Gin and tonic was one of the reasons Brits conquered the world. Quinine in tonic helped treat malaria and as a result the sun never set on the British Empire. If you feel that as it's a cornerstone of British triumph gin and tonic should be treated with reverence and respect then you need to make a trip to Ginbo in Palma.
Ginbo is fast becoming one of our favourite bars in Palma de Mallorca and last night I headed over to the bar on Passeig Mallorca to sample some more of their huge selection of gin.
It is a huge selection, you can't just ask for a gin and tonic here, Ginbo carries 120 different gins and twenty different tonics and each drink is mixed with care and artistry. The staff in the bar are so passionate about making the finest drink they can and just watching them prepare your tipple adds to the occasion. It's not just ice and a slice, each gin has different flavours and botanicals and as such each one is prepared differently and served with different fruits to best compliment the flavours.
"Product knowledge is important." says the manager Matias, "In a restaurant the waiter knows the dish and explains to you what you are eating, we took that to the bar. We want the experience of drinking in Ginbo to be gastronomic."
The bar first opened in June 2009 and was extended in March this year to make space for not only more gin but also 50 whiskeys, 60 vodkas, 40 rums and 30 different tequilas.
"Gin might go out of fashion." explains Matias "but we don't want to go out of fashion. We want to make vodka, tequila, whiskey and rum gastronomic too."
The bar has begun to experiment with the way they serve their drinks aswell. Taking inspiration from Barcelona's Es Buli they have begun to change the state of the drinks. Solidifying gin and tonics and rum and coke into gummy sweets.
"Es Buli had made a caipirinha bar and we thought why not try that with a classic long drink." Says Matias.
The bar itself is cool. Moodily lit with most of the light coming from behind the hundreds of bottles on display you can sit at the bar and chat to the very friendly staff or take a seat outside in the covered terrace.
Ginbo is not cheap, you should expect to pay up to €15 for a gin and tonic if you pick one of the high end gins but it is an experience that feels like value for money. There are so many different flavours and options and if you feel a little daunted by trying to pick something the staff will help you, recommending what they think you might like.
The cornerstone of Britishness has never tasted so good.