Buñuel said that gin is "a good stimulus for the imagination." Ana Monturiol couldn't agree more. He comes from a family with a lot of ingenuity. His uncle was the inventor of the mop, no less, although there are many other family patents. A creative vein that translates into another hobby at the table: the tasting of spirits. Hence, when this Madrilenian based in Los Molinos left her job in accounting, her brothers gave her a copper still "to entertain herself".

Ana was very clear about what she wanted to do with such a tool: to make, even if it was for herself, "the best gin possible". I didn't know it yet, but that was the beginning of what in 2015 became Gin Monti, an artisanal London gin made with water from the Sierra de Guadarrama that has conquered the best sommeliers and chefs in Spain.

The master distiller is a true rara avis. If they find another woman in Spain with this title, Ana would love to meet her. One of Monti's secrets has already been revealed: that "pure, sediment-free and very low mineralization" Madrid H2O that makes up 59% of this gin, compared to 41% alcohol. The other is the natural botanicals that Ana has included in the potion. "My father was a pulmonologist and a great lover of botany and flowers," he tells EL MUNDO on a recent morning in the mountains. "We had a greenhouse at home, so we've always been in touch with botany and the fascinating world of smells."

It is not gin without juniper and in London gin (i.e. classic gins, dried gins, gin and tonic gins for the uneducated) the minimum amount of juniper is regulated. But there are no limits on the other botanicals that the master can combine. "I wanted a gin with aromatic complexity, that you could drink alone," says Ana, who after doing a lot of trial and error, and trying different maceration techniques, came up with a formula with 15 botanicals, including some atypical such as cantueso, so present in the Sierra de Guadarrama, or olive leaves, so Mediterranean. Licorice, cardamom, cloves, hibiscus flower, lily root... are a few more.

The result is a persistent product, which remains in the memory. It was liked so much among family and sommelier friends that Ana decided to release it to the market. Today, eight years later, it produces 5,000 bottles annually. Coque, DSTAgE, Chirón, Cebo, Sacha, Alcotán are just some of the restaurants where we can take a Monti. In addition to the distillery itself in Los Molinos, of course, where Ana shows the elaboration process and performs tastings for visitors.

-What is the best time to have a gin?

-It has several hours throughout the day, but in the aperitif it is a sensational drink. A dry martini is delicious before eating.

-In the beginning, when did you know that you had hit the target with Monti?

-It was when I received an exciting email from Custodio López Zamarra, the sommelier of the Zalacaín restaurant, in which he told me that he was having a glass of Monti and was really liking his delicate mouth step, his friendly and elegant end ... I was stunned. Surely you don't know how much it meant to me.

Since then, Monti has won some of the most prestigious blind tastings and competitions in the world, such as the Gold Medal of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2020. However, Ana knows that this is a "long-distance and very hard race". "You have to be meticulous, perfectionist and have a great passion."

-And even more so in a sector mostly of men ...

-I defend this gin as if it were my son, but the feeling is that they give you less credibility. What really bothers me is when I hear it's a women's gin for women. Monti is a serious and dry London gin. It can't give you another impression.

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