Mark and Elaine, Atlas’ owners, met Oz Clarke, the famous wine critic, in Manchester, in 2014.
Interested in what we did at the bar, he talked of his love for gin, and in particular Xoriguer Mahon was his favourite.
Praise indeed from a gentleman with an extremely well honed, and knowledgeable palate.
Situated, in Mahon, on the idyllic island of Menorca, which was British owned 200 years ago, the gin was born of British sailors looking for the popular drink of the time, but it wasn’t available.
Some smart locals imported juniper berries and used the wine alcohol, from the local Mediterranean vineyards, to distill the islands first gin.
The gin was only drunk locally until the twentieth century, when it was finally bottled, branded and sent further afield. 60% of the production still remains in Menorca, due to its popularity, however.
Xoriguer is the name of the old windmill, built in 1784, in which many generations of the PONS family had converted wheat in to white flour.
It was Miquel Pons Justo who took these traditional values in to his now spirits business, which remains so to this day.
Juniper berries are sourced from neighbouring Mediterranean mountains. The remaining botanicals, have never been disclosed!
Distilled in a traditional copper pot still, once finished the gin is rested, and stored in oak bottles, then bottled in to its distinctive green bottle.
This should be enjoyed with tonic and a lemon ganish.