sofas, dark wood and tons of different bottles; its art collection on the walls dedicated to his famous cocktail, its exquisite menu and its classic (and not so classic) cocktails has leaded Dry Martini to the list of the 50 best bars in the World!! Dry Martini Javier de las Muelas

My amazing gin tonic

My amazing gin tonic

This “must-visit” place in Barcelona has a unique enchantment and cozy atmosphere with an amazing know how in cocktails. Although you may assume that the drink to ask for is a Dry Martini (and it is) this bar is considered the third best gin bar in the world. I asked for an amazing gin which was masterly made and I totally support this title. (GIN LOVERS MUST TRY IT!)

Today, Dry Martini is considered one of the top 15 bars in the world, so make sure to visit it  when you come to Barcelona. Be sure to make a toast; mine was for a happy year blogging at Il Dolce Stilo…cheers!!!

DRY martini

 

 

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Gin Tasting

Pino GarciaA few posts ago, I shared with you my experience at Bobby Gin. Also, I promised I would go to one if it´s famous Gin tastings, well, here is how it went…

I organized the tasting with 9 friends from Barcelona, we were all eager for that day to come since we are all Gin Tonic lovers. The tasting started at 17:30 and it was guided by Alberto Pizarro, winner of the Best Bartender award at World Class Spain 2011, and a total guru when it comes to cocktails (and practically any beverage). A big table with lots of Gin brands welcomed us as we entered the saloon. I knew about 5 of them, mostly my basics: Gin Mare, Hendrick´s, Bulldog, Beefeater and Seagram’s.

Alberto Pizarro and me

Alberto Pizarro and me

It turns out I knew nothing about gin…The tasting started with a bit of history and facts about gin, meanwhile 8 Gin shots waited for us to try them one by one when their explanation moment came. For us to understand and feel the difference between each gin, there were several botanics like licorice powder, coriander seed, cardamom, lemon skin, and basil; smelling each one of them really helped me define each flavor among the 8 identical glasses I had in front.

The name gin is derived from either the French genièvre or the Dutch jenever, which both mean “juniper”, easy because Gin itself derives its main flavour from juniper berries. This tasting was not about brands at all, it was about flavors, different distillations, and the different tastes that the herbals provided.

The 8 different premium gins we tried were:Gin shot

  1. Ketel One Jenever- A Dutch jenever where the importance lies on the alcohol and not the botanics used
  2. Hayman’s 1820- A gin liquor with more than 100 grams of sugar per liter, a Pre-Victorian style of an English Gin. Amazing!!
  3. Plymouth- Earthy flavor, it had a great influence among the Royal Navy.
  4. Nº3- One of the most representative and classic London dry gins with a citric touch  and a dry finale.
  5. Seagram’s- Aged in barrells (just like Citadelle and Hayman’s 1850).
  6. Tanqueray Ten- This kind of gin promoted the actual culture and addiction to Gin&tonic/gintonic
  7. G’vine Nouaison- Revolutionary gin that uses grapes and flowers as a base. It´s very common in Fashion events.
  8. Gin Mare- Mediterranean Gin, it represents the wide range of the so called”author gin”. In it’s herbal aroma you may distinguish thyme, basil, rosemary and arbequina olives.

Gin tastingThe funny thing about gin tasting it´s that it has nothing to do with a wine tasting. Wine has to be profoundly smelled, you have to capture the aroma, perceive it´s movement and define it´s color. In a gin tasting you have to smell the glass real quick, just for a second, to catch the notes and give a gust of aroma. If you do it for more time, you´ll feel “alcoholized”, trust me.

I had never tried gin without tonic, but it was a good experience to feel it’s real flavor in mouth. There were some gins I’ll definitively try again and also some that I never will.

Gintonics

 

After an hour and a half of gin lessons, we were all invited to the bar to have a gin tonic, as I´ve said in my previous post, one of the best gintonics in town. Each one of them was carefully prepared boosting the herbal aroma and flavor in it, irreplaceable. To make the most of my visit and finish the tasting, I left myself to the expert hands of Alberto Pizarro and tried a personalized gin fizz for me, it was truly amazing!

I fully recommend you to try this experience and to do it with friends. Not only did we had an extremely fun and different afternoon, but we also had an excellent excuse to get together.

Friends and gin

It´s all about Gin

Bobby Gin

I have to confess that I´ve been a whisky drinker for a few years now, I was actually pretty sceptic of any other drinks, including Gin Tonic, until I found a place that changed this perspective in every aspect: Bobby Gin.

Located in Gracia’s heart, in Barcelona, Bobby Gin simply has “the thing”. It’s cocktail-dinner concept makes it suitable for a pleasant dinner with drinks, or an after dinner drink, or a pre dinner drink, it´s up to you.

Bobby GinIt’s name is inspired in Robert “Bobby” Gallower, an Englishman whose grandmother used to soak his dummy in her Gin Tonic to keep him from crying. That particular aspect provided the guideline for Bobby’s excellent taste when he moved to New York. He served gins tonics in a balloon glass and tried with several essences and spices to enhance the flavor, making him one of the best bartenders back then.

Bobby Gin“The perfect Gin Tonic does not exist” is Bobby Gin’s slogan. I wouldn´t be so sure about that, since this place has a wide variety of Gin Tonics to try: floral, herbals, citric, balanced (none of it´s elements stands out over another), spicy or vintage (with a more intense flavor); and you can choose from a menu of more than 50 Premium Gin labels: Beefeater, Gin Mare, Hendrick’s, Martin Miller’s, Bulldog, Tanqueray, Saffron, Ish, Master’s, Berkley Square…the possibilities are endless!

If you care to try something different, try the Ginfonk. I know, you might be wondering what on earth is this?! Ginfonks is the evolution of the Gin Tonic. Created by Bobby Gin, this beverage consists on adding infusions, herbal liquor or essences directly to the gin, only at the end you can add the tonic water. (Gin tonics have the essences/fruits and herbs added when the gin is already mixed with tonic).Captura de pantalla 2013-01-25 a la(s) 13.15.10

Not into Gin at all? Don’t worry! There are several other cocktails made by the bartender Franceso Giardina and Alberto Pizarro (worldwide winner of the Cocktail Theatre and the Stars 2011). Try a short drink like Fifty Miles (Bushmills Irish whiskey, Dolin Dry vermouth, pear juice and bitters), a long drink like Tokyo Blue (Ketel One vodka, Japan shochu, raspberry, lychee and lime juice  and roses). Not an alcohol drinker? How about a Ginger Mojito? (Ginger, lime, sugar, soda and mint).

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My suggestion would definitively be to try 12+1 Gin Tonic. Each month, Alberto Pizarro introduces 13 (12+1) new Gin Tonic proposals treated which special care. This concept gives each Gin Tonic a unique author touch, where unusual elements and flavors are added.

You can always have a nice dinner too, the marriage of beverages and meals are done perfectly to suit each plate you ask for.

Captura de pantalla 2013-01-25 a la(s) 13.13.39

Finally, my next step into this Gin Tonic experience will be to have a Gin tasting at Bobby Gin. For 90 minutes I´ll be introduced to the Gin world learning how to differ each aroma, taste, flavors and of course, how to make excellent Gin tonics to share with friends. I´ll let you know after I’ve had this tasting with every single detail! After all, it was Robert “Bobby” Gallower who said: “God Save the Gin”.

Restaurant images are courtesy of Pastor Heredia Studio.

www.bobbygin.comCaptura de pantalla 2013-01-25 a la(s) 13.16.25