In Monsaraz, one of my favorite Portuguese towns (a walled village atop a hill near the Spanish border — terribly romantic), a boutique gin manufacturer has set up shop.
The gin is called Sharish, and it is worthy. I love Sharish’s standard gin, which is made with a number of botanicals including the locally grown apple variety. The strong hint of apple means that this gin is enhanced with a few slices of apple along with tonic, producing an almost sweet drink.
Sharish also makes a gin called Blue Magic, which contains extract from a flower called the blue pea. It is…distinctive.
As with the standard Sharish, I add a bit of apple to my glass along with the ice…
…and then comes the fun bit. Sharish Blue Magic has a secret up its sleeve. When you mix it with tonic, it changes color.
And this is why we should all pay attention to our chemistry classes in high school, because really, how cool is that?
Sharish Blue Magic is making a big impression in bars, where bartenders enjoy the easy magic show and customers love the taste (and color) of the drink. I’m guessing we won’t drink it very often, because it’s more expensive than the standard Sharish, and that extra money is solely for the color change. But I do love that apple flavor, so different from every other gin. And now and again, it’s fun to pour in the tonic and watch the show.
On a different but related topic, I’ll be doing a live interview on the Cocktail Hour tonight at 4:00 pm EST (8:00 pm in the London-Lisbon time zone), talking about Outcaste. The two Cocktail Hour hosts and I always have a rollicking time as we chat and they toss questions/opinions at me. We also take questions from viewers — just post them on the YouTube page linked above. (Cocktail Hour shows are also available in podcast form shortly after the interview.)
How is this topic related, you ask? Well, the Cocktail Hour ladies do love their drinks. So I’ll be demonstrating the color change of Sharish Blue Magic Gin for them…and then fueling my end of the interview with a very fine Portuguese gin.