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GIN LOVERS & LESS

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Ana Morgado, Gin Lovers bartender, won the European Final of the Ysabel Reg...

The task was by no means simple in the face of the competition, and even harder with some rocks in the road that appeared during the tests. Even the infusion machine decided to be uncooperative, but in the end, in a contest which prized the final drink and the creativity of its ingredients, it was Ana Morgado who made the best cocktail, adding a salty touch of enriched presunto and the complexity and smoke of black cardamom. 
In a final in which Portugal won 2 out of 3 categories, Tiago Mira, Portuguese bartender who previously headed the bar at The Ritz, London, was one of the other winners. We congratulate both the two Portuguese winners and also Portuguese cocktailery overall, showing that it can keep up with the rest of its European peers.

Chef Miguel Castro e Silva wins a wine Oscar

In this week of the Oscars, Gin Lovers Príncipe Real is proud to announce that chef of Less, Miguel Castro Silva, was the winner of a “Wine Oscar” at The Best of the Year 2016 Awards, organized by Revista de Vinhos (Wine Magazine). 
“More than simple prizes and distinctions, the “Wine Oscars” are the hight point of a full year of work, the recognition of the effort and dedication of the people who work in the wine world every day”, says the event’s press release. 
At the award ceremony on 17th February at the Alfândega Exhibition Centre in Porto, in the presence of more than a thousand guests, Special Prizes, Excellence Prizes and Best of Portugal Prizes were awarded, distinguishing the best of Portuguese produce, in wine and in gastronomy. Miguel Castro Silva received his “deserved and exciting” “David Lopes Ramos Gastronomy Prize”, a prize in homage to the journalist and food critic of Diário de Notícias who died in 2011. 
“Miguel Castro Silva continues to be a young and inquisitive person, a chef permanently in search of new directions. He already has his place in the history of Portuguese cookery, but continues to write new and brilliant chapters”, says the editorial in Revista de Vinhos. 
Come and discover this restless cuisine at Less by Miguel Castro Silva, open for lunch and dinner every day at Gin Lovers Príncipe Real, now with a tasting and set lunch menus. 

Menu Gin Lovers & Less

See the news of the new cards from the Less Restaurant by Miguel Castro and Silva and the Gin Lovers Bar.

Our proposals: 
Selection of local cheeses, pumpkin jam Parma ham and pancetta, figs
Sea bass tartar with beet and nut pesto
Salmon tartar with mascarpone & green apple
Tuna and wasabi peas
White fish tartar with avocado and saffron milk
Lemon risotto, scallops and avruga caviar
Pearl barley and shrimps
Braised pumpkin ravioli (4 un) 
Gorgonzola risotto with pear in port and balsamic preserve
Mashed potatoes with truffles, egg yolk, green asparagus and parmesan
Iberico pork dumplings

Or try our Afternoon Tea:
Classic tea (black, chamomile, green, red berries, hibiscus)
Steam free tea (tea, beefeater 24, tonic water schweppes)
Scones, butter and jam or Madeleines

We look forward to welcoming you every day from 12am to 12pm.
Fridays and Saturdays we are open until 2 am.
 

Gin Lovers & Less - The dream come true

We want a bar that is not just a bar, a restaurant that is not just a restaurant, a shop that is not just a shop. We want Gin Lovers Príncipe Real to be a venue that shapes itself to the day and the night and, more importantly, to the people who will make it happen... you. Our signature Gin Store Food & leaves a space for your imagination to fill. There will always be something to be completed by whatever you want to bring.

[gin]
The Gin Lovers Príncipe Real project is the result of Gin Lovers dream of creating a space 100% dedicated to Gin in the centre of Lisbon. It will be a signature venue in Portugal and unites all of Gin Lovers activities in one location - the Gin, the bar, the shop, the restaurant and the lifestyle.

[bar]
The bar at Gin Lovers Príncipe Real will essentially, of course, be a Gin Bar, its list lovingly created by the Gin Lovers team, in which the big names in Portuguese and international gin will make for a selection of the best Gin and tonics and Gin cocktails of the world. The team will be available every day to suggest the Gin best suited to your tastes and alternatives for those looking for new discoveries and flavours, with or without alcohol. Schweppes, Gin Lovers Partner in this exciting new venture, will provide a constant supply of their range of mixers.

