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About Hendrick's Gin
The striking black bottle and clean label design of Hendrick’s Gin always caught my eye on the store shelves, so I’m not sure why I waited so long to try it. But, I was looking to make some refreshing summer cocktails, so it seemed like the perfect time to try this uniquely produced gin from Scotland.
William Grant and Sons, the same company behind Monkey Shoulder and other Scotch whiskies, launched Hendrick’s Gin back in 1999. Master distiller Leslie Gracie used a combination of eleven botanicals and a unique distilling process to create the signature Hendrick’s flavor. The eleven botanicals are: juniper, chamomile, elderflower, lemon and orange peel, angelica root, yarrow root, orris root, coriander, cubeb berries, and caraway.
The base for Hendrick’s Gin is distilled using two different types of stills. One is a more traditional copper still, Bennett Still, which produces a rich and complex distillate, and the other is a rare Carter-Head Still that makes a more delicate spirit. These liquids are then infused with cucumber and Bulgarian rose.
❖ Spirit: Scottish Gin
❖ Distillery: “Gin Palace” in Girvan, Scotland
❖ ABV: 44% (88 Proof)
❖ Moderate Price
❖ Color: Clear
❖ Nose: Heavy floral rose and juniper notes, a little bit more heat than I was expecting
❖ Taste: More subtle rose than on the nose, juniper, slight citrus and cucumber
❖ Finish: Medium, slight spice, citrus and botanicals
Hendrick’s Cucumber Lemonade
1/2 Part Lemon Juice
1/2 Part Simple Syrup
1 Part Hendrick’s Gin
1 Round Lemon and 3 Round Cucumber Slices
❖ Add all ingredients to a collins glass filled with ice and Stir a few times
❖ Top with Soda Water and add garnish of cucumber and lemon slice
The strong Juniper notes in Hendrick’s Gin work well in most classic cocktails, so I wanted it for a simple and refreshing cocktail for summer. The Hendrick’s Official website had this interesting Tom Collins variation with a cucumber slice garnish. I assume they do this to pair with the cucumber notes in the gin but I wanted to test it myself.
This Hendrick’s Cucumber Lemonade was as refreshing as I’d hoped, and the cucumber actually does add to the flavor. I think it works best without a straw, so you can get your nose right next to the cucumber. My partner always prefers drinks with straws, and she found the lemon notes to be the most dominant, but it was still refreshing, and the floral notes were also present in both.
I’m also starting to come around to using parts instead of exact measurements so you have more flexibility. For this specific drink I based the measurements around 1 1/2 oz of gin, so there was maybe a little too much soda water, but it did make it extremely drinkable, since it covered up any hint of alcohol.
I admit I was a bit skeptical about Hendrick’s Gin living up to the hype, but it really delivers. There was a perfect harmony between the juniper, cucumber, rose and all the other botanicals that all work well both neat and in cocktails. I was especially impressed with how well the floral and cucumber notes came through in the Hendrick’s Cucumber Lemonade. I have continued to enjoy it in other cocktails.
The only thing that stood out to me as a potential down side is the strength of alcohol. I personally enjoy a little extra heat on my spirits, but I know it might turn some people off, and Hendrick’s has a noticeable heat, especially when neat. This is also something to keep in mind when mixing cocktails, since it might require a bit more dilution to get the right balance.
So overall, I highly recommend Hedrick’s Gin. It’s priced reasonably and even available in smaller bottles so you can easily try it for yourself.
As always, drink responsibly.