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Gin is a drink that I have never really been keen on. I always found it to be very 'perfumey' for want of a better description but recently I was on a girls night out and on my trip to the bar this was what my friend asked for, telling me to make sure I got Hendricks and not just any gin from the gantry. She then proceeded to tell us all what we were missing not giving it a go. Eventually me curiosity got the better of me and I took a little sip of hers, and was very pleasantly surprised indeed.
The taste was refreshing and not at all perfume like and it had a lovely fresh scent (I have since learned that it is infused with cucumber which gives it these lovely properties) And a little splash of tonic was a more than sufficient mixer as it does not have the strong alcohol after-taste which many spirits can have.
So impressed by my first sip I decided to treat myself to a bottle all of my own. Even the bottle looks as distinctive as the gin tastes.The heavy black glass combined with a white almost vintage looking label and a cork style top gives it a quirky twist that really does make it stand out from the crowd.
Price-wise Hendricks is the more expensive option when it comes to buying Gin, coming in at around £27 for a 70cl bottle (I got mine from Tesco so prices may vary elsewhere) but in my opinion it is well worth splashing out that little bit more for a top quality product.
Hendricks Gin is a Scottish distilled gin, with cucumbers added to the distillation process, to give it a distinctive, fresh flavour.
Packaging: Hendricks comes in a deep brown glass bottle, with a pretty label with 'old-fashioned' looking text. It reminds me of old-fashioned medicine bottles, and looks like something you'd expect to see on the shelf of an apothecary. The smart bottle means this gin looks classy in your alcohol cabinet, and looks good if you're getting it out to serve guests. The glass is really thick, giving the bottle a nice heft to it, which makes me think you'd have to try quite hard to smash it. The lid is a press-in cork, which looks nice, but can be a bit fiddly to put back on tightly once opened.
Taste: Hendricks is a really 'fresh' tasting gin. You can definitely taste the cucumber in it, but the flavour is subtle, giving the gin a light, refreshing twist. They recommend you serve this gin with a slice of cucumber. I often do, and find it really does bring out the cucumber flavours. I never thought cucumber in gin would be enjoyable, and while it's unusual, it's delicious and very drinkable.
Hendricks has fast become my favourite gin, as it's so different and refreshing. It's a perfect summer evening drink.
I think that I've just recently discovered my second favourite gin - Hendrick's Gin. I say second favourite as the coveted top spot will always belong to Bombay Sapphire. However I have to admit that Hendrick's Gin comes a pretty close second.
I've just spent a week in Austria visiting friends, and we nipped to the supermarket one evening to get a bottle of Bombay Sapphire and some tonic. The supermarket we went to had sold out of Bombay Sapphire and so the choices we were left with were; generic cheap 'supermarket' gin - no thanks, Beefeater Gin - again no thanks I'm not a fan of this particular gin, Bulldog Gin - I've personally never heard of this but it was a British gin, or Hendrick's Gin - again I'd personally never heard of it but one of the friends I was with had had it before and was raving about it. So we purchased the Hendrick's Gin. We paid Euro35 for a 75cl bottle, which was probably overpriced, especially as the Bombay Sapphire ticket said that this was only Euro20. We also purchased our tonic water to go along with the gin, and limes for garnish, and also a cucumber for garnish - a cucumber!! yep a cucumber, I'll come to the cucumber later!
Hendrick's Gin is a brand of gin produced, distilled and bottled by William Grant & Sons in Girvan, South West Scotland, and it was launched in 1999. Hendrick's gin is bottled, packaged and presented in dark brown Victorian apothecary style bottles with cork stoppers. The bottle looks quite quaint and old fashioned, and would look lovely out on display - much more interesting than say a bottle of Gordon's Gin. It would also make for a lovely gift for someone that likes gin.
Hendricks' Gin is handcrafted to give it a unique taste, it's made in small batches using an original 19th Century gin still, apparently no other gin tastes like it because no other gin is made quite like it. Hendrick's gin is made using the highest quality neutral grain spirit, eleven different botanicals, hints of coriander, juniper, citrus peel, and a curious but marvellous infusion of Bulgarian rose petals and most unusually cucumber.
Hendrick's recommend serving their gin as a Gin & Tonic over ice garnished with a cucumber slice, rather than the traditional citrus garnish, a lemon or lime wedge. We had spotted this advice on the bottle and so were happy enough to give this a go and so bought a cucumber to go along with the gin (we did also buy some limes in case the cucumber garnish was dodgy advice!). I guess that serving the gin with a cucumber garnish is to really bring out the cucumber flavours in the gin.
