This review of Hendrick’s Gin has been a long time in coming. Hendrick’s is certainly one the best gins ever. Despite the gimmicky advertising , its “new gin” heritage and the retro apothecary bottle, Hendrick’s Gin is both tasty and versatile.
Opening Hendrick’s Gin
The marketing experts at William Grant & Sons started with brilliant packaging for Hendrick’s Gin. The antique bottle looks like it contains patent medicines from the old days. Indeed, gin started as a medicine in Holland, and many of the ingredients like Angelica are still used today for medicinal purposes.
Once you peel off the wrapper on top, removing the cork gives a satisfying “thunk” sound that sounds like a bottle of moonshine. However, the “glug-glug-glug” sound as you pour delivers something far more tasty.
Drinking Hendrick’s Gin
It is best to begin with an on-the-rocks experience, which reveals a gin’s true identity. Pouring Hendrick’s Gin into your glass and swishing it around with a couple of ice cubes reveals plenty. The crystal clear color and slight stickiness on the side of the glass invites further exploration. The unique aroma of cucumber and rose complements but doesn’t mask the juniper foundation. The first sip delivers the juniper/cucumber combination upfront, then evolves into a rosy citrus finish. The overall experience is luscious yet lighter than most gins.
Mixing Hendrick’s Gin
The best Hendrick’s Gin cocktail recipes take advantage of its light yet unique flavor. It makes an excellent martini, but very dry. Too much vermouth buries some of the more subtle botanicals. On a hot summer day, Hendrick’s makes a perfect gin & tonic. Its light cucumber and rose flavor makes it dangerously drinkable when paired with tonic water. Other light cocktails like an Aviation also work well. However, avoid recipes with bold ingredients that call for classic juniper-heavy gins. A Negroni, French 75 or even a Gimlet will overwhelm this gin. Nevertheless, Hendrick’s Gin is a unique departure from traditional gin that delivers excellent taste either straight or in light cocktails.