Being a Gin Snob, Graphic Bar has always been on my list of places to try but I only got around to visit them this February, and I went twice since! Tucked-in in the quiet Golden Square, away from the “mainstream Soho” but still close to hit the town later in the evening, this modern and stylish gin bar is the perfect place to catch up with your Gin buddies comfortably sitting on one of our their sofas with a glass of your favourite spirit in your hand. The staff & bartenders are very friendly and would usually go the extra mile (and I mean it!) to help you choose the best Gin out of the 300 that they’ve available on their shelves.
Once a month, the Graphic Bar (Graphicbar.com) hosts #GinSocials where you can go and try a new product, learn more about it and eventually love it! Tickets are sold online and they are less than £6, which is a great value considering that on the evening you are offered a new G&T and an original cocktail.
This February, the Social was about a Galician gin called Nordés and even if I tried it before, I decided to go and meet the guys that are behind this unique gin.
My first encounter with Nordés dates back to October 2015 in Chueca, Madrid. It was a soaking wet Saturday evening and nobody was around to be seen in this usually vibrant part of the town. We ran into the first open bar and that’s when I realised that the Spanish do love their Gin as much as the Brits! It was utterly overwhelming to go through their extensive list of then unknown gins but since the waiter wasn’t certainly a connoisseur, I had to make my choice, and I went for the one that sounded vaguely Spanish, Nordés. As the big Spanish style copa was served at my table – you can seriously get tipsy with only one of them – I knew that I would never regret my pick!
My gin smelled like a light summery perfume and had a really elaborated and sweet finish. Sip after sip I could taste different botanicals and I could feel only a light bite on the back of the throat. Three bottles and many gin & tonics later, Nordés is still my undisputed favourite gin and it has finally landed on the British market for you to enjoy it. If you love the “classics” probably this gin is not for you. But if I were you, I would give it a go anyway because it’s pushing the boundaries of what can be considered a gin nowadays.
There are many things that make Nordés stands out of extensive selection of gins that are on the market. First of all, Nordés – which takes his name for an Atlantic wind – is a celebration of Galicia, the region it comes from. In fact, all the ingredients are from this North-Western Spanish region: starting with the spirit-base made of Albariño grapes to the botanicals hand picked at different times of the year and infused individually throughout the distillation process. I would like to list of all the botanicals that make Nordés so unique and enjoyable but I don’t want to spoil your guessing game before you even try it. Some of my favourites are: mint, eucalyptus, lemon verbena etc…
Thumbs up, then, for the Galician Chef & the Sommelier who are behind Nordés. Their vision for this gin was to create a product that could be easily enjoyed with meals and I can understand how Nordés could intrigue some non-gin lovers and end up on your dining tables pretty soon.
How it was served
Before the friendly Gin Ambassador for Nordés talked us through the history of the gin, we were served our first Nordés + Tonic. I liked the choice of the garnishes, as mint and grapes are among the ingredients used in the distillation process but I didn’t particularly agree with the selection of tonic water. The Nordés Crew went for the Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic Water with Angostura bark which I found extremely overpowering for the gin delicate and floral taste.
I might have prefered a neutral or light tonic water that didn’t cover the flavour of the gin. I usually serve it with 1724 Tonic, a few juniper berries, liquorice and/or a petal of hibiscus. In the hot summer days, I recommend having Nordés just with some orange peel (and tonic water of course!) to give it that citrusy extra kick that this amazing gin is probably missing.
Anyway, I don’t feel I can complain because by the end of the event we were also offered a delicious gin–based cocktail. Well done to Graphic Bar’s bartenders that mixed masterfully some Picboul del Pinet white wine, pear juice infused with Eucalyptus and celery syrup with their gin of the month. And guess what, it’s… Nordés!
Muy bien chicos!