I have to say that the cucumber garnish is an absolutely inspired idea, it felt and looked a little odd to have a cucumber wedge in your glass, but it really did enhance the taste of the gin. It doesn't actually make the gin taste very cucumbery as such, it just seems to enhance it's very subtle cucumber flavour. We did a side by side G&T comparison with lime as a garnish or cucumber as a garnish, and we all preferred the cucumber garnish in the Hendrick's gin. Hendrick's Gin has a very distinctive taste and flavour, kind of a fruity, yet flowery kind of rosey, yet cucumbery taste, and it certainly isn't as bitter a gin as a lot of gins can be. It is a dry gin, although it's quite a mellow dry gin - if that makes sense. It's also quite a light gin, a really delicious gin, and a gin that definitely leaves you wanting more after that first glass!
I'm definitely going to continue to buy Hendrick's Gin, I really enjoyed it and I thought that it was far superior to most other gins out there, apart from Bombay Sapphire of course! Yes it was expensive, but I definitely felt that it was worth it, it's definitely what I would class as a premium gin.
Hendrick's is a relatively new gin, having apparently first been made in 1999. It's made in Scotland in small batches, and, as Hendrick's like to say themselves, is a very unusual gin!
First of all, the bottle rather stand out on the shelves: it's an "apothecary-style" bottle in a very deep brown, and has a lovely traditional paper label and a cork stopper rather than flimsy screwcap. It feel nice and solid, and rather sophisticated. The style of the bottle reinforces the message that Hendrick's is carefully distilled and blended by experts, and not just mass-made in any old factory - Hendrick's is made with care.
The flavour of Hendrick's is what really makes it special. As well as traditional gin flavourings like juniper, Hendrick's is also infused with Bulgarian rose and cucumber. This results in a fragrant and aromatic drink, and makes ordinary gins seem incredibly dull to me now!
Hendrick's make the unusual suggestion to serve their gin with a cucumber garnish, and I am absolutely a convert! I don't even like cucumber, but the combination works so well that I buy them just for my drinks. I have a massive sweet tooth, and drink Hendrick's with lemonade rather than tonic: I dice up about an inch length of cucumber, add it to a glass with some ice cubes, put in the Hendrick's and swirl it about a bit before adding the lemonade. The result is a deliciously refreshing drink full of complex flavours.
The Hendrick's website is full of other drinks ideas, from simple combinations to unusual concoctions ideal for showing off to your friends. I've decided that I absolutely have to try a Hendrick's cucumber martini, so I'll be buying some vermouth soon to give it a try!
Hendrick's is available in good bars and at the supermarket - Tesco sell 70cl for £24.50, and it is available on special offer occasionally. I'd absolutely suggest you give it a try if you enjoy gin at all! It's also a great gift, especially as it's bottled so attractively.
Hendricks gin is distilled in a shed in Ayrshire not that far south of Glasgow. It's distilled in one of four remaining working Carter-Head stills where the distillate vapours are passed through a tray of botanicals rather than left to steep in its liquid form. Towards the end of the distillation the spirit is put through a cucumber mash (Pulped cucumbers mixed with ice cold water) where the gin picks up its characteristic cucumbery flavour. Apparently, the slower the distillation, the smoother the gin.
Gin originated (properly - it is believed that Juniper based spirits go back the the12th century but were used for medicinal purposes) in Holland in the 17th century and was discovered by the English when fighting alongside the Dutch in war. The Dutch used to do shots before going into battle and this is where the term "Dutch courage" originates from.
Gin was brought back to England and due to heavy import taxes and high beer prices people started to make gin themselves. By 1740 gin was out producing beer six times over so the government introduced the gin act which caused rioting so had to abolish it then reinstated it in 1751. The gin act at the time stated that if you could see the persons face who was selling the gin a tax had to be imposed. This was overcome by one particular chap who made a hole in his wall through which he could pass the gin and receive payment. He painted a picture of a Tom Cat on the wall and this is where the name "Tom Gin" came from. Tom gin is sweeter than gin is today but a very good gin liqueur called Haymans 1820 tastes very similar. Incidentally the cocktail called "Tom Collins" is made with Tom gin.
Although London Gin can be distilled anywhere in the world Plymouth Gin can only be distilled in Plymouth
The bottle is black and is shaped like an old apothecary bottle and was done so as these bottles were used to protect the healing powers of the botanical tonic that was held within. The early Hendricks bottles were opaque and it was a pain for seeing how much gin you had left... Fortunately the glass has been changed and you can peer through with the aid of a light. Strangely, the fellow whose company makes these bottles for Hendricks drinks in the bar that I work in. He has some intriguing stories about the complexities of the design and the reasoning behind some of its features - like the shoulder and the large air-gap.
