Gerry Dawes's Spain

The Ultimate Gin Tonic, The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills

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José Andrés with his "The Ultimate Gin & Tonic," made with Hendrick's gin and Fever Tree tonic water,

Bar Blanca at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills. 

Photo by Gerry Dawes ©2010.

Gin Tonics, as they are known in Spain, have been the official drink of off-duty Spanish chefs for years.  I suspect this right-of-passage libation really became a religion during the ten years that Rafael García Santos was staging his annual Lo Mejor de la Gastronómía chefs conference in San Sebastián (the conference has moved to Alicante).  I don't drink Gin & Tonic normally, unless I find myself in San Sebastián, where I always manage to have one a Dicken's, a terrific cocktail bar on La Alameda, or coincidentally, in Alicante, sitting out on the Explanada with my friends, Chef María José San Román and Pitu Perramón, her husband. 

 

María José San Román and Gerry having Gin Tonics on La Explanada in Alicante.

My gin of choice is Hendrick's (who can resist the imagery of a gin made with a cucumber and a rose), the tonic water Fever Tree.

Fever Tree tonic water at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills.

All photos by Gerry Dawes ©2010.

Until Sunday night in Los Angeles, the best Gin Tonic I had ever had was at Dicken's, where owner-and-cocktail champion barman Joaquín Fernández or his assistant, Juanjo, make one Hell of a fine Gin Tonic--with the gin of your choice--for a cool 14 Euros!

 

(Double click on image, go to Picasa web albums, click on slideshow and the F11 for full screen view.)

I was supposed to have dinner with José Andrés at The Bazaar on Sunday night, May 16, but Andrés had to take a later flight, so I had dinner at the bar in the Rojo section of Bazaar, where Chef Josh Whigham continued the parade of excellent traditional and modern tapas that we had begun on Saturday night.  I finished dinner and waited for José, whom I have known for many years (see Food Arts Silver Spoon Award below, which was written by José).  By then it was 11 p.m. and José was in no mood for an interview, so we moved to the Bar in the Blanca section of the restaurant and ordered two "The Ultimate Gin & Tonics," made with Hendrick's Gin and Fever Tree Tonic.

What an ephiphany!  It was not only the best Gin Tonic I have tasted, it was certainly the most beautiful, with a circle of lime, a big oblong strip of lemon peel and a red flower blossom.   We ordered a second, chatted a while, then José agreed to meet the next morning and he headed for bed.  I stayed on to finish my Gin Tonic and tell Clio, one of the bartenders, how I make my real favorite drink, my "World Famous Margarita."

 

"The Ultimate Gin Tonic," made with Hendrick's gin and Fever Tree tonic water,

The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills.

All photos by Gerry Dawes ©2010.

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    5 comentarios

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      1 Dani C.
      30 de Julio de 2010 (12:33)

      Great Gerry!

      La verdad es que estamos últimamente todos enamorados de esta bebida. Yo llevo bebiéndola hace mucho tiempo, era la copa pedía cuando salía hace ya tiempo. Ahora se agradece la variedad, la sofisticación y la popularación de esta bebida. Por desgracia los precios aumentan a una velocidad que no creo que sea bueno, pero bueno... ¿se romperá la burbuja del gin-tonic :-) ?

      2 GerryDawes
      Ver mensaje de Dani C.
      GerryDawes  en respuesta a  Dani C.
      30 de Julio de 2010 (16:31)

      Mil gracias, Dani! ?Pero que dices de los precios? !Solo me costó un gin tonic 14 Euros la última vez que estuvo en Dickens! ;-)
      Pero venía con el "show" del barman, como ves en las diapositivas.

      3 Dani C.
      Ver mensaje de GerryDawes
      Dani C.  en respuesta a  GerryDawes
      30 de Julio de 2010 (20:49)

      Aquí en España te colocan 10-15€ sin demasiada parafernalia, así que bueno, no está tan mal tu copa en el Dicken's. Pero lo dicho, too much money for another gin-tonic!

      4 GerryDawes
      Ver mensaje de Dani C.
      GerryDawes  en respuesta a  Dani C.
      31 de Julio de 2010 (00:12)

      Digo, Dani, way too damn much money! ?Volveremos a Gordon's con Schweppes? ;-) O un martini con Xoriguer y un toque de Fino Inocente!

      5 Dani C.
      Ver mensaje de GerryDawes
      Dani C.  en respuesta a  GerryDawes
      31 de Julio de 2010 (12:42)

      Ahora mismo en casa tengo Xoriguer, tras habernos acabado un montón de ginebras y no reponerlas, creo que nos habíamos vuelto algo obsesivos con esta bebida :-)

      Supongo que conocerás la bebida típica de las Baleares, sobre todo en Mallorca: pomada. Se trata de Xoriguer con Kas limón, nada que ver con la dulzona Fanta de limón. En la península no es tan fácil encontrar Kas, pero la Schweppes Spirit de limón tiene ese toque amargoso y seco de la Kas. Es una bebida muy refrescante y te la recomiendo.

    Autor del blog

    • GerryDawes

      Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine. In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés.

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