When life gives you lemons, make gin

There’s something very calming, very mesmeric about the snip, snip, snipping of lemons being cut from a bush. It’s so quick, so rhythmic, it feels like gentle percussion. That’s the sound, then there’s the sight that accompanies the scene. Picture it. The first thing you notice is a mass of shiny green leaves with shades of yellow popping through – everything from pale green through to spring-like sunshine.

Look a little closer and you’ll see men crouching under the bushes, sacateurs in hand, quickly and meticulously clipping the fruit from the bush. The entire process is deliciously old fashioned, perfect Instagram material – particularly against the rugged, brilliantly sunlit backdrop of the Murcia countryside.

Spanish lemon peels out to dry – the perfect Instagram op

We’re with Bombay Sapphire Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti in one of the fields where he sources lemons for the vapour infused gin. If that setting was romantic enough, we’re taken to see how the lemons are then handpeeled and left to dry in the Spanish sun. It’s fascinating to watch as our host strips the lemon of its peel in one precise swirl. As soon as it plops into the basket, she’s at it again – her moves are so practised, so swift, she’s able to manipulate the knife and busily chat away without once looking at the fruit. Little wonder. She peels an estimated 750 kilos of lemons a day!

Then it’s on to see where the bitter almonds are sourced. And even though we’ve only touched and smelled two of the 10 botanicals that go into Bombay Sapphire gin, we’ve gained a deeper knowledge and respect for the care and attention that goes into it.

After the mother of all lunches in yet another spectaculer setting, we’re on a flight to London for part two of the journey.

Highlight of the day:
Listening to Ivano talking passionately and knowledgeably about the sourcing of the Bombay Sapphire botanicals.

Where we found sublime:
Pretty much everywhere – from the lemon trees to the palatial Hysteria Palacete Rural La Seda where we had lunch.


Tomorrow: Discover of multi-sensorial sciences and prepping for the comp.

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