--Hendricks Gin Botanicals--
Each of these botanicals gives the gin its own subtleties and flavours.
Juniper berries - The main ingredient in all standard gins.
Lemon peel - Enhances the dryness of the gin whilst adding a crisp and refreshing nose and flavour.
Orange peel - Uses oranges with a sweet rind to add a sweetness to the gin.
Coriander - The coriander enhances the citrus flavours of the lemon and orange whilst adding a little peppery note.
Bulgarian Rose Petals - Adds a floral note.
Little information is given away about the rest of the botanicals used in the creation of Hendricks...
The colour of Hendricks gin, as with most gins, is clear and the body is reasonably viscous.
When nosing the spirit I pick up on some light citrussy (mostly orange) notes, a hint of coriander and a little bit of juniper but the most prominent smell is that of the rose petals. The nose is fantastically balanced and is instantly distinguishable. I could sit and smell this stuff all day long...
A good tip for when nosing drinks is to smell the back of your hand when changing between drinks. This action cleanses the palette ensuring that there is little residual smell from the previous spirit or otherwise in your nose.
The complexity of this gin really shines on the palette. I get all of the flavours from the nose - citrus, coriander, juniper and the floral rose petal flavours but the gin ends on a long, refreshing cucumber note.
If you want to properly taste the gin the best way to do so is to pour 1 part gin to 1 part of chilled mineral water and all of the individual flavours of the botanicals will be released.
Overall, the flavour is very delicate, perfectly balanced and incredibly refreshing. A very long finish (as you'd expect with a gin of this quality) and that lingering cucumber lift. Summer in a bottle perhaps?
Classically, a Gin and Tonic is served with a good wedge of lemon. Since a rather clever Gordons marketing campaign we now serve gin with a nice wedge of lime. Martin Millers is excellent with fresh sliced strawberries but Hendricks is ideally served with a chunk of cucumber...
2 measures Hendricks Gin
½ - ¾ fresh lemon juice
½ gomme sugar syrup
2 inches frech cucumber
Made correctly this is a fantastic, refreshing cocktail worthy of any cocktail list. Muddle the cucumber and add the gin and half a shot of lemon add some sugar syrup and continually taste whilst trying to find the balance between the cucumber, lemon, sugar and gin. Serve in an ice cold Martini glass and garnish with a nice slice of cucumber.
2 Measures Hendricks Gin
150 ml Tomato Juice
10 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
3-4 Dashes Green Tabasco
Dry Sherry (Tio Pepe)
Dash of Fresh Lemon Juice
½ Barspoon of Horseradish Sauce
2 Inches of Cucumber.
This is a twist on the classic Bloody Mary and requires some of the flavours to be toned down in order to taste the delicate cucumber and gin. Muddle the cucumber, add all of the rest of the ingredients to taste, shake very gently and serve in the largest, curviest glass you have. A big wedge of cucumber, a wedge of lemon and some freshly ground black pepper on top.
2 Measures Hendricks gin
10-12 Mint leaves
6 Wedges of lime
Bar spoon of sugar
Splash of Gomme syrup
Muddle the mint, lime and sugars in a Collins (high-ball) glass. Add the gin, fill with crushed ice, stir and finish by topping with a little apple juice. Garnish with a nice sprig of mint.
--Price and Availability--
You can pick up a bottle for around £20 but is often more expensive. It is available in most good off licenses/delis like Oddbins or Peckhams and Rye.
Hendricks gin is a superb gin that happily sits near the top of my top 10 gins list (alongside the likes of Martin Millers Westbourne, Plymouth Navy Strength and Tanqueray 10). It works perfectly in cocktails, on its own and as a Gin and Tonic. It is a little pricy but is a premium product and definitely worth every penny.
The Hendricks website is as unusual as the gin and is worth a visit...
What more can I say? If you fancy trying a gin that is a little different (and you like cucumbers) then you should give it a go! It does state on the bottle that Hendricks gin is 'Not for Everybody' and only '1 in 1000 gin drinkers prefer it', but they like it that way and I can't see it changing...
Ok so I may have over egged it a bit in the title after all everyone's tastes are different. Anyway a review on alcohol - unusual for me but lets give it a go.
Gin is normally seen as being quintessentially English. The gin and tonic at the end of the day over ice. Well sorry but for me Hendrick's is the best gin available, and it is made in Scotland.
It is very different from most other gins in the way it is made. Most gins on the market boil the botanicals used with the spirit. Hendrick's is batch made and they pass the vapour from the boiling spirit through the botanicals which gives a cleaner and crisper taste. This is a slower the more slowly this process is done, the smother and better the infusion of the many botanicals used becomes.
