A Gin Made With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ettore Pacilli manages a wine bar which offers 130 brands of gin. He created a new disitillate from grain, botanicals and monovarietal Peranzana to add to his collection and mix it in original cocktail recipes.

Feb. 16, 2017
By Ylenia Granitto

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It all started with trav­els,” Ettore Pacilli told Olive Oil Times. My pas­sion for gin was born in Barcelona dur­ing a trip with my wife, and the idea to add extra vir­gin olive oil arose while dri­ving through Salento. Surrounded by olive groves and wheat fields, I thought I would com­bine the two prod­ucts, dis­till­ing grain and infus­ing with extra vir­gin olive oil.” 

A stone’s throw from Foggia Cathedral, Pacilli man­ages a restau­rant and a wine bar which offers over a hun­dred brands of gin. The lat­est addi­tion to the large col­lec­tion is EVO, made with a mono­va­ri­etal Peranzana pro­duced in the town of Apricena.

It took many tries before reach­ing the desired result,” Pacilli revealed about the pro­duc­tion process of EVO which, like a tra­di­tional gin, starts with the mal­ta­tion of grain. 

Boiled in a cer­tain amount of water, the mash that comes out is dis­tilled until pure alco­hol is obtained. This is infused with nat­ural botan­i­cals includ­ing juniper, angel­ica and car­damom, and the result must be sub­ject to a fur­ther distillation. 

At this point we obtain a spirit with a strong fla­vor of juniper, that is the pure gin. This is diluted with dis­tilled water which low­ers the alco­hol con­tent and the infu­sion with extra vir­gin olive oil is the last step. 

A 60-liter still is used for dis­til­la­tion, and smaller stills of 10 and 2 liters are ded­i­cated to testing. 

A spe­cial pro­ce­dure allows the dis­til­late to get intense aro­mas. Polyphenols are extracted and bind to alco­hol leav­ing aside the fats and keep­ing the fra­grance. With an alco­hol con­tent of 42.7 per­cent by vol­ume, EVO is rich in aro­matic com­pounds that elicit espe­cially the herba­ceous attrib­utes of extra vir­gin olive oil. 

Enoteca Uvarara 4 Via Mastrolillo Foggia, Apulia

I obtained a very good prod­uct but I keep exper­i­ment­ing and cre­at­ing recipes, first adding dif­fer­ent botan­i­cals to the com­po­si­tion of gin and then mix­ing it with new ingre­di­ents,” Pacilli revealed, and sug­gested us two cock­tails where gin EVO is at its the best: 

The Olive Oil Martini

Fill a mix­ing glass with ice and coat with 2 cl (0,67 oz) of Carpano dry ver­mouth and drain out leav­ing just the coat­ing on the ice. Add 6 cl (around 2 oz) of EVO gin and stir. Strain into a mar­tini glass and add a few drops of Peranzana olives brine. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Olive Oil Gin and Tonic

Fill a glass to top with ice. Add 4 cl (1.35 oz) of EVO gin and 20 cl (0.67 oz) of 1724 Tonic Water. Add a green apple slice and gar­nish with a basil leaf.


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