But then I discovered Gin Mare.
Distilled in a small fishing town near Barcelona, Spain, Gin Mare is a Mediterranean drink with a barley base and light botanical tones. The name itself, “Mare,” is derived from the Italian word for sea (“mar”). Gin Mare’s name reflects back to the Roman Empire’s Latin phrase “Mare Nostrum,” which means our sea, since the Romans relied on the Mediterranean Sea during their conquests. Gin Mare pays homage to the region’s rich resources, beginning with its moniker.
The Mediterranean spirit contains traditional gin ingredients such as juniper and citrus fruits. What sets Gin Mare apart, though, are unique ingredients -- all sourced from the Mediterranean region: basil from Italy, thyme from Greece, rosemary from Turkey, and Arbequina olives from Spain.
Another unique attribute of Gin Mare is that it is entirely hand-crafted. Each of the botanicals are distilled separately, which allows for a greater harmony in the taste. After three years of testing and refining the taste, Gin Mare released its first batch in 2010.
Guest blogger Shannon Ho at Gin Mare rooftop tasting event
Gin Mare made me recalibrate the way that I think about gin. My first sampling of Gin Mare was during a city rooftop party hosted by the distilled spirit. It was all first love romance … My drink was as light and breezy as my surroundings. The taste was versatile and refreshing. That first flirty cocktail lead to my crush on the beverage, an inevitable part of drinking this smooth, botanical gin. So, toss your preconceived notions about gin off the roof! Sit back and relax with a Gin Mare drink in hand.
JBF Award-winning Chef Michael White & Garden Glamour guest blogger Shannon Ho at Rooftop Gin Mare event
Here are some recipes that pair perfectly with a sunny, summer day.
(Side Note, Gin Mare’s cap is approximately 50 ml, and an ideal measuring tool for the below recipes.)
A contemporary revisit of a classic cocktail, such as it’s Tequila Sunrise, with a own twist to celebrate the season that you’re always dreaming of and you never want to end up.
40 ml. Gin Mare
15 ml. Aperol & Grenadine (pre mix at 50-50%)
10 ml. Gomme
15 ml. Limoncello
75 ml. Orange Juice
20 ml. 1724 Tonic Water
Method: Shake all the 4 first ingredients and double strain in a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Let it settle and then add the Top it with 1724 tonic water and decorate with a half slice of orange, a slice of lemon and fresh thyme sprigs.
Or a Martini that is perfect...Using an advanced chemical analysis tool called “Gas Chromatography,” Gin Mare investigated the perfect vermouth for Gin Mare, and found the metric -- as well as a garnish that can compliment this mixture.
50 ml. Gin Mare
25 ml. Lillet Blanc vermouth
0.5 ml. of salt solution (25 g. sea salt dissolved in 100 ml.
Method: Stir over ice for 20-30 seconds until chilled and diluted properly and serve into a cold Martini glass and garnish with half strawberry.
This drink is another great recipe innovation that pays homage to the classic Gin & Tonic. This is a refreshing drink with gentle spicy notes and because of its hot red color, you’ll want a beautiful glass to show it off. Think balloon glass, snifter, red wine glass...
60 ml. Gin Mare
10 ml. tomato juice
2 slices of fresh ginger
1 piece of rosemary
200 ml. 1724 Tonic Water
Method: Muddle lightly the Ginger, the Tomato Juice and the Rosemary at the base of the glass and then build your G&T in a normal fashion and garnish with a fresh basil leaf.
Nothing beats a Gotham rooftop event - capture the sunset - with Gin Mare
Chef Michael White's Gin Mare menu pairs with the lighter, more botanical Gin Mare. Chef Michael White is the head chef and owner of the Altamarea Group. Especially love his Ai Fiori restaurant. (Check out his the others in chef's culinary constellation.)
Me/Leeann with superstar/super-nice Chef Michael White at Gin Mare event
This feature was prepared and written in conjunction with Shannon Ho, Garden Glamour guest reporter and intern. Thank you!