Bring a little bit of Galicia into your home this summer! My summer tip for this year: Nordés Atlantic Gin. Not a typical Galician beverage, but just a fantastic product that happens to be produced in Galicia. It’s an award winning gin. I had to try it! I like a good gin and tonic, but wasn’t familiar to a gin from Galicia. Now here is Nordés Atlantic Gin!
First, an introduction to gin
Gin is distilled alcoholic drink made from grain, just like wodka. When making gin herbals are added to the distillation, and in particular juniper berries. Those berries gave name to the drink, I’ll explain that later. Besides the juniper berries often other herbals are added as well. The amount and variation of additions influence the taste of a gin and also creates the differences between different brand of gins.
The taste of gin is usually ‘dry’. Therefore gin is often labeled as a dry gin, just have a look at bottles of famous gins. Because of having such a dry taste, gin is often combined with tonic water.
As mentioned, gin is not a typical Galician drink. Gin mainly comes from England. Although the origin of the drink goes back to the Netherlands. Gin is emerged from the Dutch spirit Jenever. Jenever is the dutch word for juniper. In English the name Jenever became gin, hence the name of the drink.
Most gin brands are from England. Think of Gordon’s, the market leader, or Bombay Sapphire, my personal favourite. Bombay consist of more than 10 herbals and is sold in a recognizable blue bottle.
The Galician influence that makes Nordes gin special
On the internet I came across an article about Nordes Atlantic Gin. My local liquor store was didn’t have it on stock but was so helpful to order a bottle specially for me so I could try it.
What is Nordés Atlantic Gin?
Nordés is not a regular gin that happens to be made in Galicia. Nordés is a gin with the taste and character of Galicia! The liquor consists of 11 ingredients, of which 6 from Galicia: sage, laurel, verbena herb, eucalyptus, peppermint and glasswort. Most impressing ingredient however is albariño! This gin is supplemented with albariño wine, how Galician do you want to get your gin! It goes without saying that this grape determines the unique taste of the gin.
Nordés Atlantic is funded in 2012. Just three years later, in 2015, the distillery got incorporated by the Spanish beverage giant Osbourne, known for the sherry and the giant bull silhouettes in the Spanish landscape. Nordés Atlantic is one of the fastest growing liquor brands in Spain. The distillery is located in San Pedro de Sarandon, a small village in the surroundings of Santiago de Compostela. Last detail to mention, the bottle of the gin is based on Galician ceramics, also known from the traditional ceramic beer tap.
My tasting experience
Nice story about this gin, but how does it taste? I made a gin tonic with Nordés Atlantic Gin and just tonic water and some lemon. My personal ‘signature’ gin tonic. (see preparation below).
First part of tasting is the smell. And yes, it smells absolutely different then my usual Bombay’s gin, that I put aside to compare. In comparison Nordés smells more fresh and spicier. And now in comparison, Bombay’s suddenly seems very sweet. Before that never caught my attention.
Second part of tasting is the tasting itself. Nordés got a really soft tast, and refreshing at the same time. And spicy (may be herbal is a better word). Wow, a very nice gin!
Leuk verhaal, maar hoe smaakt het? Ik heb Nordés Atlantic Gin gedronken met tonic en citroen, mijn ’signature’ gin-tonic. Maar eerst even ruiken natuurlijk. Ja hoor, dit is echt wel anders dan mijn gebruikelijke Bombay’s gin, die ik voor het vergelijk ernaast heb gezet. Nordés ruikt veel frisser, kruidiger. Ook komt Bombay’s ineens zoet over, dat was me niet eerder opgevallen. Hetzelfde met de smaak. Nordés is heerlijk zacht, en tegelijk verfrissend. Kruidig wederom. Heerlijk!
And not to forget, according some experts Nordés gin is an excellent combination with Galician tapas. Oh yes, please pass the pulpo a feira!
How to make a gin tonic?
As mentioned, I always make a gin tonic with just lemon as additional ingredient. It goes as follows:
- Take a nice big ‘balloon’ glas (see picture above)
- An important step: run the lemon peel over the rim of the glass. When doing this you will experience a nice taste of lemon with every sip you take.
- Fill the glas with ice cubes
- Add the gin, about 5cl.
- And fill the glass with tonic water. Use our intuition. I would see about 20cl.
- Two slices of lemon in the glass and you’re ready!
Well, that’s my may. Have a look how Nordés advises to make a gin tonic in the following video:
Read on to get to know more about typical Galician food and drinks?