When I was still in college, a few years prior to my hacking days, I was drinking a lot of gin and tonics. As part of that drinking I started amassing a collection of gin. There really wasn’t much rhyme or reason to it. Friend recommended it, it’s in. Something I haven’t seen before, it’s in. And, in the case of Hendrick’s, the bottle looks super cool, it’s in. Hendrick’s has, and always has had, an old school, apothecary style bottle. It’s dark and interesting and like nothing else out there.
So added it was and there it sat for months. Sure, I’d toss it in a G&T from time to time, but I never really appreciated what it had to offer. That appreciation came quite a lot later on a hot, late summer, Friday afternoon at Jax Fish House in Boulder. I had met my buddy Sean there for drinks and oysters and we were sitting right at the front windows watching the world go by. Drink special for the day was a Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic. We each ordered one and continued downing the oysters. A bit later the drinks showed up. With slight bits of muddled cucumber floating about, it was definitely the oddest G&T I’d ever had.
One sip changed me. Hendrick’s doesn’t have what most people consider to be a typical gin flavor. The juniper is present, but isn’t front and center. There are other flavors that take that role, like cucumber and rose. The flavor is also not as strong as with other gins. Which is why Hendrick’s is perfect in a G&T. Mixed right, the tonic isn’t the star, it’s secondary to the gin. And that was definitely the case that Friday afternoon. The bits of muddled cucumber, though strange at first, play off the cucumber flavor of the gin and give it a cooling quality that’s really amazing. Sean and I each had a couple of those G&Ts before we moved on with our evening. Friends and family joined throughout and the night was truly grand. I must say, even years later, the thought of those Hendrick’s Gin and Tonics sticks with me.
The flavor of Hendrick’s works great with tonic on its own with the typical twist of lime, but you can up the ante with a bit of muddled cucumber. Take two peeled slices of cucumber, chop them into smaller bits and muddle a bit in your glass. Add two ounces of Hendrick’s and 3-4 ounces of tonic. Top with a wedge of lime and a cucumber slice for garnish. Definitely worth the extra effort I assure you.
Hendrick's Gin and Tonic
2 oz Hendrick's Gin 3-4 oz Tonic Water Cucumber Lime Wedge
1) Muddle two slices of cucumber in your glass 2) Add the Hendrick's and tonic 3) Garnish with a cucumber slice and lime wedge
That naturally brings us to the question of, what is the flavor profile of Hendrick’s? In short, balanced, with emphasis on flavors other than the juniper. The juniper is still there, but the other flavors are the star. Notes of cucumber and rose come through at the front. Following that you get notes of coriander and citrus. Throughout is a light touch of juniper to tie it all together. Check it out if you’re looking for a twist on usual gins. And, there is a big collection of cocktail recipes on their site, should you need additional inspiration.
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.