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Shawn Thomas travels to Ibiza, where he picks up fresh fennel from a local market, samples a specialty liqueur, and ultimately heads into Ibiza's crystal clear waters to hunt down seaweed for a vodka tonic you must see to believe. Presented by Grey Goose.

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Transcript

- I'm Shawn Thomas, I'm in Ibiza, Spain, and this is Local Flight. A show where I travel to some of the best bars in the world to meet amazing mixologists and challenge them to create innovative cocktails using unique local ingredients. In this episode of Local Flight, we're collecting wild edibles for a truly unexpected taste of the island. Ibiza's tiny population of about 130,000 is hard to imagine during the summer, when Spain's coastal island is engulfed by six million tourists. Besides its gorgeous beaches, celebrity guests, and rave-ready clubs, Ibiza is filled with hidden treasures. Protected beaches, historic architecture, and high-end cuisine to name just a few. My first stop is Heart Ibiza, a collaboration between world-famous chefs Ferran and Albert Adria, and Cirque Du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte. It's the modern take on cabaret, with multiple stages and spaces for dining, drinking and entertainment. Opened in 2015, Heart is the ultimate restaurant amusement park. Today I'm meeting Marc Alvarez Safont at the Terrace Bar. Marc began his career in biological science, but his passion for mixology became more than just a job. Years later, he's taken that passion to the top of the bartending world, where he serves as Group Bar Manager for the Adria's Restaurant Group. He suggested I begin with the Moriles, a drink that infuses hibiscus with Grey Goose Vodka and is topped with a proprietary foam. - [Marc] Voila. - Cheers. - Salud. - Wow, that is just wonderful. The floral notes from the hibiscus and that sharpness from the passion fruit. And the foam, very, very tasty. So, brand new to Spain, brand new to Ibiza, but I have a couple of expectations coming in and things that I've heard. Obviously Ibiza has the reputation of being quite a magical place for nightlife. And also, this Heart, this venue, is owned by the Adria brothers. - Two of the most influential chefs of the last century are Ferran and Albert because they changed the way that the cooks cook. - So those are some pretty big shoes to fill and to follow, I imagine. - Yeah, for sure, you have the pressure to be on the same level. - [Shawn] Sure. - So that's a challenge every day. - Well, I'm glad you made a little time for me, because I have a challenge for you. I'd love to experience something that is unique here to Ibiza, and find some local ingredients that really capture what that essence is. To make something that is much like the people that you're working with do in the kitchen. Do you think you're to up to the challenge? - That sounds a challenge. - [Shawn] Yeah, it is. - Well, Ibiza is a place full of flavors. We've got the sea, we've got the land, and we can find something unique and different that we can put in a cocktail and go to the next level. - Perfect. - [Marc] So here, we've got the old part of the city. - [Shawn] Marc led me through the historic center of town, where the 16th-century defensive walls were built to protect the city from attackers. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's an incredible backdrop for this summer market, which offers everything from fruits and vegetables to wild herbs. Oh wow, a lot of green I'm seeing. - For example, we can start thinking herbs, all these kind of herbs can be another option. Like it's very... Fennel, for example, is another typical ingredient on the island. - [Shawn] Fennel grows wild all over the island of Ibiza and is used to make a popular herbal liquor called Hierbas. Marc suggested we try a sip to understand how the fennel flavor might work in a cocktail. - So fennel, we have to try one thing. We call it Hierbas, traditional from the island. Hola. It's a spirit based infusion with different herbs and spices. Every producer has his own secret recipe. It's really inspiring for us because we want to work a little bit also with these kind of herbs infusing, so... - Salud. - [Marc] Salud. - Mmm. It tastes like a little like fennel too. - Yeah, probably this recipe... Very well balanced. - Delicious, very, very inspiring. - We've got here more fresh produce. Oh look at that, I saw a bit of fresh fennel. - Oh, good. - [Marc] Let's try. Buenos Dias. - Buenos Dias. - [Marc] This anise flavor's going to be very refreshing on the end of the drink, so it's going to work well. - Look how large. Is this typical, it grows so big? - Yeah, that's it. Smell the aroma, this fresh anise flavor. - Yeah, earthy. - [Marc] Freshness and earthy, sweet, so it's going to work quite well. - [Marc and Shawn] Gracias. - A fennel bush. You think this is enough? - [Marc] Yeah, for sure. - [Shawn] With soft sands and clear waters, Ibiza's beaches are world famous. Marc suggested we head out of town, grab some snorkel gear and go to his