The Menorcans might not have been too keen on the British holding onto their island for the best part of 200 years, however those homesick sailors who started the gin distilleries there mean we now have the fantastic Xoriguer gin to thank them for. Barcelona also has a good place to sample this distinctly different botanical drink with the finest produce from the Balearic islands at Sant Antoní’s Idò D.O. Balear.
Located on C/Viladomat, this bar/bodega offers tasting plates, cheese boards, sandwiches and salads that showcase the best of the islands’ ingredients such as baked, paprika sobrassada sausage with honey; mild or matured Mahon cheese and smoked salt cod. There’s canned and packaged produce on sale to take home and baked goods to enjoy there or takeaway too like finely-rolled, pillowy, larded pastry ensaimadas and my personal favourite, shortcrust pastry pies filled with meat or vegetables.
It’s difficult to describe the taste of Xoriguer gin, it’s unmistakeably gin but with a noticeable difference…a product of the different botanicals on Menorca perhaps? For me you can keep all those newly fashionable top-end gins and fancy tonics, this is definitely one of my favourites. Unusually it also works well with lemonade, particularly the yellow, cloudy type with which it becomes known as a pomada.
What I particularly love about Idò D.O. Balear is that you can enjoy a more manageable sized G&T than in other places, who wants a goldfish bowl sized one during a shopping stop-off or as a post-work drink? ‘Post work’ by the way is something this place prides itself on by offering a small tapa with a gin and tonic, pomada, beer or vermut on Tuesdays to Fridays from 6 – 8.30pm.
And so it was time for me to enjoy my favourite tipples and one of the fantastic meat and pea pies I first enjoyed on a winter trip to Mallorca in early 2013. Beautiful, short pastry with wonderful chunks of beef and peas spilling out. Heaven!
Idò D.O. Balear, C/Viladomat, Sant Antoní
Accepts Ticket Restaurant.