Nordés is the first Atlantic Galician Gin, meaning its origins are from the Galicia region of Spain. Those origins are evident in every sniff and sip of Nordés gin. Its origin story goes a little something like this: 3 friends sit down together to a meal of octopus, a Galician delicacy. A sommelier, a wine entrepreneur, and a master distiller; each individual brought his own unique skillset to the table. Together they combined their expertise and their imagination to form an idea, to produce a gin worthy of coming out of Galicia. Their dream was to showcase the beauty of the region they love so much, using the best ingredients its land can produce, to create a gin unlike any other out there.
And so began the mission to make Nordés.
Nordés is named for the north wind that brings fresh sea air from the Atlantic and signals the arrival of good weather to the people of Galicia. The name was chosen deliberately, signaling a promise on the part Nordés creators to make a gin meant to bring good vibes and great times to anyone who drinks it.
Nordés is made in a small distillery found near Santiago de Compostela, near the Ulla River in San Pedro de Sarandón. The Nordés recipe begins with its unique alcohol base. Gin is standardly made with a neutral alcohol base, usually sourced from grain, but Nordés is made with alcohol produced from the Galician Albariño grape, the same used to make brandy. This base provides a fruity, more complex scent and flavor thanks to the white grapes used to make Albariño wine. Then distillers add 11 botanicals, with 6 originating in Galicia; lemon verbena, bay leaves, glasswort (a savory, succulent-like plant), mint, sage, and eucalyptus. The remaining 5 ingredients come from sources outside of Galicia and were chosen for how they complement the local flavors; hibiscus, ginger, cardamom, black tea and the calling card of any gin, juniper. Age and distilled with care, patience, and purpose, the resulting spirit is lightly fruity, playfully flavorful, and remarkably easy to drink, even on its own.
Even the bottle pays homage to Nordés origin. It’s inspired by the traditional ceramics made in Sargadelos, with a world map emblazoned across the beautiful white bottle in blue, with a helpful red dash marking Galicia, the birthplace of Nordés, where both the bottle and the gin are made.
I had the chance to meet Rocio Osborne, a native of Galicia and a Sixth Generation member of the historic Osborne family of vintners. With over 200 years of winemaking experience and multiple acquisitions of spirit companies (including Nordés Gin in 2015), Osborne is one of the oldest family businesses in the world, with the experience and knowledge to match. Rocio regaled us with tales of her hometown and her family’s history in the wine and spirits business. She walked us through the process of making Nordés and its history, before guiding us through a multisensory tasting experience. Then the mixology team at Madrina Bar Y Tapas in Toronto’s Distillery district gave us all a lesson in how to make the cocktails that showcase the unique Nordés flavor profile.
While Nordés is delectable enough to sip over ice, it really does shine in a cocktail. Here are the two recipes we learned to make, and now highly recommend trying:
Nordés Gin and Tonic
This Galician take on the classic Gin and Tonic helps to showcase the fruity flavor profile that makes Nordés Gin unique. Simple and easy to prepare, it’s a great way to enjoy this special spirit.
- 1 ounce of Nordés Gin
- 4 ounce of tonic water (as needed)
- three white grapes on a skewer for garnish
Fill a highball glass (or any larger, tall glass or good size wine glass) with ice. Pour gin over ice, then add tonic water and fill to the top. Add skewer of grapes for garnish.
Nordés Queimada Cocktail
The Queimada is a traditional Spanish cocktail whose origins, like Nordés Gin, are from the Galicia region. Traditionally the Queimada is made with aguardente, a spirit that is distilled from the remnants found after making wine, but here you will be using Albariño wine and of course Nordés in its place.
- 1½ ounce Nordés Gin
- The juice of half a lemon
- ¾ ounce ginger syrup
- A splash of Albariño wine
- 3–4 coffee beans
- Lemon Peel (keep matches or a lighter handy)
- Glasswort seaweed for garnish
Instructions: Pour Nordés Gin into a cocktail shaker with ice, lemon juice, and ginger syrup. Shake or 10 seconds, then strain into a wine glass filled halfway with ice. Add a splash of Albariño wine. Using a match or lighter, gently touch a flame to your lemon peel, and then squeeze the flamed zest into the glass, along with the peel itself. Place a few sprigs of glasswort into the glass, then drop in your coffee beans.
If my words have intrigued you, then you’re in luck; Nordés is now available at the LCBO for a very reasonable $39.95. Pick up a bottle today and enjoy a taste of Spain in the comfort of your own home. And as we always say with any spirit, please enjoy Nordés responsibly.
*This post is a paid partnership between ADDICTED Media Inc. and Nordés Gin