Gin and Tonics just may be the cocktail equivalent of a good glass of rosé, these days. Long a Summertime standard with the country club crowd, G&Ts have seen their popularity skyrocket in recent years, thanks in no small part to a bevy of excellent Gins being made all over the world (see my recent article on Global Gins here: https://santemagazine.com/the-ransom-report-global-gins-that-are-worth-your-attention/), and a growing group of bartenders that have raised the stakes in the G&T category by creating next-level interpretations of the drink itself – Spain immediately comes to mind, here, as the Spanish drink almost nothing else and bars have made it an artform dedicating entire lists of flavored Gin & Tonics to please their customers with.

But what if you’re a Gin martini person, like me? Is there a good new gin out there for us? With the discovery this past month of Portofino Dry Gin from Italy, I now say YES!

The fishing village of Portofino, just southeast of Genoa on the Ligurian coast, has long been a favorite of tourists and celebrities due to its picturesque setting with brightly colored houses perched on the hillside overlooking the superyacht clogged harbor.  Portofino Gin takes this vision and puts it right on the bottle, which is blue like the Ligurian Sea and features those same houses across its label.

Recently launched nationwide in the US, Portofino Dry Gin (SRP: $56.99; purchase here) features 21 botanicals, each one carefully selected for its natural aromatic properties. Juniper, lemons, lavender, rosemary, marjoram, sage, iris and rose are organically grown in Portofino Dry Gin’s botanical sanctuary on the hills of Portofino and combined with locally handpicked ingredients to complete Portofino Dry Gin’s secret recipe. The region’s unique microclimate allows lush Mediterranean vegetation to grow year round, and each botanical is ripened by the fresh sea breeze and the warm sun of the Italian Riviera.

Inside the bottle, Portofino Dry Gin is smooth and bright, with an earthiness from the juniper that plays off the citrus to provide a taste profile that dances on the palate. Perfect for sipping well chilled and up in a glass.

Portofino Bay Martini

  • 1.5 oz Portofino Dry Gin
  • 0.5 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Salted Water or olive brine
  • 1 Dash Olive Bitters

Stir and strain into a coupette (pictured above) or martini  glass, garnish with green olive & lemon peel and enjoy.

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