Whilst dry gin and the origins of the gin and tonic lie with all things red, white and blue it can be argued that the origins of the 21st century renaissance of the gin and tonic lie in Spain so it’s high time we turned our review focus towards our European friends and our taste buds alighted at Madrid’s Santamania distillery and their small batch gins lovingly made in their stills Lola and Vera.
At a respectable 41% abv Santamania London Dry is made from a base spirit produced from Spanish Tempranillo grapes and 14 botanicals. The botanicals are macerated, then distilled, the spirit is brought down to bottling strength with water from the Teide volcano and then the gin is then rested for 2 – 3 months.
The botanicals are an interesting mix of traditional London dry botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root, fresh lime and lemon, cinnamon, orris and liquorice. Together with a more contemporary set: pistachio, white pepper, dry ginger, rosemary and raspberries.
One the nose the grape base announces itself as lovely luscious green fruit notes, bright and sweet but not overpowering. There are hints of pine, earth notes and a hint of berry sweetness.
Tasted neat on ice the lead is bright green pine with a sherbet citrus. This is followed by a big punch of zingy pepper with a hint of earthy spice. There is liquorice sweetness in the linger and a luscious juicy texture from the grape based spirit.
With tonic the palette is transformed. A berry sweetness leads into fresh citrus and green juniper pine. A whisper of spice then yields into zingy pepper warmth in the linger. Distinctly Mediterranean in style with a highly satisfying mouthfeel Santamania makes a very drinkable gin and tonic which works well with a red berry garnish.
This is a satisfying gin and especially recommended if you are looking for the on trend berry flavours harmoniously balanced with traditional dry gin notes. Viva Espana!