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World Malaria Day

Tonic Water specifically made for the Gin and Tonic is a relatively recent thing when compared with its history of more than two centuries. The popular mixer was created when, in the fight against malaria, a more pleasant way of administering quinine was sought, something more pleasant than swallowing what was pretty much a bitter lump of earth. The solution came in adding other botanicals to flavour it, some sugar and some soda water, and that became what we know as Tonic Water. When you add the useful to the pleasant, i.e. Tonic to the Gin, success is guaranteed and today Gin and Tonic is one of the world’s favourite drinks.
It was in this historical vein that Fever Tree began a partnership with Malaria No More UK, with the unique aim of eradicating this disease.
These days, Malaria is a reality far from the European continent, but still a quotidian problem in unluckier places. The Democratic Republic of Congo, where Fever Tree collects its quinine, and Nigeria, where it sources its ginger, are just two examples.
Fever Tree starts a campaign to collect donations will be delivered to Malaria No More UK, which is seeking not only the cure but also prevention for Malaria.

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The end of straws

Two of the largest drinks companies in the world, Pernod Ricard and Diageo, have announced plans to lessen their environmental impact, with a special focus on drinking straws and cocktail sticks.
Pernod Ricard is going to stop the use of straws made of plastic and other non-biodegradable material, almost immediately, in all areas of their business as well as looking to their partners to adopt the same practices.
The French company relate the exponential growth in the use of straws to the renaissance in cocktails. Remember that the useful life of a cocktail straw rarely exceeds 20 minutes, but it can take 200 years to decompose.
Pernod’s involvement with the oceans, where the impact of plastic is the greatest, is longstanding. The Oceanographic Institurte Paul Ricard, which has been supported for more than 50 years by Pernod, was part of the decision in this environmental initiative.
Diageo, also, announced a plan to speed up the reduction in its environmental impact, also seeking to eliminate the use of plastic straws and cocktail sticks in its drinks.
For about a decade, Diageo has sought to reduce its environmental footprint by trying to use more recycled and recyclable materials.
The irresponsible use of plastic straws and cocktail sticks has had a growing impact in rubbish production, mostly in the sea where it ends up in significant quantities. Thus, the English company will stop using these materials, whether at its events or in day-to-day life.

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Gin, the most consumed spirit in England

The Portuguese already took to Gin a good few years ago, even before its neighbour, Spain. Now it’s the turn for Gin to dethrone vodka and whisky and return to the top of the list of Britain’s favourite spirits.
The vote is carried out every year by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association which recently published the results of 2017. The numbers are clear. Gin is the favourite spirit of 29%, followed closely by whisky lovers, with 25%, and vodka which won the heart of 23% of the voters.
This vote confirms the evolution of Gin sales which reached 47 million bottles in 2017. In cash terms, it beat the £1200 million mark, meaning it doubled the takings of 2011. These numbers also show the trend for more sales in premium brands where the average price per bottle is above £25.
The study also saw Gin and Tonic as the most nominated drink by the participants, knocking out all other Gin and other spirits drunk in any other way. At a time when, in Portugal, cocktailery is ever growing, although the consumption of Gin and Tonic is by far the winning drink, England seems to be going in the opposite direction. Though they aren’t abandoning the classics, they seem to be taking to the Iberian style of Gin and Tonic.

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INseparable Gin

It all began a few years ago, at the dinner table where 8 friends met in what would become a weekly ritual. To dinner, they added a new Gin to taste each week. The challenge of bringing something new week after week became harder and harder and almost reached the point at which it was impossible to surprise the group.
This was the cue for Luís Afonso, one of the 8, to get to work and start making his own Gin from scratch, one that would break from everything else they had tried. He bought a small copper still and began his quest of aromatic alchemy, in a long but gratifying process which culminated in the perfect mixture that would be tasted by the most important group of testers… Luis Afonso’s group of 8.
Disguised in a plain bottle, INseparable was given to the group to try and it was approved straight away. Approved to the point that they decided immediately that they were in the presence of a Gin that was worthy of being shown to everyone, not just the 8 friends. 
They began to refine the recipe and getting it ready for production.
In all, they tested 93 botanical, but only 36 remained in the final recipe. To minimize the effect of inevitable variations in aromas that natural products suffer, they turned to Tec Labs at the faculty of science of the University of Lisbon which analyses all the botanicals for each batch and indicates any alterations they should make in the percentages. 
The flavouring of the alcohol is done in two distinct steps. First, cold, when 34 of the botanicals are macerated and left in contact with the alcohol. The maceration time varies from botanical to botanical in order for each one to shine as much as the next. The already flavoured alcohol is then filtered into the still, where the two remaining botanicals are waiting in an aroma basket. Which botanicals are which? Only the 8 know.
INseparable has 45 volumes of alcohol and thus would be expected that it would have a marked alcohol aroma, but this is not the case and instead, it is the sweet and spicy notes that punctuate the nose. There is a sweet hit of honey but it is also easy to find the warmer notes of vanilla and cinnamon. In the mouth, INseparable keeps its smoothness and warmth. The identifiable notes on the nose also include cocoa and allspice. 

