Did you know that the Spanish are the largest consumers of gin in Europe?
Northern Spain (and in particular, the Basque region) has been credited with transforming the way ‘GinTonics’ are consumed in Spain.
The biggest difference between the way we traditionally drink gin & tonics here in the UK and the way they drink them in Spain is the glassware. We have become accustomed to drinking them served long in a collins-style glass whereas the Spanish have developed (in our humble opinion) an altogether more exciting serve for our favourite tipple – please allow us to introduce the ‘copa de balón’; a large, balloon-shaped, stemmed glass – very similar to a traditional, large red wine glass. This ‘copa serve’ became more commonplace around 7 years ago when the Michelin-starred chefs from the Basque area started drinking their ‘GinTonics’ in Bordeaux wine glasses to keep their drinks cool in the heat of their kitchens. When filled with large, frosty ice cubes, the ‘copa serve’ results in a drink that remains cold right to the end, with much less dilution.
Where the ‘copa serve’ really comes into it’s own though, is in the way that it’s garnished – utilising a variety of vegetables, spices and natural botanicals, pretty much anything goes – so long as they complement the flavour profile of the various botanicals in each gin and enhance the drink on the nose. The shape of the balón glass highlights the aromas and truly allows the botanicals to shine through. As smell is 80% of taste, it’s easy to see why this style of serve is sweeping the continent.
So this Summer, recycle your red wine glasses into brand new drinking vessels for your ice cold GinTonics. Salud!