Of all the things for a Spanish island to be famous for, gin may not immediately spring to mind. However, that is exactly what the Balearic Island of Menorca is renowned for - along with its incredible beaches, storied culture, and delicious cuisine of course! |
While enjoying a gin is most often considered a British tradition, Menorca has made it its own – thanks to a hangover (pardon the pun) of the British influence, which ruled over the island in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But while you're enjoying a cool taste of the island's special liquor on your Menorca holiday, you may be interested to learn a little more about just what it is you're drinking.
The origins of this delicious juniper-flavoured spirit arrived with the British invasion of the Balearics in the early eighteenth century. During the infamous Spanish War of Succession, the British were able to ingratiate themselves with the locals by plying them with their imported gin. The demand soon became so great that the locals set up their own distilling process, from the wine already being produced on the island in great volumes. As the Menorcans’ passion for this liquor grew over the next two centuries, it evolved into a very 'fashionable' drink, enjoyed at fiestas and events all over the island.
The Most Famous Name in Menorcan Gin Production
The name Xoriguer has become synonymous with gin production on Menorca. A family owned company, the owners – the Justo family – are carrying on a centuries' old tradition of production established by their own relatives many generations ago. The Xoriguer brand is one of the most high-profile local gins produced on the island and can be recognised by its distinctive green bottle and windmill logo.
Xoriguer Gin Factory Tour
If you're looking for an interesting day excursion to add to the itinerary of your Menorca holiday, you can actually do a tour of the factory where the Xoriguer brand is produced, in Mahón, the island's capital. You'll be able to see every step of the production process and get to sample some of the more unusual flavours they're experimenting with – like peppermint and even chocolate!
At fiesta time, when the island commemorates their patron saints, Menorca brings out the pomada! A mixed drink comprising gin, carbonated cloudy lemonade or bitter lemon, and lemon peel, pomada is served icy cold and in abundance. It's easy to get carried away by the festive spirit on your Menorca holiday, but remember, pomada does contain a generous proportion of liquor, so it should be consumed in moderation – especially on a hot day.
Even for those who aren't a fan of regular British gin, it's worthwhile trying the famous Menorcan variety - its unique perfumed flavour may just convert you…
Brenda Jaaback is the Managing Director of Bartle Holidays. They can provide you with a wide selection of superb villas for your Menorca holiday. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
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