After a much needed summer break, I’m now back in the (gin) game. Thankfully, September is once again pleasing us these days with lots of sun and warm temperatures until late in the evenings. Even more thankfully, the people of Gin Mare let me participate in their latest Mediterranean inspired special: a limited edition picnic bag that packs everything you need for a late summer to-go gin session.
About Gin Mare
First things first: Gin Mare is probably among my most consumed gins and this almost since day one. If you’ve followed me (or my instagram, to be precise) for longer, you might have noticed in the past. My passion for gin originated during my stays in Spain in the early 2010’s and this gin from Vilanova (near Barcelona) keeps reminding me of those good times whenever I enjoy a coppa of cold Gin Mare & tonic.
First introduced in 2010, Gin Mare intentionally pushed against the back-then predominent trend of London Dry Gins. The creators wanted to release a gin that really transported the “mare nostrum”, as they describe it. Therefore, this distilled gin focuses on four essential Mediterranean botanicals: rosemary, basil, thyme and olives. Lemon, bitter and sweet orange complement these herbs and further underline its distinct character.
Taste-wise, this is clearly not a juniper-dominant gin – fully intentional, as we just learned. Instead, it is a bitter-sweet, slightly floral spirit which is clearly meant to be enjoyed in refreshing mixed drinks. As a self-declared juniper lover, my passion for this flavor profile may not be evident. But then again, as I mentioned, it really brings back memories of (older and more recent) visits to Spain, its food and overall lifestyle I so strongly fell in love with…
I personally perfer to mix it with a Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic which supports Gin Mare’s herbal character. An official matching tonic, the 1724 Tonic, is available from the makers themselves. It enhances more of the gin’s floral notes and hence makes for a tasty and refreshing G&T, as well. As garnish, I suggest a zest or slice of orange together with some fresh rosemary or basil.
The Gin Mare To-Go Packages
So much about the gin itself, now here’s to the corresponding to-go package I am enjoying while I write this: The bag is made of ecological/sustainable fabric, looks like it came straight from the beach, and is not small – for good reason…
As I said, the bag includes everything you need for a little late-summer picnic, be it at a nearby lake, some urban beach club or your own balcony:
- A bottle of Gin Mare *
- A bunch of 1724 Tonic Waters
- Two Gin Mare balloon glasses (which are super nice but also super hard to get, usually, and might thus alone be worth grabbing this bag!)
- An extra-large bar spoon (now the longest in my collection of bar tools)
- Reusable ice cubes
- Dried oranges
- Bitter orange marmalade (read below what it’s for)
- Some rosemary crackers
Where to get the packages
As far as I’m aware, the Gin Mare to-go packages are available in selected bars in a number of major cities such as Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Hamburg. Here in Hamburg, the partnering bar is The Reason (Winterhude, if you’re from Hamburg and reading this). I don’t know for how long they will officially be sold, but numbers are limited (and so are the warm days we still have left…).
“Triple Orange” – a Gin Mare perfect serve
What’s inside those to-go packages doesn’t come by coincidence. The above mentioned are all ingredients for the Gin Mare signature drink: the “Triple Orange”:
- Fill a coppa glass with 40 ml Gin Mare (I like to use 50 ml)
- Add a bar spoon of bitter orange marmalade
- Stir to dissolve both into one another
- Add plenty of ice
- Fill with 150 to 200 ml of tonic water
- Add an orange zest or slice
- Ideally, finish with two dashes of orange bitters (not included but they are a must-have in your home bar anyway)
I have been to a few Gin Mare events in the past and the Triple Orange was always part of the fun. It pairs, just as the gin itself, nicely with different Mediterranean dishes – consider this for your next tapas night 😉
Final Thoughts and Remarks
The Gin Mare to-go packages make it easy to enjoy those last days of a 2020 summer which hasn’t always been trivial. Grab a blanket or beach towel and enjoy an easy sunset-sip somewhere near you just as I did.
I got mine as a gift and won’t hide this fact. But I would also (honestly and without a doubt) purchase one for the following three reasons:
- I typically buy a bottle of Gin Mare at least once every three months anyway – and drink it.
- Not often do I make the effort to get all the ingredients for this specific drink so it comes in quite handy
- The balloon glasses. Enough said. 😉
* There are two options: one “for couples” with a 100 ml bottle and a “group package” featuring a full 700 ml bottle.