Like the very first G&T all those days before, this too is a miniature fishbowl of generosity. But unlike last time, this is hands down the best gin I have had ever had. And it is only R104 a glass! I had won, not only at life but at gin tasting.
It was so good, in fact, that after dancing to a mixture of hard electro, traditional Indian tunes, Nigerian hip hop and the Spanish version of “I will survive” at a Bjork DJ set – where she wore what can only be describes as a fashionable beekeeping costume - I returned at one in the morning for a second round. This time, however, I am armed with my camera and joined by my mother, who is uncharacteristically still awake. We later find out it is because the Spanish flu medicine we both had been taking (on the advice of an American travel blog) appears to be laced with speed.
Unsurprisingly, we drink until late. We have Pepino sours - cucumber gin with fluffed up eggs whites, bitters, lime and suga; - almond flavoured whiskey and gin infused with seaweed. The bartender Miguel agrees that Spanish gin tends to veer towards citrus tones and regales us with how he learnt about fynbos when he studied botany. He gives us shots of their special summer edition strawberry flavoured gin, sweet and delicious and smoother than one would expect a gin shooter to be. It reaffirms my love of gin and is the perfect ending of my haphazard journey though this Spanish drinking pastime, which thanks to places like this is very much alive and well.
If you wish to indulge in your own Spanish gin adventure closer to home we recommend buying the gin that started this journey in the first place: Hope on Hopkin’s Mediterranean gin, thick with flavours of olive, rosemary and lemon thyme. They too have their own special edition flavoured gin, “"Lucy's Last of the Summer Wine," a Cabernet Sauvignon Blush, made from crushed cab sauv grapes added to a tank of simple London dry gin, giving it colour, sweetness and fruitiness. It is available at selected bottle stores in and around Cape Town or from the distillery itself.
Or if you want be a rebel, grab a fresh bottle of vermouth and pour a generously Spanish serving on the rocks. Add an orange peel and olive and have good times at the ready.