STRONG AT HEART
Flavoured with fig tree bark and distilled to a high strength, GinT Rubro creates a robust spirit that suits any setting
When Rute Silva and Tiago Sanches set out to create their own spirit, they knew they wanted to make gin, but were undecided how they wanted it to taste. After all, gin has evolved from a drink largely enjoyed straight or with ice and a slice into a spirit with almost infinite interpretations.
Tiago drew inspiration from his childhood and the scent of fig trees that lingered in the air around his north Portugal home. A laughing Rute recalls: “In the beginning, we were gathered around a fig tree trying to understand where this smell came from. The source of this enticing aroma, they discovered, was fig tree bark.
Almost two years later, this unique ingredient has formed the basis of GinT Rubro – a distinctive London gin that is distilled in Portugal. The duo’s light-bulb moment for GinT Rubro came like many great ideas do – after countless nights sampling various alcohols. “We liked to go out, visit bars and try new gins among friends,” says Rute. “That’s how it began.”
Their not-so-secret fig tree bark ingredient is sourced from farms in the north of Portugal. “Two or three times a year, we gather all the family and children and collect the bark,” says Rute, fondly. But how does one serve a fig tree bark-infused gin? “There is no perfect serve. Everybody is different and can enjoy it in different ways,” says Rute. “But I like to drink mine in a big glass with lots of ice.”
At 58 per cent ABV – what’s known as “navy strength” – GinT Rubro is far from your run-of-the-mill gin. But while its potency may leave you with a slightly foggy head if consumed in large quantities, it offers drinkers guilt-free consumption thanks to Rute and Tiago’s dedication to eco-friendly methods of production. All of the brand’s bottles are sealed with a cork and wax to remain plastic-free, and even the fig bark is sustainable, as it breaks away naturally from the tree.
The pair behind GinT plan to branch out into cocktail bitters and their own scent in the future, all of which will incorporate fig tree bark in some way. However, a passion for gin remains at the core of what they do. “Gin is a classic, and it will stay a classic forever,” says Rute. “And so will we.”