Ginbo Gin & Cocktail Bar – Discovering the Balearic islands
In February 2016, I met Matías Iriarte Turnes doing a guestshift at Bryk Bar in Berlin. He introduced the concept of the Ginbo Gin & Cocktail Bar located in the centre of Palma de Mallorca. The menu was stunning and came on a vinyl LP in a traditional record sleeve. The name of the LP was “The Soultenders”, the cover showed pictures of the bar team and the LP itself listed the drinks made with premium products and homemade ingredients. The most important part of that night was that I was immediately captivated by the warm hospitality and decided that night to travel to Mallorca. Matías Iriarte Turnes has learned from the best, created famous cocktails, become a finalist of the Bacardi Legacy competition and is one of the two co-founders of Ginbo. We met in Berlin, then again in Paris, and finally I made it to Palma de Mallorca last December for my Christmas holidays.
My love for bar culture is infinite and the most important part for me is a warm welcome and experiencing the love and passion of the bartender profession.
Ginbo is a hidden gem at an inconspicuous corner. As soon as you step inside you find yourself in a small homey bar. Gin-tastic!
Gin is King, especially in Spain, so it is no wonder that this specialised bar opened its doors in 2008. Ginbo is highly awarded and the home of knowledgable bartenders – friendly, attentive and welcoming without any arrogant attitudes – all in all, fabulous hosts. Palma de Mallorca is frequented by people from all over the world and their drinking habits are diverse.
The mission is to please guests with beautifully crafted cocktails regardless as to whether they are for amateur or professional drinkers. Drinks are made for guests and topped with Mediterranean hospitality.
Ginbo Bar is situated at the end of Avenida Jaime III. When I walked through its doors, I knew that it was an extraordinary place. A classic bar counter, dark wood, with shelves packed with over a hundred bottles of Gin. The name of the bar already indicated the focus on Gin. The place is attractively lit and atmospheric. A warm welcoming spirit and a comfortable bar chair – my perfect watering hole. I felt comfortable and in good hands. The high quality of the homemade ingredients sets the bar apart. The sophistication of the menus is “the cherry on the cake.” Ginbo’s newest menu was officially released a few weeks ago.
“Discovering the Balearic islands”. Ginbo takes you on a journey through the most authentic and representative flavours and ingredients from the Balearics.
Ginbo continually innovates, providing its guests with new experiences, something unique. The Balearics are bathed in sunshine, it is a paradise in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The islands offer wonderful treasures from almonds and citrus trees to olives and fig leaves. Each cocktail takes its name from the main ingredients which are sourced from the islands. All the drinks are easy to understand. Compared to the cocktail spots in Barcelona, London or Paris the audience is not that experienced in cocktails but they are interested in the culture and history of Spain. There is nothing finer than to use local products which are of the best quality and at the same time support your country.
Take a seat and let yourself be carried away by the flavours in your glass. I opted for sage, lavender and fig leaf.
The bar team grew last summer with Joe Lewis-White joining the crew. Previously, he worked at the most iconic bar in the World, the Savoy. Now you will find him behind the stick at Ginbo. I tried his winning drink Salvia, the liquid proposal for the Bacardi Legacy Competition. A floral Mediterranean slightly citrusy concoction. Nothing fancy, just impeccably built with the Bacardi 8 Anos, Martini Rubino, a syrup made of sage and Oloroso sherry, lemon and pineapple juice, all seamlessly stitched together to create a perfectly balanced and delicious cocktail. An unforgettably elegant drink.
Lavender is a tricky ingredient in food & drinks. Sometimes it turns a drink into a medical bath or reminds you of granny’s old cupboard. But, I happen to like this herb. The drink Lavanda combines G’Vine Gin, lavender with vermouth, strawberry cordial, Campari and citrus creating a fine and elegant libation. Delicious!
My next drink was the Higo, meaning „fig“ in Spanish. It was a Sour made with fig leaf distillate, yellow Chartreuse, citrus, egg white and a homemade fig tincture. The fig tree itself symbolises many things. In ancient times, for example, the fig tree was a symbol of fertility, the sense of joy, abundance, wealth, and various erotic aspects. Fig leaves are commonly used in the kitchen to wrap seafood. The leaves give what I would describe as a subtle flavour of green coconuts with a nice fruitiness. The drink definitely pays homage to a typical Mediterranean produce. All drinks came well-balanced and perfectly tailored to their concept.
There is a very interesting cocktails scene in Mallorca. They encourage people to drink better. Mallorca is perfect for a short trip: sunshine, excellent restaurants and some brilliant bars. Go there and experience it for yourself!