GREEN SPICE DRY GIN
The story of this Gin begins in Barcelona, the city of Eva’s birth. In June 2017 we met with Ingo Holland, from the “Altes Gewürtzamt”. A former Michelin- starred chef who is now one of Germany’s most important spice dealers. There is hardly any TV cooking show where you don´t see his green coloured spice cans. Ingo stands for the best in quality and he has an amazing talent for combining flavours. He is also a family friend with his company being located in my father’s home town of Klingenberg in Franconia, Germany.
Together with a Swiss distiller he recently distilled a Gin called GINGO and I must admit that I was eager to start a project with him as well.
We met at Sagardi, a great pintxos place in Barcelona’s El Born district and had a bottle of Txakoli. After a relaxed conversation we left without having talked about Gin!
At home it was bothering me that I hadn’t brought up my idea of making a Gin together, so I emailed him. He instantly answered that he had a great idea for a Gin on the plane on his way home. We started sharing ideas and within two hours we were planning to distil a Gin using only green botanicals.
The good thing about having a brainstorming on What’s app is that later you can go back and read through:
Ingo: we could distil the Gin and later steep Kombu in it
Ingo: sea weed, contains lots of iodine
Stefan: salty sea weed sounds exciting, we should try that
Ingo: we also could use Sencha…
Stefan: cool, what is Sencha?
Ingo: green Japanese tea… or maybe we should use Gyokuro, a tea that grows only in the shade…
Stefan: if it dilutes well we could colour the Gin green with that…
Ingo: yes, lots of chlorophyll
Ingo: green is a great aroma, could be a great idea
Stefan: sounds exciting and maybe this can stand out…
Ingo: a Gin with only green spices
Continuing with the conversation we went through a lot of ideas like green Pepper and Bay leaves, Nettles, Citrus leaves, green Coriander or green Juniper. I told Ingo that we could pick the Phoenician juniper green and not fully ripe – so it would match our aroma profile. We discarded the idea of colouring the Gin with a green infusion because we were afraid that the green chlorophyll would rapidly turn brown in colour.
Ingo was sending me spices to Mallorca and I was returning him distilled samples. In the past our Gins were distilled out of just a few botanicals, even only two. Getting more than ten botanicals to play the same song resulted in something rather complicated for me.
I wanted to extract that intense green aroma you get when you bite into a sweet but not yet ripe fruit… offending, but in a good way. Good Gin needs to be perfumed like good wine, dancing on the palate and powerful once you swallow.
Being the most challenging batch, we have ever distilled, the result makes me even happier. The final blend consists out of Sencha Tea, Wakame Tokusen, Californian Bay Leaves, green Pepper, Fig and Orange Leaves together with green-harvested Juniper and green Oranges.
In late August 2018 we finally bottled a bit more than 1000 bottles of the Green Spice Gin.
Eva & Stefan
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