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Gin in numbers

The numbers come to us from England, but they are paralleled here in Portugal. In the first half of the year Gin sales grew by more than single digits in quantity (12%), and in value (16%) which proves that the market trend to find higher quality, more expensive products continues. Half year retail sales exceeded 500 million pounds, something like 556 million euros.
In Portugal, we have no concrete data, but what there is points to a similar reality. Gin sales are still in the ascendant although less rapid than what can be seen in England, or even here a few months before.
However, in either case, the market seems to have reached a mature state in which sales have stopped growing for all the players, growing only for some of them.
William Lowe, professor of Cambridge Distillery, notes that “it is harder and harder for any brand to have an impact other than in the local market, making people have to work harder to stand out from the crowd”.
This affirmation is mirrored in Portugal where we have seen the growth in many different new brands which place great importance in any differentiating detail of their product, whether that’s in the distillation, the use of a certain botanical or any other factor. However, and as Lowe advocates, these new brands have had difficulties in penetrating the market with its limited target.
What might at first seem like a slowing down, or even shrinking of the market, may in fact be a natural tendency for the small producers, very centred on their place of production, to seek out new aromas and authenticity, as defended by Nick King, one of the specialists at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
According to him, this trend cannot overtake the nature of this spirit, which has as its driving force “the predominant flavour of juniper”, something that we know doesn’t appear in some of the newer products hitting the market.
Nick King concludes his rationale saying that Gin may essentially be considered a type of vodka flavoured with juniper. Therefore, a distinction must be made between Gins that keep juniper as their main or at least very distinct flavour and those Gins where it is barely noticeable. Nick King defends the idea that all Gins that stray from the essential rules of Gin should be considered simply as flavoured vodkas, without that having any pejorative meaning. 

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Fever Tree - The Art of Mixing

Fever Tree decided to let quinine take a break for a bit and took to writing. The result is a Fever Tree – The Art of Mixing, published recently.
Mixers are the central theme. Tonic water and her siblings are the stars of this book which intends to give a better understanding of the British company’s mixers, as well as providing recipes in which to use them.
In Fever Tree – The Art of Mixing you will find 125 recipes, from classics to modern inventions, always using a mixers.
The book goes even further and looks at the central botanicals in their mixers, describing their origins and flavours and their contribution to the final result in the glass.
For those reading in the UK, Fever Tree are offering 4 autographed books to win, and tickets to London Cocktail Week. Go and have a look at their facebook page to find out more. For those who can't attend, have a option of visiting Amazon and order your copy.

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Trends in the drinks world

We all have our own tastes and preferred drinks, but it’s difficult to be immune to emerging outside influences and trends. It’s because of this that the market mutates and evolves in rapid succession with more or less long lasting results. It’s in the summer that the consumption of spirits spikes and, naturally, it is this season in which the players try to more influence that consumption. Many are those who write about the new fashions, seeking to dictate new consumption habits, but the vast majority don’t even touch the surface of the future and their predictions roundly fail.
Predicting consumption and spotting trends is hard, risky work, especially in the spirits industry which is naturally influenced by other industries. Gastronomy, fashion or simply popular culture can have decisive influence on consumption. However, it’s worth paying attention to the four vectors defined by IWSC. The Asian market, which had, for a long time, maintained its high levels of consumption, now presents itself as a drinks producer, in a recent phenomenon which is growing ever larger. The Whiskeys are an example of this and there is a striking movement of new producers appearing, namely in Japan and India. Whiskey sees its consumers seeming to value the art of blending over the habit of ageing. This new kind of value is closely linked to the desire for “new things”. Then, and now speaking of Gin, but also Vodka and Beer, we see the law of the small producers appearing. It has already passed from being a fashion to being a certainty. The consumer likes the creativity and the history seen in a product. Its authenticity and exclusivity are today determinants of choice and more artisanal, less mass market brands, are conquering the consumer with more ease. We can see the growth of Mezcal compare to that of Tequlla. From this it mustn’t be inferred that these smaller brands are dominating the market, since it is certainly not the case, and at the point in which they gain market dominating proportions, many could lose a factor which distinguished them previously, exclusivity.
Lastly, the we are seeing of growth and take up of Gin as one of the most consumed spirits in the world. An increase, since 2013, of almost 600 percent of new brands appearing, with more than 400 new Gins from 35 countries are impressive numbers and well demonstrate the dynamism of Gin. As the IWSC itself warns, faithfulness to Gin isn’t yet guaranteed, but we belief that it will remain, Gin clearly being one of the favourite spirits of the consumer and that which will bring more innovations, whether in new production method or in the introduction of new botanicals. Long live Gin!

