Macaronesian White Gin – ‘Elaborated with volcanic water.’
Millions of tourists apparently visit the Canary Islands’ volcanoes during their holidays so they can marvel at the huge craters and ‘lunar’ landscape, but I wonder how many of them ever sample the local gin?
Well, thanks to our roving reporters, Bill and Lesley, who have just brought us back a bottle of Macaronesian White Gin from their winter break on Tenerife (See Valentine’s Day blog) I can definitely say the 40% Geneva style gin is a lot livelier than the long dormant Mount Teide: which may well be down to the fact it is cut with water that filters through the ash, lapilli and layers of magmatic deposits.
The makers – the Distilerie Santa Cruz de Tenerife – justifiably describe it as “An authentic Canarian treat made with local ingredients,” as the base spirit is infused with eight botanicals all sourced on the sub-tropical islands. Apparently juniper trees are native to Tenerife, while the climate is also ideal for growing citrus crops – thereby contributing the lemon and orange peel. The cardamom which offers such a lovely nose and spicy flavour is also cultivated on the Canaries, but I think it may be the water which adds a tantalising texture I haven’t detected with other gins.
Try it neat as I always do with a new brand, and Macaronesian is deliciously smooth as well as having a long spicy follow up. But add the ice and a decent splash of Fever Tree Indian tonic and your first few mouthfuls provide an extra dimension of mineral fizz.
I was so surprised by this that I did a back-to-back comparison with equal amounts of the BULLDog gin which was still sulking in our larder after England’s loss to Wales. Macaronesian definitely delivers a different eruption in the mouth and there is also a real pop when you pull the cork out of the white ceramic bottle.
“Macaronesian is best mixed with tonic or as part of a simple cocktail. It doesn’t deserve to be served in one of those giant goldfish bowl concoctions, with half an allotment floating in it.”
So like the Snowdonian water which goes into the Aber Falls gin we reviewed a while back, there’s every reason to believe the lava filtered alternative in Macaronesian Gin adds something distinctive too. I’ll leave the final words to the maker: “Macaronesian is best mixed with tonic or as part of a simple cocktail. It doesn’t deserve to be served in one of those giant goldfish bowl concoctions, with half an allotment floating in it.”