La Mallorquina Olive Extra Dry Gin
“La Mallorquina”, is the traditional olive variety of the island of Majorca. It is a mutation of the Empeldre variety and can only be found on the Island of Majorca. As the trees are century’s old and growing between rocks in the Tramuntana Mountains in small groups , only a few producers make oil of it, so GIN EVA have used this very special Olive from Son Moragues in Valldemossa.
What made GINEVA decide to use the olives from these amazing old trees in our Gin?
Olives have a long tradition as a Cocktail garnish. Due to the slight salty taste and olive aroma, and they create a great combination with a Dry Martini.
Perhaps not the first to distill olives, but with many olive groves in Majorca my curosity got the better of me. In 2016 I visited an olive mill and obtained a bucket of olive pomace, the leftover olives after pressing for oil. At the distillery I steeped it for several weeks in a pure grain spirit and then distilled it. Unsure of how to créate the perfect drink, I left the distillate in a corner of the distillery, until a few months ago when Rafa Martin and his BRASSCLUB Bar-Team in Majorca visited us. I let them taste the olive distillate, but without telling them what it was. Something I love to do – if people can tell the origin of a clear spirit by only using their nose and taste buds you know that it is good. Rafa didn’t take long to identify it. I told him that I really like the distillate, but that i wasn’t sure what to do next! People would not order an olive distillate as a digestive after dinner, would they? I told them that I thought of making an olive vodka with it and Rafa’s direct response was – “make an extra dry gin, this will be great in a Martini.”
Coinsidentally just a few days later I received a telephone call from a very special olive oil producer in Valldemossa. They told me that they were looking to collaborate with other artisan producers from the island.
It turns out that this producer had an amazing idea, which they did not reveal until after a number of meetings – But that is a secret which will be revealed soon. They certainly did not know that their appearance for me was destiny. When they invited me to visit their finca, I asked, if I could take some bins of olive pomace with me and if I could bring a photographer to document it. I think I overrun them a little, but they told me I could take as much olive pomace as I could carry.
So one day in October last year (2017), Eva and I, together with Esther and Jonas, our photographers, completly filled the back of the GIN EVA van with as many blue bins we could and drove to Valldemosa. At the mill they harvest the olives at the point where they turn from green to black, because that way the olives contain more anti oxidants. Right after pressing, the fresh oil is covered with nitrogen gas to avoid any oxidation. We were given a tour in a vintage convertible car to see all the centuries old trees and later we filled the bins with the olive paste and returned to the distillery where everything was steeped in alcohol and a few weeks later distilled.
This time the olive distillate was even more intense than the bin we distilled a year ago and after tasting it we decided to blend it with a distillate of Juniper and a hint of Cilantro.
How to drink this Gin? It really works great in a Gin and Tonic. But this Gin screams for Dry Vermouth to make a Martini. Actually it is even better if you substitute the Vermouth with a Fino – Sherry – we prefer equal measures, but that is up to you.
Eva & Stefan
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