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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life. . .” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019


Food Arts, El Quencher: Mad dogs and Spaniards? How did the quintessential quaff of British colonials become a runaway hit in Spain? Gerry Dawes, aka Mr. Spain, reports.

* * * * * 
The Ultimate Gin & Tonic has turned up in a globe-shaped glass on the bar at The Bazaar by José Andrés in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Not in a lounge that recalls the days of the British rule in India.

José Andrés with "The Ultimate Gin & Tonic," made with Hendrick's gin and Fever Tree tonic water, 
at Bar Blanca at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes ©2012; contact for publication rights.
(Note: This photo not published with the article in Food Arts.)

Spain—and lately its high-flying vanguard of chefs—has long had a love affair with Gin & Tonic, or “Gintonic,” as they call it. Who knew? No wonder, then, that the proliferating tapas bars in the United States are introducing Gintonic menus.

Estadio, a Spanish restaurant near Logan Circle in Washington, D.C., mixes Old Raj Gin with house-made orange thyme tonic and Tanqueray 10 with house-made elderflower citrus tonic. In Brooklyn, New York, Cynthia Diaz’s Bar Celona celebrates “Spain’s most popular tipple” by using artisanal gins, house-made tonics, and nontraditional ingredients: The Sea Monkey calls for Death’s Door Gin, house-made celery/apple juice, lemon, anise, Fever Tree Tonic, and fennel salt; El Matador has spiced gin, house-made tonic, cava, and bitters.

Andrés’ newly renovated Jaleo Restaurant and Tapas Bar in Washington, D.C., will likely outdo them all. His ThinkFoodGroup lead bartendar, Owen Thomson, has a Gintonic menu that includes Death’s Door and Fentiman’s Tonic with fennel, radish, cubeb, and kumquat; Ransom Old Tom and Bittermen’s Tonic with pickled ginger, allspice, orange, and lemon; Ridge Silver Tip and Fever Tree with tarragon, lemon, lime, and borage; Botanist & Q Tonic with coriander blossom, lemon, and lime; and Tanqueray 10 and house-made tonic with grapefruit, mint, lemon, and white pepper.

Since a Gin & Tonic is a drink ostensibly made for hot climates, many people have been drinking it—most often gin with Schweppes Tonic and a twist of lemon—for decades in Spain, where more than 200 brands of gin are sold.

Read the rest of the article here:  Food Arts, El Quencher, May 2012

About Gerry Dawes
Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 

In 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés

 ". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts. 

  Trailer for a proposed television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.

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