PUPILS 2014

PUPILS 2014

25 June 2016

THE HISTORY OF "GIN DE MENORCA"

GIN DE MENORCA
·         Made from wine spirit, juniper and selected aromatics, gin was initially made in Menorca to satisfy the appetites of British soldiers and sailors stationed in Menorca in the 18th century.
·         Gin has since become part of the cultural fabric of Menorca. Xoriguer is a family owned gin producer that distils gin in copper stills on the coast in Mahón.
·         Traditionally, Menorcan men would start the day with a thimbleful of gin, called a “ginlet”. For aperitif it is popular to have a “pomada”, a drink made with local Xoriguer gin and cloudy lemonade.
Gin de Menorca o Gin de Mahón is a Spanish variety of gin or Jenever, a juniper flavoured alcohol, which is made on the island of Menorca. It is a clear liquid that should smell strongly of alcohol but the aroma of the strong juniper berries should be the strongest. Other undertones will include the aromas of grains and seeds. The taste of this Spanish gin is dry and strong, something which should be expected as a result of its high alcohol content - usually between 38 and 43%. However the taste should not be over-powering, but rather balanced and refined, with a clear taste of juniper berries.

History of Gin de Menorca
The origin of this Spanish gin can be dated back to the 18th century. During this time, the island of Menorca was being occupied by the British. As a result, a lot of soldiers and sailors from Great Britain would stop over on the island. This lead to a strong influence from Britain in Menorca, which among other things, increased the demand for British products to be shipped to the island both among the British, who despite undergoing a Spanish immersion, still craved things from home, as well as among the Menorcans. Among those products was Gin.

When the British finally abandoned the island in 1802, the people of Menorca continued to drink gin and continued making their own version instead. The Menorcan gin was made by artisan distillers in the city of Mahón, where it was made with a liquor produced from fermenting cereals, which was then distilled and aromatized with juniper berries, amongst other things. As time passed, the gin was made using other strong alcohols which had been made using other agricultural products instead of cereals. This alcohol tended to be made from grapes which grew well in the climate found on the island. This element of the Menorcan recipe is what makes this drink unique to this area, and why it has been allowed its own DO, despite being similar to the Jenever of Belgium and the Netherlands.
By the 20th century, a number of brands began to emerge such as Xoriguer which was bottled and commercialised, increasing in popularity across all of the Balearic Islands. In 1997, the island's gin was given a Regional Designation of Origin 'Gin de Menorca', however this was later changed in 2010 to be 'Gin de Mahón'.


GIN XORIGUER



In the early part of the XX century, on the initiative of a Menorcan family of craftsmen, a brand name was born: Xoriguer, which began to bottle and carefully commercialise the product which hitherto had only been marketed locally.
Xoriguer is the name of the windmill built in 1784, in which many generations of the Pons family had converted bushels of wheat into white flour.
Miquel Pons Justo, heir to a long tradition of craftsmen, wanted to put these traditional values of quality and refinement to use in his liquor company, and for this, he chose as an emblem not only the name but also the image of the century-old family business: the graceful windmill with its wind-sails.
Gin Xoriguer ceased to be merely a local curiosity and became a product with an ever widening reach, opening the way in the market with its quality and attractive bottling.
Due to its origins, traditions and Mediterranean characteristics, Gin Xoriguer has gained recognition throughout the EEC, being denominated a guaranteed traditional specialty or specific name of product E.T.G. Mahon-Menorca.
Xoriguer is still a family business, looking to the future, faithful to its origins and to a continuing tradition of craftsmanship, with the desire to please all their clients and friends with its carefully elaborated Gin Xoriguer.


Gin Xoriguer is the result of distillation in traditional copper stills, using high quality wine alcohol (ethyl alcohol) and carefully selected juniper berries, which come from the neighbouring Mediterranean mountains, together with aromatic herbs. These herbs are the jealously guarded "secret" of the liquor's original bouquet. Only the heirs of family know the identity and proportion of this valuable ingredient, which is added behind closed doors and without witnesses, at the start of each distilling. The respect for tradition is such that the fuel still used today in the distillation is wood.

The distillation begins when the vapours which are produced in the still's boiler circulate through copper pipes until they reach a coil, where they condense, forming a precious liquid that drips into jars.

An expert tastes the liquid at intervals to determine the precise moment when the distillation is complete. Once this is accomplished the gin is stored in large oak barrels, where it retains unchanging its colour, flavour and aroma, until it is l finally bottled.

VIDEO ACTIVITY: HOW TO MAKE GIN




VISIT TO GIN XORIGER DISTILLERY






POMADA'S PROJECT

DISTILLATION WITHOUT MACERATION

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DISTILLATION WITH MACERATION

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