La Gintonería : Now Open

The gintonic craze here in San Sebastián has reached new heights. Enter La Gintonería, a new bar in Gros that, as its name suggests, devotes itself to the preparation of everyone's favorite refreshing cocktail, the gintonic.

Selection: 61 gins, as well as extensive collections of other liqueur, such as all three Balvenie whiskies.

Default tonic: Schweppes premium line.

Location: Gros. The corner of Dunas Kalea y Zabaleta.

Vibe: Definitely a summery place. This small place feels twice as large thanks to its tall ceilings, and feels four times as large when the doors are open. There's a TV over the doors (new tennis viewing spot?) that was tuned to soccer.

Sample clientele: Four of the hipsters behind San Sebastián's coolest furniture studio, three 60-something men finishing their neighborhood route, three nondescript 30-something guys, and a father, mother and daughter.

Price: Our gintonics were 9 euros apiece, but they were made with premium gins.


We tried two new (to me) gins that came at the recommendation of the owner, after I told him my favorite gins: Magellan and Caorunn.  Magellan is a French gin that has iris flower root, he explained, and Caorunn is Scottish(!). Before serving, the owner/bartender dropped a few dots of grapefruit bitters (in both glasses) and allowed us to smell. Then the drinks were garnished with three (!) lime peels and one lemon. Pretty, but a bit too much citrus when I really wanted to taste the different gins. I need to go back to see if the garnishes differ for different gins. They were accompanied with gummies and potato chips, which is always a welcome touch for a neighborhood bar.

Because, did I mention, this place is right below my house. Uh-oh.