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Schweppes Matcha

As we have said before, the relaunch of Schweppes Premium range contains new references for its main botanicals and countries of their origin. Schweppes Matcha has Matcha tea as its main botanical, which comes from Japan. Kyoto, to be more precise. Attentive to the phenomenon which a long time ago implanted itself in countries such as Spain, unswerving England, and which in Portugal is already just as concrete, Schweppes created this new mixer which brings the world of tea to the cocktail. The novelty isn’t exactly in the use of tea or the infusions of it for use in cocktails, but in the availability of a ready to use product.
For us to better understand this new mixer from Schweppes we must first understand its main botanical ingredient. So, what is Matcha? It is a tea which, just like green, white or black tea is extracted from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). All originating from the same plant, it is their treatment which gives each type of tea its distinctive qualities. Matcha is obtained from young leaves which are protected from the sun, to increase their levels of chlorophyll. They are then harvested and ground very slowly in a stone mill until they are powder.
All the essence of Matcha tea is captured in the new Schweppes mixer. Its vibrant green colour immediately jumps out, as does its markedly astringent flavour. The use of tea and quinine together makes for a more bitter and herby taste, even though balanced with a little sugar.
Only slightly noticeable on the nose, the more citrus side of this mixer finds new life in the mouth, mainly one mixed with some alcohol. The freshness of lime gains a new dimension and it is that which punctuates the palate, while maintaining the greener and rougher touch of the Matcha tea.

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Anti-histamitonico

The sun is shining and the mercury continues high in the thermometer. It’s now that you feel like an ice cold drink on the terrace.  While this desire might be pretty universal, there are some people who have to think twice about hanging out for a leisurely drink, because of allergies, particularly to pollen.
According to studies we have read, there are some drinks which worsen the effects of allergies, due to the presence of histamine, the substance produced in an allergic reaction.
Perhaps this is why some people say that they feel worse having drunk wine or beer. According to the same studies, red wine is the one that affects people who suffer allergies or asthma more, above white wine, beer and cider.
It’s not all bad news, though. There are alcoholic drinks with a far lower concentration of histamine or sulphites. Gin is one of them, so, what are you waiting for? Go order a Gin & Tonic!

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Gin Lovers Gin 2017

National Gin & Tonic Day is on its fifth edition. Gin Lovers Gin its third.
After a Gin which we adapted followed by a Gin thought up and created from scratch, here is our 2017 Edition, a 100% Gin Lovers production.
The directive was simple: make a Gin that is agreeable to the greatest number of people possible. Juniper and Citrus for the purists and traditionalists, but smooth and fruity enough to convince those less accustomed to the bitter sip of this our favourite spirit.
This edition was thought up from scratch but always had as its base the knowledge and opinions we have gathered from the previous versions.  Straight away we reduced the degree of botanicals to make a cleaner and more direct flavour. There are now 32 botanicals used in Gin Lovers Gin, reducing the floral and herbal elements to allow the citrus ones to shine through. Rose petals, Globe Amaranth, Iceland Moss (a lichen) and Breckland Thyme, among others, were left out of the production of Gin Lovers 2017.
We also altered the balance of the power players. Juniper still occupies central stage but it is now accompanied by lemon verbena, pine sprigs and a mixture of citrus fruits, still leaving space for the warmer spices like cinnamon, cassia bark and nutmeg.
Changing a product, especially a Gin, is a complicated step by step process where the whole is always different from the sum of its parts. We wanted a Gin which inherited some of the complex aromas of Xmas Edition 2016 but on the other hand had a more defined matrix with strong vertexes of juniper, pine sprigs, lemon verbena and the citrus fruits.
The alcohol level has also been lowered with the idea of increasing the lightness of the Gin without compromising the depth of aromas. It is now 41% vol.
This decrease in alcohol level goes with the decrease in complexity. In other words, the 2016 versions demanded a higher level of alcohol to carry all of its aromas. The simplification of the botanical palette and almost the entire elimination of floral and herbal elements permits a decrease in alcohol.
Gin Lovers 2017 is therefore a Gin which sits somewhere between classic London Drys and deeper aroma Gins. On tasting, expect the juniper to be refreshed by the pine sprigs and the lemon verbena, followed by the mix of citrus fruits where the orange crosses with the vivacity of bergamot and a warm finish punctuated by warm spices.
We are producing 500 bottles, as in previous editions, whose sale will be limited to our online store, Gin Lovers Príncipe Real and El Corte Inglés supermarkets.

Gin Lovers 2017 Specifications
Alcohol 41%.
Production: distilled with a base of cereal based alcohol (wheat and rye) in a Portuguese distillery.
Botanical: 32 in total, with focus on Juniper, Lemon Verbena, Pine Sprigs and a mixture of citrus fruits and warm spices (Cinnamon and Nutmeg) 

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Now that the fourth Lisbon Bar Show is over, here’s a s...

