Home-Grown Lemon in Your G&T?

My new favourite gin . . . made in Mallorca!

Even before we’d bought our finca on Mallorca, I’d pictured myself strolling out into the garden and plucking a fat organic lemon from our own tree, to grace the occasional gin and tonic we enjoy on the terrace. By the time we’d bought the place and begun to plan The Big Move, my imagination had turned that lemon tree into a small citrus grove.

We bought a pile of books about Mediterranean gardening, and The Boss – a bit of a whizz with a spreadsheet – created a multi-page document detailing what would be suitable to grow in the mallorquin climate, mindful of the need to be frugal with water.

Our land is quite a reasonable size and comprises a rectangular field, a small rock and succulents garden (created by Marie and John, the previous owners), and a steep valley completely overgrown with wild olive and typical Mediterranean shrubs. Almost ten years after buying the place, I still have not ‘walked’ our entire land, not being deft enough with a machete to hack my way through the jungle. One day.

But one thing has finally been achieved. This spring, we planted our lemon tree. Admittedly, it’s perhaps not where we would have wanted it:  After a considerable amount of effort with a pickaxe and spade, The Boss declared that there was only one spot where the soil was sufficiently deep to plant a tree. So our own citrus grove is certainly never going to happen.

The young tree has produced some sweet-scented flowers, and baby’s-fingernail-sized lemons have followed in their wake. With any luck later this year we’ll be slicing one into a glass of the delicious ONZE gin, produced by the Pollensa winery Ca’n Vidalet, and the only gin actually made in Mallorca. We discovered this new limited edition gin (ours is bottle number 536 of 1,500) at the 2012 Pollensa Wine Fair (Fira del Vi) and its blend of 11 Mediterranean botanicals – including rosemary and lavender – gives it a distinctive and delicious flavour. Everyone who has a G&T at our place loves it; we can’t wait to taste one with the addition of a slice of home-grown lemon . . .

Jan Edwards © 2012

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