Ginet is the local name for a very special Menorcan brew!

A Plant which grows widely in Menorca and an occupying force appear to have little in common! However the presence of many junipers growing wild ion the island plus the British Fleet at anchor in Mahon Harbour led to the production of a spirit far removed from the Spanish and Mediterranean traditions, but with more than a passing resemlence to the English spirit.

It is a kind of cross between London Gin and the Mediterranean spirit, invented in Minorca. It was very successful and was drunk throughout the British Fleet and it surprised more than one distinguished visitor to declare "the best of the sprits found in Europe today" was historian Vargas Ponce's opinion on visiting Minorca in 1781.

The major difference between London Gin and Minorcan Ginet, is that Minorcan ginet is based on a spirit distilled from the grape, as is usual in the Mediterranean, and not on a cereal based spirit. The juniper now comes from the mainland, but the distilling continues to be done in old copper stills. The spirit rests in oak barrels cured in gin so that the end product does not take the colour of the wood.

This local brew is found all over Minorca, drunk neat or in a mix. One such mix, named Pomada, is created by adding bitter lemon. It's the drink of choice during the many fiestas which take place throughout the summer on the island.

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