Let’s begin with the Schweppes room, which stood out for its elegance and exclusivity. It was purposely one of the hardest rooms to find and entry was allowed for limited groups only. Once inside, they would find a projected interactive video, and cocktails at the end to show off the whole Schweppes range, making a visit entirely worthwhile. Schweppes took advantage of their appearance at the Lisbon Bar Show to present two new products available this summer. A new tonic with a touch of lime, which brings extra freshness, and the mixer Schweppes Matcha which adds a touch of tea tannin to a slightly carbonated drink.
Then there was the Elyx room, where Pernod “hid” the jewels of their crown. In a room entirely inspired by Swedish vodka, with decoration that deserved extra attention and music that invited you to try a cocktail, we found all the Gins in the Beefeater, Plymouth, Seagram’s and Moneky 47 ranges, this last one for the first time in the portfolio.
At the Puerto da Indias stand, which was decorated with various of the Spanish company’s bottles acting as lamps, the new recipe Puerto de Indias Classic was available. We’ll give you more details on that very soon.
Another must-see was the Prime Bar where their whole portfolio was on show, but the spotlight was on the newly arrived Genebra Bols and, of course, on the Hendrick’s, with new creations developed exclusively for the contest.
Well known in Portugal, William Chase brought a beautiful stand where the “very British” sofa was always full and the camera flashes never stopped. It was the ideal spot to taste the brand’s portfolio served by guest bar staff.
Another Genebra worth a visit was By The Dutch, brought by Wine Time, a serious case of smooth. The Dutch company also used their space to present their new Gin, dry and lightly herbal, very much in the old tradition of the Low Countries.
Gin Maré, the Mediterranean Gin par excellence, found a sunny spot on the patio on the first floor for their stand. At the Cocktail Market by Global Premium Brands, filled with fresh fruits on the counters, a team of bar staff, and some guests, this Spanish Gin was served either with a simple tonic or as a cocktail.
From Italy, the country that gave the theme to this year’s Lisbon Bar Show, came the tonics by J. Gasco. The big novelty was their new tonic with only 13,5 Kcal and a gentle touch of juniper.
Finally, a well-deserved mention for all the Portuguese Gins that made their presence felt. Yet again, the record for the number of exhibitors was beaten, with almost 20 of them. Returning brands, Friday, Wild Snow Dog and Gold Grail, were joined by some newbies such as Amicis, Bica and Real Gin, among many others.
If you didn’t make it to the show, we’re sure that by now you’ll want to get here for next year. Till then!

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Lisbon Bar Show 2017

The Lisbon Bar Show is back! On the 16th and 17th of May the biggest bar event in Portugal returns for its fourth year and it promises much. 
The venue this year, instead of the beautiful greenhouses of Tapada da Ajuda, will be the Convento de Beato. The new space is bigger, and better adapted to the logistics of an event such as this, promising to meet the needs not only of the exhibitors, but the attendees too who will see larger exhibition spaces and above all, the masterclass area. This is one of the ways the organisation hopes to create more participation from the public, guaranteeing better conditions and more available places. 
The panel is even more brilliant than in previous years, attesting to the high quality of the masterclasses which will take place during the whole event. Importantly, they will all be free entry, although it will be necessary to sign up for them first with the staff. There are several international names appearing on the masterclass bill. For a small taster of the masterclasses, there are names like Luca Cinalli, Ian Burrelli, Jared Brown, Luis Barradas, Pedro Paulo and Paulo Gomes, masterclasses that will be demonstrating food as well as many drinks.
Other news for this fourth edition of the show, and maybe the biggest news, is the partnership established with World Channel which will guarantee the broadcast of everything that happens in the event, on closed circuit TV within the Convento, and to the outside world via streaming. This is one more step that confirms The Lisbon Bar Show as one of the best bar contests in the world. 
The fourth edition will also see a thematic change, leaving behind the idea of drinks being the theme, now choosing to highlight a country each year. Italy is this year’s choice, with several Italian brands already confirmed to appear. Well known brands such as Martini and Campari will join forces with others such as Gin del Professore, a line of markedly herbal gins. 
Gin will again be proudly on show at The Lisbon Bar Show, the spirit proving its rightful place in the portfolio of various brands, and looks forward to this summer of  2017 having many tales to tell.

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Found bottles of Gin from the 1st World War

The connection between the British Navy and Gin is well known. The more muscular version of Plymouth Gin, Navy Strength, with 57% vol. Alcohol, left port on all her ships. 
​During the British Raj and then the Indian Rebellion of the 19th Century, for the army of British East India Company, Gin and Tonic was a commonplace drink. This is where tonic water comes from. The quinine the soldiers took as an anti-malarial was supplied as a powder and was extremely bitter, and by the early 19th Century, the army was adding sugar and carbonated water from syphons, instead of the unsafe local water. This was the original version of tonic water. Still fairly bitter, some added Gin to the mix to make it more palatable and the Gin and Tonic was born. 
Recently, evidence of the Gin drunk by British troops during the first wold war have appeared close to the town of Ramle, in Israel. Hundreds of Gin bottles of Gin were found, alongside whisky bottles, apparently emptied by the British soldiers stationed there in 1917, in breaks from fighting the Turks. 
The bottles were found in a well used as a rubbish dump by the British troops, where they threw their empties. Among the found bottles were some Gordon’s bottles. This important discovery lets us know a little more about the day to day of British soldiers, who seem to have taken full advantage of respite from fighting with a good deal of drink.

