Your first gin tonic was nothing special--just a perfect blend of ice, gin, tonic. It was in a little cafe in Barcelona's Gothic quarter probably visited by locals but unknown to the makers of guidebooks. In fact, the only real defining feature of the cafe was the turquoise staircase winding up to the second floor of the building--the bright pop of color reminding you of your desert home. Even the drink was homey in its simplicity as if you were in your own place and decided to whip up an evening cocktail.
The second gin tonic was the stuff of dreams--tantalizing, ephemeral, yet pulling you into this world here and now, much like the Gaudi building you spent the day viewing. It came from a little hole in the wall famous for how well it handles this iconic drink. It was made of Hendrick's gin infused with basil--your favorite herb--and graced with fat ice cubes and Swepps tonic water. You watched in fascination as the bartender filled your glass, a fat round goblet, to the top with your restorative elixir. Your only distraction, the bottled of house infused spirits, like rows of apothecary jars along the bar.
You sat outside, watching cars whiz by, discreetly listening to your fellow gin drinkers. The drink was cool and tart on your lips, laced with the perfumey botanicals that make an ideal gin. The basil hits you last, like a memory or whisper of the herb at the back of your throat. Yes, this was the perfect palate teaser for tapas across the road.
Your last gin tonic was in another hole in the wall, this time in Sitges, a favorite tapas place for the locals. You don't remember much about that drink, only the sand and salty ocean that coated your skin, your hair, your lips. Even this was the taste of Spain.
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