favorite cove to forage in the sea. This one's for you. And also for you. - I want to check if we have some seaweeds here. - Into the ocean to find some seaweed. Yep, can't say I've ever done that before. - [Marc] I want to check this cove, maybe we can find something interesting. We are looking for something like this. Look at that. - [Shawn] That's seaweed? - Yeah, that's real seaweed. Here, try a little bit. Sea. 100% sea. - Yeah, it tastes exactly like the ocean. - Yeah, it's salty. - It is very salty, it's tasty. - The idea is that we that to infuse our vodka. - Cool, so is this enough for the infusion? - No no no, we have to check more outside. - The prime seaweed's in the ocean. - [Marc] That's it. - So then the ocean we go. - [Marc] Let's go. - All right. See what we got there. All different types. All right, so this is the stuff that-- - Couple of types here. This is the new stuff. - What is this? You got like, this is a red kind? - Yeah, the red one, yeah. - That one tastes a little vegetal. And what does this one taste like? - Salty. - Wow, that's the saltiest of the three. This is strong flavor, very salty. - This is the big challenge, to have these small but salty flavor of seaweeds at the end of the cocktail. So that's the big challenge, so let's start to work. - Well I'm really excited to see what you're gonna do with this. What a beautiful first day in Ibiza. I can't wait to meet up with Marc tomorrow and see what he's done with these two distinctly Ibizan flavors. Marc. - Hi Shawn, how are you? - [Shawn] Good. - Nice to see you again. - [Shawn] I'm very ready to see what you have prepared for today. Lot of strong flavors, I mean, you have the fennel and seaweeds. Each one of those could easily be the star of the show, so I'm interested to see what you're gonna do to balance those out. - Well, I was thinking about making something fizzy, refreshing. With elevated gastronomic flavors and concept. - That sounds wonderful. - [Marc] We're going to focus first on the seaweed. I was planning to infuse the Grey Goose Vodka with the seaweeds. We're going to prepare the bag first. Then, we're going to pour the vodka into the bag and finally, add the seaweeds. I think that this will be enough. Because we want just a slight touch at the end. - Like a pinch of salt. - [Marc] That's it. The last detail of the cocktail. Okay? - [Shawn] Yeah. - Let's go to vacuum pack. - You've got a vacuum pack machine? Let's go vacuum pack some vodka. - [Marc] Perfect. - Here it is. - [Marc] Put the vacuum bag here. Then we try to take out all the bubbles. Very easy, just close, wait for a few seconds... - There it is, step one. - We've got our vodka infusing, now we're going to chop the fennel bulb. And it's done. And now it's time to make the juice. Perfect. - [Shawn] Voila. - The bowl with the tonic water. And the magic happens. Voila. What we're going to do is just to grab a small hint of the fennel and put it just inside. This is the key thing, the gas is going to make pressure over the fennel and give an extra flavor. So, we charge the gun. Then we put it inside and crack. And the tonic water is ready. - [Shawn] Voila. - Look at that. - [Shawn] Woah. - This must be ready for sure. - [Shawn] Yeah, there's already a slight color change there. - And then we pour the vodka inside. Okay. It's perfect. - [Shawn] Voila. - Now it's time for the most important part. - What's that? - To prepare the cocktail. - [Shawn] Yes. - We're one part vodka. We're going to use this big block of ice. - [Shawn] Woah, that's really cool. How did they actually get the shapes in the ice like that? - Easy, just with a drill, you draw wherever you need. Finally, we're going to use our tonic water. As a garnish at the side. - Cheers, my friend. - [Marc] Salud. - Yeah, that's tasty. Refreshing, sophisticated. The nuance that you had to use to use these very strong ingredients and create this balance that you have, it's like a chef does with a fine culinary dish. So, very, very refreshing. Very delicious. Mmm! All right, this is my favorite part. We have to come up with a name for this drink. - It's always a challenge-- - [Shawn] It is! - To prepare a name for a cocktail. - We have to capture my experience here, the island itself. The salt from the seaweed. Is there like a chemical name or a biological name for salt? - We've got like the Greek root alos, it means salt. - That sounds really cool. So maybe we call it like, an Alos and Tonic? - Wait, wait, because in Ibiza we have a goddess, Tanit, the goddess of the fertility and the Earth. - So we call it maybe Alos for Tanit? - Alos for Tanit, yeah. - Like the salt for the goddess? I think it's perfect. It captures the wonderful ingredients that we found, so we'll raise a glass, Alos for Tanit. - Cheers. Salud. - [Marc] Salud. - Mmm! My friend. Thank you so much for showing me this wonderful island. I really, really appreciate it. - Hope to see you soon here in Ibiza. - Ladies and gentlemen, that officially concludes season three of Local Flight. Thank you for watching. And be sure to check out all the episodes this summer on Tastemade.