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Beefeater Crown Jewel

Beefeater Crown Jewel was presented to a gathering of bartenders and friends, at Gin Lovers Principe Real.
Despite being a novelty in Portugal, Beefeater Crown Jewel is actually a re-edition of the Crown Jewel launched by Beefeater in 1993. In effect, it would have been the first premium Gin, on a par with Bombay Sapphire, at the time, both aimed at the duty free market.
This “new” Crown Jewel remains faithful to the original recipe, an evolution from Beefeater Dry Gin .
To the nine botanicals in Beefeater Dry Gin have been added grapefruit, and diluted has been reduced so that Crown Jewel, with 50%vol, has a significantly higher alcohol content than Beefeater Dry Gin.
Since it is an evolution of the original Beefeater recipe, Crown Jewel is simultaneously the base for the making of Beefeater 24, the Gin which came to substitute it in 2009. To the ten botanicals used in Crown Jewel, Desmond Payne added two new ones: Japanese Sencha tea and Chinese green tea.
The new bottle, similar to the other bottles of the English brand, is inspired by the Tower of London, seeking to invoke the old legend that the monarchy will fall if the Ravens ever leave the Tower. Thus the figure of a Raven landing on the royal orb that is the O in Crown has centre stage on the label. On the sides of the bottle are inscribed the names of eight Ravens that inhabit the Tower of London. Despite a few alterations, the bottle is similar to the one that was discontinued in 2009, but its purple glass makes it very different to the original clear bottle.
One last thing to mention is that Crown Jewel is a limited edition - the batch number for each bottle is found on the back label.
It is available in Gin Lovers online shop.

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Gin Lovers hosts the official launch of Amicis Gin

Amicis (friends, amigos) from the very heart of Portugal, Coimbra, between the sierras Açor and Sicó.
It’s from there that come the 14 botanicals, a “sensory memory book from where I grew up” says Paulo Pereira, 38, a tutor at Portugal Tourism College Douro-Lamego and creator of the latest Portuguese Gin, during its official presentation.
The space chosen was the atrium of Gin Lovers Príncipe Real, which only just managed to welcome all the visiting enthusiasts. The presence of the the three “dragons”, Miguel Ribeiro Ferreira, Isabel Neves and Marco Galinha, who support the project, was a reminder that Amicis already existed, after two years of tests, when it was presented to the dragons on the Portuguese version of Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank in March 2016. “I had to buy him a suit,” joked Marco Galinha, meaning that the bet has paid off. Thus a 100% Portuguese, 100% original Gin was born, with a different aroma that deserves to be first tasted with plain water. Single distillations of Gorse flowers, walnut, honey, citrus fruits from the orchards of Coimbra, Mastruz and nine other botanicals make Amicis one of the most aromatic and distinctive Gins, with enough potential to reach the international premium market. The first signs of that happening are already appearing. Amicis is available at Gin Lovers Online Shop.

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Royal Bliss, a new tonic water

The recent growth in the Gin market and, on its back, the growth in the mixers market, has not gone unnoticed by Coca-Cola.
Royal Bliss is the newest brand under the Coca-Cola Company umbrella, side by side with Nordic Mist which was created at the turn of this century.
The Royal Bliss range will consist of eight products and will be launched on the 1st of February. At the moment, only the Spanish market is being considered, but if it is a success, then it may well arrive in Portugal.
The target is clearly the premium sector of distilled drinks, so the creators of Royal Bliss have taken around two years to develop the product, guided by tradition but constantly looking to innovate, always using selective ingredients and with a clear tendency towards using natural flavourings.
In Spain, it will only be available in bars, restaurants and the hospitality sector in general, and isn’t yet forecast for retail sale. Creative Tonic (normal and zero sugar versions), Exotic Yuzu, Berry Sensation, Expressive Orange, Ironic Lemon, Elegant Soda and Irreverent Ginger Ale make up the Royal Bliss Range. 

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Pedrino - a tonic water with alcohol

This tonic has a touch of something to make it more than a tonic water. 5.5% vol. alcohol to be precise. It’s usual in Spain to drink Sherry with tonic; the mixture makes the Sherry fresher and more appetizing on hot summer afternoons. Lovers of both drinks, and searching for a new challenge, Sam Showering and Joseph Knopfler, long time friends, sought to combine the two things into one. Pedrino was born, an alcoholic tonic.
The alcohol is supplied by the Sherry, fortified wine made from Pedro Jimenez grapes. Its sweet heaviness finds a counterpoint in the bitterness of the quinine and the touch of citrus from grapefruit and blood orange.
Pedrino was conceived to be drunk along, but also works just as well as a mixer. In more evolved cocktails or as a substitute for normal tonic in a Gin & Tonic, it opens up new perspectives and offers surprising results.
If you can get your hands on a bottle (unfortunately, it’s not available in Portugal) give it a try in a Gin & Tonic. Beefeater 24 and Pedrino makes for an interesting aromatic flavour but you can add some grapefruit zest if you want to make it shine. 

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Diageo World Class heads to Miami

Miami was chosen for the Grand Final competition. 52 bartenders from around the world will compete to become the 2016 World’s Best Bartender.
After hosting the final of its 2015 competition in Cape Town, South Africa, last month, Diageo Reserve World Class announced it will head to Miami for the last leg of its 2016 competition next year.
The first World Class global final was held in London in 2009, and was later hosted in cities around the world, including New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town.
While there can be only one global winner, the bartender talent on show throughout the World Class experience will demonstrate how the knowledge of quality spirits, the pedigree of ingredients and the pioneering of drinks-making techniques are cultivating next-level creativity underlining the fact that bartenders are as talented and creative as their chef counterparts.
The competition is part of a fully integrated program that aims to increase the quality of consumer's experiences in fine drinking, offering support and training to thousands of bartenders and bars to improve their skills. To date, the program has inspired and educated more than 25,000 bartenders worldwide while working in partnership with bars, restaurants, night-clubs and hotels to build their business and offer a better experience to consumers.