[store]
Gin Lovers Príncipe Real will now become the main Gin shop in Lisbon. You will find all the Gin Lovers merchandise, from glasses, kits, barware and the new collection of Gin Lovers Botanicals, not forgetting our Gin Lovers Workshops and Experiences, books, our magazine - Gin Lovers Magazine, tonics and, of course, Gin.

[food]
The cookery at Gin Lovers Príncipe Real will reflect our objective of working with the best quality Portuguese produce and the best Portuguese chefs to find interesting and delicious experiences and find new ways to pair cuisine with Gin.

Contact
Praça do Príncipe Real 26, 1250-184 Lisboa - Embaixada Concept Store
Tel.: +351 213 471 341

Gin Lovers unite and take over

Gin. The basis for my favorite cocktail. In fact, the Holy Grail of cocktails. The Martini.
“A perfect Martini should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy,” said Noel Coward. (Italy being a major producer of vermouth). Luis Buñuel also used the Martini to inspire his creative process. The Gin and tonic is even more classic. Gin has a pedigree. A level of sophisticated cool perhaps unobtainable by other alcoholic beverages.

Lisbon. Portugal. Famous for theoldest bookshop in the world. Cinnamon. And Gin Lovers bar/restaurant/store. I spoke to Miguel Somsen about what makes Gin so important?
Well. it’s always better when you start with a premium Gin instead of a regular Gin. Premiums are better because they do not include the so-called “bad alcohols” that cause headache and hangovers in the distillation process. Than you have to have a very good tonic water if you’re into Gin & tonic. Once you understand that the Gin & tonic is really a cocktail, that will help you achieve greatness.
Five years ago in Lisbon, you either drank wine or beer, that was it. You could also drink vodka or gin with a lemon twist or orange juice bought in the corner shop. In bars they would be prepared by amateurs with second grade vodka and gin.
What changed in Portugal and Europe was the quality of Gin. Before 2013, you only had Tanqueray, Bombay, Plymouth, Beefeater and Hendrick’s. They were great brands, but Gin wasn’t fashionable. Now every country is producing Gin. In less than three years, Portugal has more than 30 Portuguese brands. This is amazing! The excellent quality of Gin means that other distillates need to work on the same pace: now you have great rums, tequilas, vodkas, cachaças, and vermouth coming from everywhere.

What’s a gin bar for the uninitiated?
A Gin bar is just a bar where Gin rules and inspires. Gin changed the way people drink in this country. We already have more than a million people drinking Gin in Portugal—about ten percent of the population. We’re talking about a poor country which is only used to drinking wine. For these people, Gin is not cheap, and that means they really want to know they are spending their money on quality. Customers will probably know around 20 gin brands, and we see it is our role to suggest other options. We mainly serve Gin & tonic, but today we are exploring Gin and other distillate cocktails.

How did the bar come about?
Gin was the reason that brought a group of us together. Originally to work on a National Gin and Tonic day and a magazine. In the beginning the Gin Lovers project did not include a bar. We knew we would eventually need a bar to express our passion for Gin, but we did not want to rush it. However, there weren’t any 100% Gin bars in Lisbon, and Gin suddenly became so popular in the city we began having second thoughts.
We met a friend who owned a wine bar that could also be turned into a wine & gin bar, and so we gave this a shot. That was Vestigius, in Cais do Sodré. It was our first experience in bartending. We ran it for over a year, and it was a great experience, but it was never “our” bar—we just rented a spot there. We knew we had to give Gin Lovers a place of its own. So we opened a bar in Vestigius in April 2014, then moved to Gin Lovers Príncipe Real at Embaixada in November 2015. Now we have Gin Lovers bar which also happens to include a restaurant (Less by Miguel Castro Silva) and a store.
The interior design was developed by the company Pó de Madeira.

Who comes to a Gin bar?
Nowadays everybody. Now, everybody is a potentially Gin drinker. But not 3 years ago, when the Gin craze started. In 2013 you could only find Gin in a good wine shop in Lisbon (Garrafeira Nacional) or in El Corte Inglés (ECI) supermarket. The rest you would buy in Spain (the Gin revolution in Portugal has a strong Spanish influence).
Today, if you open a bar without Gin, you’re DOA. Of course, as a customer, you have to have 20 euros in your pocket to afford one or two Gins at a bar. But the Gin craze in Portugal is so strong that people now skip meals in a restaurant to be able to pay for drinks. What are they drinking? Gin.

