Shaken or stirred, however you like it – Maduro, a specialized gin cocktail bar, is serving it up in style along the West Coast Promenade of Split.
The gastronomy offer of Split has absolutely flourished over the last two years and in particular, the last six months has seen many exciting new venues opening.
Terminal F opened at the start of the season, with a unique take on concept dining – they have created a menu and outfitted the restaurant to suit the transitory nature of their location at the beginning of the Riva.
And, with all the new restaurants opening, it was only a matter of time before the world of cocktails caught up. Noor cocktail bar recently opened showing that Split can do cocktails right and now meet Maduro – the first specialised cocktail bar in Split, which offers innovative cocktails made from gin.
Honestly, I cannot explain how thrilled I am about this. Having lived in Melbourne and London – two leading cities in the world of gastronomy and mixology, it has killed me that for the last five years, the only cocktails available have been a – mojito, sex on the beach, pina colada and aperol spritz… none of them done particularly well either, mind you.
I have been missing my craft beers and classic cocktails, let alone innovative new cocktails; however, this is all but changing in Split – can I get an amen?!
Maduro Concept Bar
Split it at the centre of tourism, especially nautical tourism in Croatia, so it only makes sense that Maduro resides in the fabulous location of the ‘West Coast’ near the ACI Marina and, in keeping with theme, they have decked out (excuse the pun) this venue to resemble a real boat. The cosy atmosphere and picturesque view of the city, gives the impression that you are enjoying the luxury life with nothing other than a classic gin and tonic, or cocktail in your hand – James Bond, eat your heart out.
The interior of this cocktail bar is inspired by a boat; from the bar made of rich mahogany to the walls covered in wooden panels, navy blue and cream setting the nautical tone, while the round mirrors give the impression of being inside a ship, peering out at the world. They have paid attention to every detail – from the sailor-style uniforms, to the lifesaver pricelists.
Gin & Tonic – more to it than you think.
Gin and Tonic is my classic go-to drink in summer, the botanicals of gin with refreshing tonic just seems right under the hot summer sun. And F Maduro aren’t just using any old ‘Gin’ or ‘Tonic’ either, so, rather than just telling you about the new cocktail bar in town, I thought I would formally introduce you to a long-time friend of mine, Gin & Tonic.
First, meet Gin Mare – now I won’t make any bold statements like ‘this is the best gin in the world’, because that debate is best saved for the experts, however it is arguably one of the more unique and well-known gins of the world (for those in the know).
As well as the usual culprits, you will find in gin (herbs, botanicals, citrus, cardamom…), Gin Mare has a unique line-up; including Italian basil, Turkish rosemary and Greek thyme as well as Arbequina olives and the citrus fruit is a blend of oranges from Valencia, lemons from Lleida and sweet oranges from Seville, talk about evoking the spirit of the Mediterranean. Gin Mare is also steeped in history as it is made in the distillery of the Giro family, whose production dates back to 1835, while they first began dabbling in gin in the 1940s.
The next welcome guest to the Gin and Tonic conversation, is the 1724 Tonic. 1724 Tonic water originates in the Andes on the mythical (and magical) Inca Trail – this is not just some fancy marketing either, well it kind of is, but it has ties to history as this is where quinine (an ingredient in your tonic) was discovered. And the name? Well, the quinine is picked 1724 metres above sea level.
The History of G & T
Fun fact – Gin and Tonic, was technically invented by the British East India Army. Quinine was discovered in the 1700s to help prevent and treat malaria. In 1825, British officers in the Indian Army decided to tinker with the Quinine medicine by adding soda water, sugar and gin to make it more palatable; hence creating the G&T and quite possibly the cocktail hour.
A Cocktail Date with Split
After a short history and introduction, let’s come back to Maduro. There is an outdoor gin bar with a cocktail master showing off his skills to guests.
As well as classics, they have created a unique menu, which tempts our tastebuds and takes us on a tour around the world through the ‘gin looking-glass’.
They use Italian Roby Marton Gin for an ‘Italian Mule’ or ironically make a ‘Pinky Gin Fizz’ from Austrian Blue Gin or the award-winning Columbian Gin is used in their ‘Columbian GT’, garnished with a dry orange slice and cinnamon stick to balance out the botanicas.
Escape the Madness and Indulge in the Luxury Life…
The heart of Split and Riva can sometimes be unbearable in peak season, whereas the West Coast is only a 10-minute walk, but can feel worlds away. Do yourself a favour one night, escape the madness, take a short stroll and indulge in the luxury life with a glass of Gin & Tonic (whichever way you fancy it) in hand and a view out over the luxury yachts and lights dancing over the Riva. You won’t regret it.
For more from the F Group, visit their page here.