Those who plan to spend some time on Spain's lovely island of Menorca are sure to enjoy the many opportunities for relaxation and fun that are available, and it may sometimes be difficult to pull yourself away from those perfect beaches and exciting water activities. However, you won't want to miss out on the many wonderful offerings that are dedicated to showcasing the area's famous wines, gins and divine Menorcan cuisine. There are plenty of excellent restaurants on the island that you'll definitely want to try, but you should also plan to enjoy some of these wonderful workshops, tastings, tours and classes that allow you to really delve into the local food and drink scene.
A personalized small-group experience awaits you in a lovely traditional Spanish home in the old town of Ciutadella, and several activities are offered. These include wine tastings, beer tastings, cheese and sausage tastings and exceptionally special dinners for even the pickiest of eaters that offer excellent upscale menu items that are perfectly paired with cocktails made from Menorcan gin.
You may also choose to participate in the various gastronomic hands-on workshops, which are among the most popular activities. Each allows you to prepare a wonderful meal or a special cocktail, and you may even choose to schedule a workshop with as little as two people if you're interested in a bit of romance with your dinner. These are just a few of the workshops that are offered on a regular basis.
- Menorca and the Mediterranean: Available each day throughout the year, this workshop allows you to prepare an area favorite that includes stuffed squid, fideua, rice with Menorcan red prawns, fish and seafood stew, traditional paella and paella marinara. You'll be walked through each step of the cooking process, and you'll be able to sit down to enjoy your dish along with a drink and a dessert either in the lovely garden area or inside the dining room. You may also choose to prepare a vegetarian version of one of these dishes.
- Cuisine From Other Countries: From October through April, you're invited to learn about and prepare an international dish from countries that include Japan, Mexico and Vietnam. Dishes include four different types of sushi, miso soup, fresh guacamole, baked chicken enchiladas and Pho Bo along with a variety of other incredible Vietnamese dishes. These meals will be enjoyed in the vaulted dining room that is comfortably heated by a wrought iron stove.
- Cocktails: If you've ever wanted to learn how to make your favorite cocktails even better than your bartender, then this is the workshop for you. You'll be taught how to make a variety of perfect cocktails of your choice, and you may choose to make as many as you care to drink. This workshop can easily be combined with either of the above cooking classes so that you may enjoy your own cocktail creation with your meal, or you can schedule a time dedicated to only cocktails.
This popular Sant Lluis winery offers tours led by knowledgeable guides who speak both English and Spanish fluently. You'll have the opportunity to stroll through the beautiful vineyards at your leisure before heading into the winery to see each stop that the grape makes on its way to becoming an excellent bottle of wine. The tour ends with a sampling of a fine wine produced onsite.
You're also welcome to dine at the restaurant, which offers an exquisite view of the vineyards, and you'll enjoy incredible menu items that are perfectly paired with the vineyard's best wines. You may like to start with the wonderful cheese platter before moving on to a popular entree that includes oven-baked cod, pork belly or lamb shoulder. End your meal with the signature cheesecake with wine jam, and just ask if you would care to order any vegetarian or gluten-free meals. The wine bar is also open day and night, and you may order all of the vineyard's wines by the glass as well as a wonderful selection of mocktails (no alcohol included) and classic cocktails.
Xoriguer Gin Factory
Gin didn't even exist on the island of Menorca until the 18th century after British soldiers and sailors began to demand it at local taverns. Seeing the great potential for income, area craftsmen found a way to make excellent gin from the wine alcohol from the local vineyards, juniper berries from the Mediterranean mountains and some secret aromatic herbs that have never been revealed. Today, visitors may come by this famous Mahon gin factory to get a peak at how the gin is made and enjoy a free sample. In fact, you'll discover about 12 different flavors of gin available in large barrels, and you may feel free to sample each one.