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Junipalooza 2016

One of Gin’s biggest festivals in the world is back to London. On the 11th and 12th of June, you can taste 100 different Gin brands.
For the third year in a row, Junipalooza - Juni from Juniper and Palooza from party - is held at the British capital, this time at the Tobacco Docks, East London with more space for Gin and street food.
This year, the festival will be even more special. The first day - 11th of June - is also the World’s Gin Day.
It’s run by the Gin Foundry and will feature a record 40 distillers from around the world, along with music, food, a cocktail bar and masterclasses.
And that’s on top of hundreds of gins to sample, from over 42 different distilleries across 14 countries.
You’ll get the chance to try every single one of them, either neat as a shot or as a mini gin and tonic, included within the ticket price. There will also be stands from many of the industry’s favourite tonic waters.
Gins come from different countries such as UK, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Germany or Belgium.
We will be there to tell you everything in detail in the next Gin Lovers Magazine edition.

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What happened in Lisbon Bar Show 2016

The third edition of Lisbon Bar Show was held at Tapada da Ajuda on the 17th and 18th of May. All the drink industry gathered for two intense days where cocktails and bartenders were at the center. If we had doubts, not anymore. The cocktail trend is here to stay.

Even though Tequila was Lisbon’s Bar Show main theme, Gin was the most significant presence for another year. 120 Gin bottles from 70 brands were at the event. Impressive.

Like every year, Lisbon Bar Show was also the right place to launch new products. Schweppes unveiled their new Ginger Beer, Castello and Le Tribute their new tonic water and the new Friend’s (new Dry version), Givinity, Le Tribute and N’Ginious Gins. We will test all these brands but we can say the future will lead us to more Gin (good) launches.
The new Ginger Beer from Schweepes - launch date in September - was a good suprise. It’s less intense and created to be drunk on its own. It’s going to be used a lot in cocktails though.
As for the tonic waters, Castello and Le Tribute were on the spotlight. On one side, the one from Castello follows its brand line. On the other, we were really suprised with the Le Tribute bottle design. We will have time to make a deep test to these two mixers. Although these are very different, both have less sweetner added in comparison to the tonic waters on the market these days.
Next year the organization promises to make a bigger event. This means this could be the last time will head to Tapada da Ajuda for the Lisbon Bar Show

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The first Portuguese premium tonic is here

It’s called Castello Tonic Water and comes from the water brand Castello.
At the center, the Portuguese natural mineral water and carbonated water, the original product of Castello. The quinine - originally discovered plants of South America - is then added.
The first Portuguese premium tonic water, which is also a brand new product, is produced in Moura, Alentejo, and hits stores in bottles of 20cl.
The information is not much, but let's hope to prove to give our opinion.

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The Gin trend continues

The biggest Gin bar in London just opened. At The Gin Bar you can try 14,000 pairings of Gin and tonic and more than a 100 cocktails with Gin. It’s not our mistake. You read it well.
The Gin Bar opened inside the Rosewood Hotel in London.
Here you can taste 400 Gin brands and 27 tonic waters, including a special one made at the bar.
From all the Gins, 100 are distilled in the UK. But there are Gins from around the World. The highlights are the Finnish Rye Gin Kyrö and 20 genever - the historical Dutch Gin predecessor. 

 

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The Lisbon Cocktail Week

Cocktails of the world, unite. Because our time is coming! More than 40 bars and restaurants from Lisbon will participate in the first edition of the Lisbon Cocktail Week to be held from the 22nd of April to 1st of May, 2016. The event will be a ten day celebration of the cocktail (and not only gin cocktails) with a map of the best places in Lisbon, including the Gin Lovers Príncipe Real. During the Lisbon Cocktail Week you will be able to try drinks of each bar and restaurant and see the election of the Best Lisbon Cocktail. There will also be a happy hour - Cocktail Moment - where you pay 1 for 2 from 6 to 11pm. Cocktail Week Coming to Lisbon for the first time, the ten-day event is organized by Mario Batista with the help from Paulo Amado, Edições do Gosto, and has the support of brands like Compal, Veggie, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, PrimeDrinks and Schweppes. The sparkling water Água das Pedras is the official product and Vinhos do Douro and Porto are the institutional partners. "This is the ideal time for Lisbon to receive an event that is already a reference in other cities such as Paris and London. It is a unique opportunity to discover the best cocktails and celebrate the city in all its splendor", explains Mario Batista, the organizer.

