Sharish Gin - A premium from the Alentejo

Sharish Gin – A premium from the Alentejo

I’m replacing my usual wine column this week with an impressive gin made here in Portugal.
Gin is in – in a big way – and what less than a decade ago was considered anything but trendy has come full circle.
Today, any bar that boasts even a reasonable collections of drinks will have one or two speciality gin labels on offer to complement the mainstay brands like Gordon’s and Bombay Sapphire.
But now there are dedicated gin bars and special super dry tonic waters to back up what is now a mind-boggling selection of gins.
Some are premium labels from the big producers and others small, almost artisanal, producers.
GVine from France, Monkey 47 from Germany and Gin Mare from Spain are just a few of the premium labels that can be found here in the Algarve’s best bars, along with the likes of Fever Tree tonic water from the UK.
As recently as last year, there was no gin produced in Portugal but this one (apparently the fourth to be launched since) is the first I have tried.
Produced in the Alentejo and named Sharish, the Arabic name of the historic town of Reguengos de Monsaraz, it is distilled from local ingredients including coriander seeds, lemon and orange peel along with juniper berries. The result is a fruity and fragrant gin that is smooth enough to enjoy straight.
I first tried it served with Fever Tree tonic and a sprig of fresh coriander but found the coriander a little overpowering. Sharish is not yet available in the shops but has made its way to a few bars and restaurants in Algarve (I tried it at Pimenta Preta in Carvoeiro) but it can be ordered from the producers’ facebook page at €29.90 for a 700ml bottle. Search for Sharish Gin on Facebook.
By Patrick Stuart [email protected]