Sometimes food products don’t only taste right but they can also look right. Well in my case, I’m a big fan of Hendrik’s Gin.
Hendrick’s is a premium gin made with a number of unusual twists to deliver a most curious arrangement:
Unlike ordinary gins, it’s distilled in decidedly un-ginnish Scotland. This allows them to draw upon centuries of distilling expertise and plentiful pure soft water, which is sourced from the local source. Only HENDRICK’S uses a marriage of spirits from a Carter Head and Bennet Still. By boiling the botanicals our Bennet Still (a type of Copper Pot Still) produces a spirit with great depth of flavour. Conversely the Carter-Head Still gently bathes the botanicals in vapour, hence producing a supremely smooth spirit with subtle flavour characteristics. Combining the spirits from the two stills creates a divinely smooth gin that has both the required character and balance of subtle flavours.
HENDRICK’S is handcrafted in miniscule batches of only 450 litres at a time – the smaller the batch, the more control can be exerted by Alan the stillman.
It’s made with infusions of Cucumber and Rose petals. This produces a wonderfully refreshing gin with a delightfully floral aroma.
What gives Hendrick’s its distinctive flavour?
Among the 11 different botanicals are highly aromatic coriander seeds – evoking ginger, lemon and sage – which we source from Eastern Europe and Morocco. Juniper berries from Italy provide an exotic, spicy, bittersweet taste. Musky, sweet angelica root, imported from France and Belgium, is considered by many to have healing and protecting powers. Helping to bind all these flavours to create an intricate blend is Orris root, which is aged for up to three years.
Two curiously marvellous ingredients are then painstakingly infused into the spirit one small batch at a time. The first is a lovely hint of Rose, which is extracted by gently pressing the oils from the petals. Next comes the coupe de grace – cucumbers, the essence of which is obtained by mashing the fresh fruit, then mixing the pulp with water.
What’s so special about how Hendrick’s is made?
Hendrick’s is the only gin made in a combination of a Carter-Head and copper pot still. Despite using the same palette of botanicals, the two stills produce quite different spirits.
One of only a handful remaining in the world, the Carter-Head still was originally built in 1948, but was lovingly restored by the resident coppersmiths at the Hendrick’s ‘Gin Palace’. By gently ‘bathing’ the ingredients in vapours, it produces a wonderfully light, smooth, citrus spirit.
Why is it made in Scotland?
Hendrick’s is made by reigning ISC Distiller of the Year William Grant & Sons – who are better known for their whisky making – in Girvan, on the southwest coast of Scotland. The soft lowland water provides a perfect medium for the grain spirit and botanical palettes. The source of water is shared with a nearby whisky distillery and whisky makers place extraordinarily high standards on their water supply.
Commenting on Hendrick’s, John Ross, Master Distiller, said; “our unique distillation methods allow us to gently infuse unusual ingredients such as cucumber and rose petals to produce a refreshingly fragrant concoction with a flowery aromatic oiliness. It’s this that makes Hendrick’s so exquisitely distinctive for the vanguard of gin-lovers everywhere’’.
Since Hendrick’s first went on sale in 2000, it has scooped a number of prestigious awards and accolades including a double gold medal at the 2004 San Francisco International Spirits Competition (as well as gold medals in 2000 & 2003), ‘Gin of the Year’ at the 2003 Food and Wine Magazine Awards, and voted ‘World’s Best Gin’ by the Wall Street Journal.
Of course as we all know, it’s never a good idea to drink too much, nor drink and drive, so keep this one for the specials occasions and drink with moderation!