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Gin Lovers Party - Gins of Europe

And what is your favorite Gin after all? French, German, Spanish, Breton? This month Gin Lovers Party gives you the possibility to choose or discover the source of your favorite Gin. Four European countries gather together in Embaixada for the first time and resolve once and for all their ancestral quarrels. G'Vine and Citadelle from France. Monkey 47 and Gin Sul (which has a Portuguese blood) from Germany. Gin Mare and Nordés from Spain. Hendrick's and Tanqueray Ten from the UK. There are eight heavyweights, which one will be your choice? On the Good Friday night, all roads lead to Principe Real's new Europe. No mandatory consumption without guest-list, with license to dance, have fun and taste (of course). Mark your presence at the event https://www.facebook.com/events/942706265850107/ What is a Gin Lovers Party? On the last Friday of each month since the Summer of 2014, Gin Lovers has dedicated one of its nights to one Gin brand. Beefeater, Bulldog, Blackwoods Gin Mare, G'Vine, Hendrick's, Tanqueray, No.3 London Dry, Seagram's, Wild Snow Dog and many other brands have been with us. And so it has been all last Fridays of the month. In 2016 we changed the format, but the goal remains the same. Absolute freedom, sharing flavors, meeting friends and endless Gin discovery. From 11pm to 2am, with free entry without mandatory consumption, without guestlist in the heart of Lisbon.

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This weekend, Yes Weekend!

The first major 2016 campaign of promotions comes with the Spring. The Yes! Weekend kicks off on the new Gin Lovers website. From Friday to Sunday, you will have a selection of gins, botanicals and magazines with best price on a three-day campaign. Get Jinzu gins, Beefeater 24 (with one free glass) and Nº3 London Dry Gin (with one free glass) with the lowest prices on the market. Pack of 4 tubes with 12 botanicals and 24 recipes with 40% discount. And a pack with 4 Gin Lovers Magazine just 12 euros. Meaning, 57% discount on the store value. Yes Weekend? Yes we can! Starting Friday, exclusively at www.ginlovers.pt

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Gin Lovers Party - Gin Made in Portugal

The Gin Lovers February party will be called “Made in Portugal”. It will be a celebration of the Portuguese Gin with a selection of the best names including the brand new Friday Chic Gin, Adamus, Bolotta, Gina, Gold Grail, Mui, Nao, Wild Snow Dog and Wild Snow Dog Cherry Edition. A party without mandatory consumption and without guestlist, with license to dance, have fun and taste (of course). On the 26th of February, every sign leads to the Embaixada in Principe Real. What is a Gin Lovers Party? On the last Friday of each month since the Summer of 2014, Gin Lovers has dedicated one of its nights to one Gin brand. Beefeater, Bulldog, Blackwoods Gin Mare, G'Vine, Hendrick's, Tanqueray, No.3 London Dry, Seagram's, Wild Snow Dog and many other brands have been with us. And so it has been all last Fridays of the month. In 2016 we changed the format, but the goal remains the same. Absolute freedom, sharing flavors, meeting friends and endless Gin discovery. From 11pm to 2am, with free entry without mandatory consumption, without guestlist in the heart of Lisbon.

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National Cocktail Day

Portugal has now a national day for cocktails, every year on the 18th of May. The initiative is promoted by the Lisbon Bar Show, Anebe and Barmen Association of Portugal. Thus between the 18th and 25th May, you can have access to unique experiences and special cocktails with discounts in bars, hotels and shops. Each place will have a unique cocktail with a brand partner. The aim is to invite you to taste the original creations the barmen are making these seven days. Alongside the National Gin Tonic Day (created and promoted by Gin Lovers, which this year we will celebrate in June 25), the National Cocktail Day is an initiative to promote the beverage sector, the know-how of bar professionals and celebrate with you.

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January Gin Lovers Party - Best of 2015

The January Gin Lovers Party will be different than usual. It will showcase the best 2015 selection of gins. The best brands will be present: Beefeater24, Blackwoods, Bulldog, Gin Mare, G'Vine, Hendrick's, Mui, Nº3 London Dry, Seagram's,Tanqueray e Wild Snow Dog. On the 29th of January all the ways lead to Principe Real. What is a Gin Lovers Party? On the last Friday of each month since the Summer of 2014, Gin Lovers has dedicated one of its nights to one Gin brand. Beefeater, Bulldog, Blackwoods Gin Mare, G'Vine, Hendrick's, Tanqueray, No.3 London Dry, Seagram's, Wild Snow Dog and many other brands have been with us. And so it has been all the last Fridays of the month. In 2016 we changed the format, but the goal remains the same. Absolute freedom, sharing flavors, meeting friends and endless discovery of Gin. From 11pm to 2am, with free entry without mandatory consumption, without guestlist in the heart of Lisbon.

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Gin Lovers Botanicals

With the increasing success and phenomenon of Gin, there is now a greater interest in botanicals for flavoring the gin and tonic. Juniper, citrus fruits zests or fava tonka are amongst the botanicals that you can find in your gin and tonic glass.
If this enormous diversity of aromas opens up new possibilities and combinations, it could also confuse those who are less familiar with the different herbs, flowers, spices or fruits available today.
The new Gin Lovers botanical collection organizes an unique and fun way to discover the main elements you can use to flavor your gin. The collection is divided into a table of flavors and perfumes where all botanicals have a code that identifies and differentiates them.
The Table of Botanicals, is the tool that seeks to outline the main botanicals used to flavor Gin grouping them according to their aroma. There are seven core types and aromas: herbal, floral, citrus, spicy, sweet, spicy and fruity.
The different types and flavors are identified by a color-coded which makes it easier to identify and distinguish them. See more at the online shop or visit the Gin Lovers Principe Real.

