This is a look at three of Malagas best gin bars, as well as the tale of the Spanish gin and tonic. A drink perfected and turned it into a work of art.
Last weekend we visited some friends in Marbella, Spain. With the city of Malaga just a short trip away, we decided to spend one night so that we could test some local gin and gin bars. Finding Malagas best gin bars is no small feat. Malaga is a city of 567 000 inhabitants and more than 2 000 bars.
The history of Spanish gin and tonic
The British perfected the gin and invented the gin and tonic.
The Spanish perfected the gin and tonic and turned it into a work of art.
In Spain, you will get your gin and tonic in a copa glass. This looks like an oversized red wine glass. The Spanish name is Copa de Balon. The design dates back to the 1700s in the Basque region of northern Spain.
This glass serves two purposes. Firstly, it holds a lot more ice. Secondly, the stem gives you a place to hold the glass without warming the contents thereby melting the ice and diluting the drink.
How to make a Spanish gin and tonic
- Take a copa glass (or the largest wine glass you have)
- Fill it 2/3 with ice cubes.
- Put the garnish on top of the ice.
- Pour the gin onto the garnish. Be sure to use a London dry gin.
- Add tonic. Use two parts tonic to one part gin.
It is essential to use a bar spoon so that the tonic mixes with the gin, not just stays on top.
- Stir lightly. Add some more garnish for decoration.
What type of garnish to use in a Spanish gin and tonic
Your choice of garnish is dependent on the type of gin you are using. Below is a list of the most common garnishes used in Spanish gin and Tonic.
- Cucumber, lime peel, orange peel, lemon peel.
- Raspberries, strawberries, juniper.
- Cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, rose pepper, black pepper, ginger.
Malagas best gin bars
After some extensive online research, I found three bars that figured at the very top of almost every list. All three is within a short walking distance from each other. The last place also served food, making it a perfect way to end the night.
Please note that a Spanish gin and tonic has about twice the amount of alcohol as a regular gin and tonic.
Gin Tonic Bar
Address: Calle Sancha de Lara 5, 29015 Málaga.
With a name like this, you have a pretty clear idea what to expect. With
60 more than 100 different gin’s and 20 different tonic’s, they have quite a selection. Since they advertised with “Number One” I figured this was the natural place to start.
The female bartender turned out to be very knowledgeable. We ordered four different gins, based on her recommendation. We got what we came for: A unique Spanish gin and tonic.
Personally, I got to taste my first local gin, called Malaka Premium.
Address: Calle Torre de Sandoval, 5, 29015 Málaga.
With more than 100 types of gin, this place did not disappoint. We enjoyed our gin and tonics outside. This place is very conveniently located in a small square with lots of restaurants, making it the perfect place for a drink before dinner.
Address: Plaza Del Obispo, 4, 29015 Málaga.
Compared with the two other bars, this place had a rather slim gin menu, with just above 30 types of gin. On the plus side, they had a nice outside area with a perfect view of the cathedral and served good food as well.
Here, I tasted my second local gin, called Nordés. The gin and tonics were made at the table, a nice touch.
All in all, I think this was a very pleasant way to experience Spanish gin and tonic in a beautiful city with a lot of nice shops and things to see.
UPDATE: I was later contacted by the owner of Gin Tonic Bar. He wanted to inform me that they have, not 60, but more than 100 types of gin.