Alcohol and Ibiza are two words that you probably would put in the same sentence, although possibly for all the wrong reasons. In reality there is a drinking culture on the island which is a million worlds away from two-for-one apple sour shots. Based on fresh, local ingredients and hand-crafted methods, Ibiza can offer a sophisticated drinking experience like no other.
Sa Cova Winery
If the expression “life is too short to drink bad wine” is one that you live by, then Sa Cova winery and vineyard will ensure you needn’t suffer such a disagreement. Set in the countryside of San Mateu and offering a selection of home-grown wines, the establishment consists of much more than just a chance to stock up on some good-quality vino. Throughout the year they offer up tours of their grounds which explain the history of wine on the island, their fermenting process, and the types of grape they use. All the time they open up the floor for questions so that the visit has a more informal tone, an open discussion rather than a monologue. After this brief lesson, visitors get a chance to taste the good-stuff: four different types of wine served up with a selection of tapas made from local ingredients, and the whole lot only makes your wallet 18€ lighter.
Craft beers have become popular in many trendy bars thanks to the revival of everything vintage and rustic that the hipster generation has brought. But Ibosim beers are no fad, and far from jumping on the bandwagon what they are offering are authentic, natural and unprocessed ales using only combinations inspired by the finest ingredients on the island. Amongst their best-sellers is the dark and flavoursome Garrova Carob Porter, which focuses on the fruit of the carob tree native to the island and won the bronze medal in the national beer championships for alternative and historical methods. For those of you who like a lighter ale the Ibiza Summer or Isla Blanca Weissbeir offer smooth aromatic notes, and the Rosemary Rural incorporates the fragrant notes of this abundant herb. As well as being delicious and using only 100% natural ingredients, these beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized and contain no additives at all.
A trip to Ibiza wouldn’t be complete without a good Carajillo after your meal. For those of you used to a digestion-aiding chupito or coffee to round off dinner, then this speciality combines the best of both worlds. Not averse to a potent tipple, the ibicencos like to end their meal on a high with a shot of stand-your-spoon-in-it strong coffee and an equally generous shot of a liqueur of your choice added to it. This nightcap is available in most restaurants; however one in particular is famed for its spin on the classic. Sa Caleta restaurant serves up a mean “Cafe Caleta”, a hearty combination of black coffee, sugar, rum, brandy orange and lemon peel that is sure to put hairs on your chest.
You can’t get more authentic than the potent liqueur “Hierbas” made exclusively on the island. This drink is the foundation of any young locals’ transition into the adult world of alcohol. If you grew up here, it was probably the first thing you drank (and threw up) from the dusty bottle in your parents’ cupboard or the free shot you were given on your first nights out. But put a few years between those memories and most people find a whole new appreciation for this liqueur. Drank warm in my youth it tasted like a mixture of medicine and regret, but served the right way (over ice in a round bottomed glass) it is the perfect post-dinner treat to sip upon. Sweet and fragrant, it is made up of 28 different herbs form the island combined with an aniseed-based spirit. You can find this bottled all over the island, but Anita’s bar in San Carlos served up its very own home-made version.