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Lisbon Bar Show 2016

The show is back! The Lisbon Bar Show 2016 marks the third edition of the event that brings the best bars, experts, bratenders and brands around the world to the Portuguese capital. Two days of presentations and discussions of the latest trends and techniques, as well as the launch of new products, demonstrations, seminars, conduct networking and especially a showcase of suppliers, brands, outlets, bartenders, and experts. Like in previous years, Lisbon will receive guests worldwide known who will share all their experience.
Come from all world to conduct presentations. Among them are some of the best of the world of industry of bar as Salvatore Calabrese, Malika Saidi, Julio Bermejo, Desmond Payne, Dennis Zoppi, Jared Brown, Anistastia Miller, Martina Breznanova, José Luís Leon, Antonio Lai, Ian Burrell, Tomas Estes, Thanos Prunarus, Ljumir Stanisic, Daniele Dalla Pola, Deano Moncrieffe, Marian Beke among others. Destaque ainda para os portugueses: Humberto Saraiva Marques, Jorge Camilo, Armando Rosário, Paulo Figueiredo. 
An event for professionals, but open to individuals interested in the art of serving the perfect cocktail! The Lisbon Bar Show is going to be held on the 17th and 18th of May in Tapada da Ajuda.

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Gin Lovers Magazine - Volume VI

Unfortunately, we still don't have a Gin Lovers Magazine in English. We are thinking about it, but it has not been possible yet. If you are really interested, please talk with us. Send us an email to geral@ginlovers.pt. Thank you The last Gin Lovers Magazine volume of 2015 is now available. In this issue we talk about Christmas (of course), but also about the gin scene in 2015 and what it will be like in 2016. The best part is the offer of a Beefeater24 miniature, and a Christmas supplement for the last minute shopping. Some of our highlights: Gin VIP with Paul Furtado - the Legendary Tigerman. A Food Pairing where we continue to combine gin with food. This time we invited chef Pedro Almeida from Viva Lisboa and Paula Marques from Barbatana, two godchildren from the Michelin chef Miguel Laffan. We spoke with Joanne Moore, the first Master Distiller of the world. We tasted the Eric Kayser juniper bread. We visited the Bulldog distillery in Manchester, visited Lisbon main rooftops and many other things. Discover all these stories on the volume VI available on Gin Lovers Principe Real store and online from 18th of December and on newsstands nationwide the 22th of December.

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Gin Lovers Magazine? The first Gin magazine in the worl...

The first magazine in the world dedicated to Gin is 100% made in Portugal and by Gin Lovers. A Gin and lifestyle magazine - with Gin and a lot of people inside. Launched in April 2014, it has content exclusively dedicated to Gin and the world that involves the consumption and taste for this drink (bars, restaurants, travel, news, art and design). The Gin Lovers Magazine will always be identified as the first Gin magazine in the world that wanted a different presentation: new, fresh and visually appealing. A magazine thought and idealized in Portugal with the direction and editing by Miguel Somsen and art direction by José Lázaro. We give you unique and exclusive content from the Gin world including visits to distilleries, tasting events and more. You can find Gin Lovers Magazine in Gin Lovers stores and online store.

Celebrating the second anniversary, Gin Lovers Magazine is taking an important step in its growth, becoming available from now, in bilingual version (Portuguese/English) that will allow to reach other markets and people all over the world.

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Gin and Tonic Ice cream Santini | Gin Lovers

It is officially considered one of the most anticipated synergies of recent times. The mastery of ice cream maker Santini joined the Gin Lovers boldness and irreverence and created a Gin and tonic ice cream. To be honest not one, but 16 ice cream, all made with Premium Gins sold by Gin Lovers. The new Santini ice cream reproduces not only a taste but also the authenticity of a drink - the Gin and Tonic. Calories aside, this is an ice cream that requires real care when tasted. Be careful or it will let you...inebriated. This synergy started a year ago when Gin Lovers invited Santini to develop a Gin and Tonic ice cream for an article that was coming on the Gin Lovers Magazine. Santini accepted immediately and it was a huge success in stores. This led to an alliance between the most prestigious Portuguese ice cream maker and the biggest Gin community to create a series of gin and tonic ice creams. The 16 premium gin brands were chosen. Then Schweppes and its tonic waters embraced the project with equal enthusiasm and availability. Each gin brand represents a different ice cream flavor because of the different botanical combinations. As there is no addition of ice - which provides an extra quantity of water to drink - the ice cream reveals the most authentic flavor as when you sip a Gin and tonic. Santini gives you the chance to experience ice creams from G'Vine, Gin Mare, Seagram's, Blackwood's 60, Tanqueray 10, Tanqueray Rangpur, Bulldog, Opihr, London N.3, Brockman's Monkey 47, Martin Miller's, Hendrick's, Wild Snow Dog, Sylvius and Beefeater 24. “We take advantage from the the fact that we are one of the oldest players on the market. Our know-how comes from the experience and work of three generations. We do not rest with only traditional flavor like strawberry or chocolate”, says Eduardo Santini - director of the prestigious ice cream maker. He believes that “the creation of new flavors and products in the Santini stores is natural”. Each gin and tonic flavor and brand will be revealed each week beginning the 7th of May. Do not forget. If you eat this ice cream do not drive.

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