Tell us about the Gin Lovers Magazine?
Gin Lovers started with a group of Gin lovers meeting up at a restaurant to try new Gins and developing ideas for our recently opened Gin Lovers Facebook page. Our first challenge was the inaugural DNGT Dia Nacional do Gin Tónico (Gin & tonic National Day) in the summer of 2013, which turned out to be a huge success. Only after this did we seriously consider going into business.
When we founded Gin Lovers company in October 2013, our main focus was always editorial. Meaning: it was much more important for us to develop ideas and stories around Gin than to just sell Gin. How would we reach our targeted audiences? By creating a magazine. Every issue of Gin Lovers can be a hell of a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love, and the only Gin magazine in the world.

How did the restaurant—Less, run by Miguel Castro Silva (MCS) - come about?
Twenty years ago, MCS was ahead of his time with a restaurant called Bull & Bear in Porto. A business too ahead of its time to be successful, and eventually he moved south. MCS opened some small spots in Lisbon and began experimenting with traditional Portuguese cuisine. When we met him again in 2015, he told us that he wanted to bring back to Lisbon some of the dishes he had to leave behind in Porto. That’s what we have now: a very well balanced menu with cold fish carpaccios, tartars and ceviches, mixed with some risottos, light gyosas or grilled scallops. The way they are shared by everybody on the table makes this experience very pleasant. And of course you can eat everything with Gin!

What other kinds of drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are served?
We use the Gin for Gin & tonic and other Gin cocktails. Now that cocktails are fashionable again, we are beginning to work on cocktails made with non-Gin distillates, such as vodka, cachaça, rum, tequila, vermouth. Since we own a restaurant, we have beer and wine.

Can you buy everything you need for a great Gin experience in the Gin Lovers store?
Yes. Gin Lovers Principe Real is a bar, a restaurant and a store. You can buy all the Gin brands that you can find in the bar. Plus magazines and books. And of course the botanicals and tonic waters packages. We have everything that you need in order to make your own Gin & tonic at home.

Tell us about any special events the bar holds each year?
Every last Friday of the month there’s a Gin Lovers Party dedicated to a Gin brand (Gin Lovers Party Ten to Tanqueray, Gin Lovers Party by Gin Mare, Gin Lovers Party powered by Hendrick’s) or a concept (Gin Lovers Party Europe, with the best European brands). Since we work with one of the best chefs in the country, we have developed the Jantar Gínico, or a Gin Dinner, where you workshop a one-day food & drink menu with the chef.
All the music you’ll listen in the bar is selected by a special exclusive DJ called Miss K, who only works with us bringing her DJ parties and a special playlist selection. We’re working on some other ideas for the first anniversary of Gin Lovers Principe Real in November. Hope you can show up!

Casal Mistério - 10 new restaurants that we want to experience in 2016

A new bar of Gins was already sufficient reason to enter to bulldoze ahead for our list of sites to visit in 2016. And then if this bar also has a restaurant of hot and cold snacks, made by chef Miguel Castro e Silva, then I am already open the door on the street. But there is more. And better yet, also fall under my financial diet, with the prices of all the dishes to vary between €6.5 and €11.

NiT - The best new bars of 2015 in Lisbon and Oporto

The gin continues in fashion, so we could not leave out in this list one of new bars that dedicated the menu to drink. We talk of the Gin Lovers Principe Real. Inaugurated at the end of October in the interior of the Embassy. The space works as bar, with several options of Gin, but also as a shop with books and sets for preparing the drink at home and still restaurant.

Address: Praça do Príncipe Real 26, Lisbon
Time: 12h-24h. Friday & Saturday until 2pm
Telephone: 213 471 341

Gentleman's Jounal - When Gin intersects with Gastronomy

When joining the simplicity of a kitchen with a space, we find the restaurant that suits us! We find an example of this in Less in Gin Lovers, where dishes with "simple" we can chop, pass a good time and enjoy a generous menu of Gins. If the menu is generous in Gins, is very tasty in their tasting dishes; moreover everything is thought to the bureau is an exercise of sharing among the guests. We must highlight two dishes that left us crying for more; the tuna tartar and risotto with darts and a crispy bacon. For those who want something more substantial, are a hamburger of veal with duck liver and fries. The kitchen and restaurant of Gin Lovers Príncipe Real / Less by Miguel Castro Silva reflect the aim of growing Gin Lovers in running the quality of traditional product with Portuguese national best chefs, providing a level of excellence in the pairing of food and Gin.