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Mahón Gin

Mahón Gin


By Robert Plotkin

Mahón Gin is protected as an Appellation de Origin and is produced under strict quality standards. Acknowledged as the first Mediterranean gin, few spirits step up to the table with stronger references. If you have yet to sample this Iberian treasure, you're in for a serious treat.

The gin is made in Mahón on the island paradise of Menorca, Spain, a place so pristine it has been selected as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Mahón Gin can trace its lineage back to the mid-1700s and a time when the seaside town served as a British naval base.

The brand has been produced at the Xoriguer Distillery for generations according to the original recipe and employing techniques long ago abandoned by other distillers as too expensive or labor-intensive.

True to its origins, Mahón Gin is handcrafted in extremely small batches on a foundation of neutral wine spirits. The principal botanical—locally sourced wild juniper berries—is aged in the fresh sea air for up to 2 years, which concentrates their taste and aromatic signature. The remainder of the recipe's ingredients is a closely guarded, proprietary secret.

Mahón Gin, 82 proof, is a brilliant spirit saturated with character. It has a clear, shimmery appearance, a lightweight, velvety textured body and a generous, citrus and juniper aromas. The bouquet does a masterful job preparing the palate for the pleasures to follow. The gin's entry is slightly spicy as it expands, bathing the mouth with the simultaneous flavors of piney juniper and semisweet, semi-tart citrus—fresh pink grapefruit comes instantly to mind. The dry finish is thankfully long and spicy.

Explanations for the brand's phenomenal appeal include its tremendous versatility and the vibrancy of its personality. Not only is Mahón Gin an inspired choice for use in craft cocktails, such as the Spanish Negroni—made with the addition of Amontillado sherry—and the iced Mediterranean classic, the Pomada (Mahón Gin, lemon juice, bitter lemon mixer, mint spring and a lemon peel), it shines when mixed with a premium tonic.

"Throughout all of Spain Gin, & Tonics are stylish and in vogue drinks, so much so the staff comes and prepares the drink at your table. They're especially popular when the weather is hot," says Brand Ambassador Rafael Garcia-Abril. "Not just any gin can shine through a flavored carbonated mixer. Mahón Gin is perfectly cast as the lead in this clean and thirst-quenching drink."