Set between the hillsides and the Med, the fishing village of Portofino brings to mind the quintessential getaway idyll that resides in our collective imagination – the twinkle of azure water, a harbour thronged with bobbing boats, the technicolour-patchwork of houses, the bountiful catch of the day, the languorous pace of daily life on the coast.
Some of the world’s most coveted products come from this tiny enclave, too – it is said that the finest basil derives from nearby Genoa, and the hot climes here ensure ingredients, from zucchini to borage, are grown to an almost unimaginably ripe flavour.
Portofino Dry Gin, established in 2018, and available via Boutique Brands, is a homage to this haven on the Ligurian coastline, a company whose signature tipple is intended to provide its customers with the bright, getaway feeling of walking down La Piazzetta – the village’s cobbled main square – with every sip, regardless of where you pour it.
Also a tribute to co-founder Ruggero Raymo’s grandfather, Klaus Pudel, a man said to have saved Portofino from ruin during WWII and whose parties during the La Dolce Vita 50s and 60s have become stuff of local legend, it is a playful, spirited spirit with character, intensity and poise – a distinct flavour of the land, and one that is a blend of 21 carefully selected local delicacies, many of which are organically grown on the founding family’s botanical gardens on the hills surrounding Portofino, from juniper to lemon, lavender, rose and iris.
Made via a mix of time-honoured methods (old Italian copper stills used to distill liquor) and modern technology (a Rotavapor to preserve aromas), the product also eschews sugars, and artificial flavourings and preservatives in order to keep the purity of its flavour.
So, even if you can’t escape to the glorious Italian coast this season, this is the perfect alternative to add a little dolce vita to your evening down-time, brightening up these dark winter evenings with bursts of Portofino sunshine – and for something that’ll add even more aromatic punch, via lemon peel and dried lavender, below is Portofino Dry Gin’s easy-to-follow (and even easier to drink) recipe for its vibrant ‘Bay Martini’ cocktail – “an elegant and aromatic classic cocktail that’s been revisited and enhanced with a Mediterranean touch,” says Paolo Gastaldo, mixologist at Belmond Splendido Mare, the renowned five-star hotel in Portofino.
How to make the Portofino Dry Gin ‘Bay Martini’
- 60ml Portofino Dry Gin
- 10ml Dry Vermouth infused with lemon
- 1 Spray lavender cocktail essence
- Add the gin and vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir for 15 seconds
- Strain into the martini glass
- Garnish with lemon peel and a sprig of dried lavender
- Spray lavender essence on top
For the vermouth infused with lemon
- Infuse 3 lemon peels in 250ml dry vermouth for 6 hours
- Strain the liquid and store in a cool place
Portofino Dry Gin
Want more cocktail inspiration? Here are the 5 classic libations every gent should know how to make…
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