If you’ve read our post on our Vodka Tonic Tasting, you’ll be familiar with Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic, a tonic water flavoured with Mediterranean botanicals; well, now there is a Mediterranean Gin: Gin Mare (pronounced “Mar-ray”).
Gin Mare is bottled at 42.7% ABV and contains 10 botanicals:
The gin is made in the Costa Dorada, south of Barcelona. Each of the botanicals are distilled separately* and the distillates are then blended together. Before distillation, each botanical is steeped for 36 hours.
Gin Mare also make a Mediterranean Tonic Water called 1724, named after the fact that the real quinine for the mixer is collected at 1,724 meters above sea level. This is a similar concept to 6 O’clock, who also make both a gin and a tonic water, but differs in that, although the tonic water had to go well with Gin Mare, it was designed with wider market appeal, for use with other gins.
Nose: There are savoury notes: pepper, rosemary and thyme, as well as a little saltiness and a hint of green tomatoes.
Taste: This is an intense and herbal gin, with hints of rosemary and thyme. Juniper is a secondary flavour, but is still there. It reminds me a little of mint and herbal crisps. Unusual, but tasty.
Gin & Tonic
As I mentioned, the people that make Gin Mare also make a Mediterranean Tonic Water called 1724, so for the tasting I decided to try two G&Ts: one with 1724 and one with Fevertree tonic water.
Thyme and rosemary really come through; this was a herbally intense drink. That said, it still has the juniper crispness and a touch of dryness, so it is like a classic Gin & Tonic, but with more flavour than usual; in particular, some anise on the finish.
ii) Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic
Herbal and light; sweeter and less bitter than the same drink made with 1724. A good drink, but notably less flavoursome and intense than the 1724 G&T.
In this tasting, I preferred the 1724 tonic water in a Gin Mare Gin & Tonic.
A good way to enjoy Gin Mare and fully appreciate its characteristics. It was very herbal and the predominant flavour was a combination of thyme, fennel and anise. Some savoury aspects and would be nice garnished with an olive.
I wanted to try this drink, because I thought it would make an unusual version. It was very nice, with some herbal on the finish, but it was less intense than I had hoped for.
I suspected that lime cordial would match up well with the herbal notes of the Mare, and it did. It is less bitter and sharp than a usual Gimlet due to a more subdued juniper flavour, but it still has some crispness and is rather good.
Three rather herbal ingredients (Gin Mare, Vermouth & Campari) come together in the Negroni, so this drink was a bit over the top and unbalanced. It is also very bitter; for me, too bitter.
I found the sweet elements of the gin’s herbs, when combined with that of ginger ale, meant that this drink was rather sickly.
A good cocktail to use Gin Mare in; distinctively herbal. There are notes of thyme, rosemary and a touch of anise. This is a very good way to make a pleasant and intense, but refreshing Fruit Cup.
1724 and Sloe Gin
As I’m also looking at 1724 Tonic Water, it seemed like a good idea to try it in another drink, so I mixed with Sloe Gin. I used Marks & Spencer Sloe Gin (made by Boudier), one of the best-selling Sloe Gins in the UK. This drink was fresh, fruity and jammy with herbal notes; very tasty indeed.
Gin Mare is not a usual or classic London-Dry-style Gin, but it is still evidently a gin. I enjoyed the Mediterranean style flavours and herbal notes as they added a unique characteristic to drinks, although it didn’t work with everything. Of all of the gins released in the last year, this is the one that I have heard people talk about the most (in a positive way, anyway), so they are certainly making an impact in London.
Cocktail highlights: Martini, Fruit Cup and Gin & Tonic
As for 1724 Tonic Water, this is one of the best tonic waters that I’ve tried (at last count this number over 40); I was a little surprised! It is certainly in my Top Five.