Gin is in

Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria serves up a delightful variety of gin cocktails.

Gin Mare ambassador Ezio Canetti from Barcelona (right) and the hotel’s chief mixologist Issa Amar at the Garden Terrace on the opening night (photo credit: WALDORF ASTORIA JERUSALEM)
Gin Mare ambassador Ezio Canetti from Barcelona (right) and the hotel’s chief mixologist Issa Amar at the Garden Terrace on the opening night
(photo credit: WALDORF ASTORIA JERUSALEM)
It was quite chilly up on the terrace of the Waldorf Astoria, but luckily the hotel has a supply of spare pashminas for ladies who haven’t dressed warmly enough for cool nights in Jerusalem.
So, wrapped in borrowed robes, like Macbeth, I was given the chance to taste a variety of gin cocktails prepared by the hotel’s expert mixologists and can report that this proved to be a delightful evening.
The message that general manager Avner On wanted to convey is that conventional gin and tonic – a classic drink if ever there was one – has undergone a makeover.
”Gone are the days of traditional conservative presentations.
Nowadays our guests can expect G & T to be presented in the most unusual ways and with extraordinary combinations,” says On.
He lists several reasons why dear old gin and tonic is being consigned to the dustbin of booze history, to be replaced by new concoctions.
“It’s less calorific than beer, it’s easier to drink, and it’s more fun,” says On.
The gin used in the cocktails was the Gin Mare brand, and before the tastings we were treated to a talk about it from a representative of the company. It’s a gin made in Spain in the fishing town of Vilanova. According to the company’s website, the botanicals used in the preparation of this exceptional gin include rosemary, thyme, olive and basil, with added flavors of cardamom, citrus and juniper berries.
Among some of the cocktails we were asked to taste were: Gin Mare paired with rinsed olives, sea salt flakes and lemon peel – very dry and powerful; Gin Mare mango, a gin and tonic presented with a freshly sliced piece of mango, the exotic fruit adding another dimension to the standard drink; and Gin Mare with thyme and basil, which gave what the hotel handout described as a “light herbaceous take on the G&T.”
And just in case all this alcohol was making us light-headed, the executive chef, Itzik Barak, created some really delectable tapas nibbles to accompany the gin.
Some of these also included gin as an ingredient, such as the salmon gravlax, with herbs and orange segments; and the salmon tartar – chopped raw salmon with chives, fennel, olive oil, lemon and gin.
There were also some meat options in the shape of grilled chicken breast, flavored with silan (date syrup), pomegranate juice – and more gin.
“Our goal,” says On, “is to enable all guests of Jerusalem and its residents to enjoy the attentive yet discreet quality of service for which the Waldorf Astoria is known.”
Guests of the Garden Terrace also receive two hours of complimentary parking in the hotel car park.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Waldorf Astoria Garden Terrace Sunday to Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
to 11:30 p.m.
Tel: (02) 542-3333


Tags alcohol