The normal gin botanicals including coriander, juniper, citrus peel (the main 'gin taste' everyone knows is juniper berries) but Hendrick's also include a later infusion of rose petals and unusually cucumber.
Well the important bit of any drink is the taste and yes all the extra time taken and the batch process is worth it. Whilst most gins can catch the back of the throat and have a taste which a friend of mine described as 'like battery acid' (I didn't ask how she made that comparison) Hendrick's is smooth and crisp and the juniper is not overpowering. The taste of the mix of botanicals is there and the lemon, juniper and the rose are easily noticed. The slight cucumber flavour is more of a background taste but it does add to the character of the overall taste of the gin.
With a good quality tonic (not one that contains artificial sweetener) 'Fever - tree' is the best tonic I have found so far. the taste comes out even more and there is the definite after taste of the rose infusion. Hendricks advise that you add a slice of cucumber to the glass in place of the normal lemon, well this is where I have to disagree I much prefer the slice of lemon, or preferably lime in mine.
This is a gin for gin and tonic only. It is far too good to be used in cocktails where the taste would be hidden by other ingredients - this is where the Gordon's comes in, well just.
Alcohol content is 41.4% and is sold in 70cl bottles. The bottle its self is also unusual as it looks like it would not have been out of place in a victorian chemists shop.
It is more expensive than most other gins and I have seen it for as much as £25 a bottle. So it really is a special occasion gin. (normally I can get mine for about £20). This used to be available only in a few specialist shops but I have now seen it in some larger supermarkets.
I've posted this on dooyoo and ciao under the same author
"Its not for everyone." Not my words, but those of Hendricks gin makers, William Grant and Son! They are not wrong either, this isn't your average Gordons or Bombay Sapphire (by the way, I happen to have all three in my drinks cupboard for some reason so my comparisons are real time. I hope no-one thinks I have a gin problem!)
Hendricks is made by William Grant & Sons Ltd who are members of the Gin and Vodka Association. Hendrick's is a small batch gin distilled in Ayrshire, Scotland. Its uniqueness comes from a variety of means:
1.The production: Production takes place with a 'Carter-Head Still' - there are only 4 left in the world. This one was built in 19th century London and was been restored to its original condition by coppersmiths who work full-time for William Grant and Sons. A lot of distillation is done by crudely boiling its ingredients but the Carter-Head "bathes" them in vapours meaning they are able to keep the slowest possible build-up and a slow distillation making a smoother and more throrough installation of flavours.
2. Unique flavours: During the distillation, a hint of Bulgarian rose is added by extracting the oils from the petals. Secondly, and what this gin is most famous for, is the inclusion of cucumber flavour from mashed up cucumbers
3. The bottle: The gin is bottled in an apothecary shaped bottle - the ruse being that apothecary bottles were for healing liquids that needed to be kept safe. William Grant and Son go to such great lengths for this gin that they wanted to 'protect' it! Its made from very thing black glass and has a slighty off white, diamond shaped label on the fromt displaying the name in capital letters across the middle. It also has the volume (1 litre) and the alcohol content (44%). There is a msall regutangular label at the back containing details of the ingredients.
The usual juniper, coriander and citrus flavours can also be found but its the additional elements that make this stand out from the competition.
I have for a long time been a Bombay Sapphire drinker only discovering this gin about 2 years ago. I find that both gordons and Bombay Sapphire can be a bit harsh on the throat and the juniper comes through strong - fine for some people but not for me. Hendricks is far smoother on the palate and the hint of cucumber really helps to even out the stronger juniper flavours. According to tradition a gin and tonic should be made with 1 part gin to 2 parts tonic with a slice of lime. Keep the measurements but substitute a slice of cucumber when making with Hendricks to really compliment the drink well.
The smell is also quite distinct from that of Gordons or Bombay Sapphire. The latter two have a stong smell of citrus and little else. Hendrinks also has citrus to begin with but this subsides to bring out the coriander. Hendricks also has a more 'woody' smell to it whereas the other two have a more metalic (and I think unpleasant) after tone.
It isn't a cheap drink, nor would I expect it to be given the care and attention this gets in the making. It retails at between £20 to £25 for a 1 litre bottle depending on current offers. Gordons can easily be purchase for about half the price but there really is a marked difference to this gin that you need to experience.
Wall street Journal voted this the best gin in the world in 2003! Its not hard to see why - go and get it now and experience it for yourself!
© of funkimunki. Also posted on Ciao under jonescraiga