The Untold Truth Of Hendrick's Gin

Hendrick's Gin, launched in 1999 in Scotland, is a premier gin innovation. With a unique advertising style and flavor combination (rose petal and cucumber, anyone?), it's a popular drink for gin and gin-and-tonic enthusiasts. Even the famous Katz's Delicatessen in New York City became involved with Hendrick's Gin around, of all things, a pickle campaign. There's even a ... Gin Palace? And that's not even scratching the surface of many other truths waiting to be told. Like, there's a gaming chaise (not a joke) that's priced at a few thousand dollars. There's even a recipe for a drink in honor of the chair! If you think you know Hendrick's Gin, there's probably a lot more hidden beneath the surface (or within the bottle) that you can learn and discover about this fascinating brand and drink. Read on to see what else you can learn about the curious brand that is Hendrick's Gin.

Hendrick's Gin is distilled in Scotland

If you think Scotland is only known for Scotch whisky, you're missing out on another beauty: gin. More specifically, Hendrick's Gin. As they say on the website, Hendrick's Gin is proudly Scottish and is located in Girvan. If you can't find Girvan on a map, no worries, that's what we're here for.

"Girvan is a beautiful place, it's kind of remote being on the Ayrshire Coast. It's a small, unassuming kind of place and it is peaceful and calm," Lesley Gracie, Master Distiller of Hendrick's Gin, tells ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. "The coastline is rugged and great for walking the dog. There is very little light pollution out here and we are close to a dark sky park, so on a clear night you can really see the stars shining brightly."

Now that you know where Hendrick's Gin is distilled, it's time to dive into what they actually do there. "Hendrick's is distilled using not one, but two utterly dissimilar types of stills. A Bennett, which is an antique copper pot still dating right back to 1860, and a rare Carterhead from 1948 of which only a handful exist today," Gracie explains to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. "The Bennett style stills steep their botanicals, resulting in a rich, complex spirit, whereas the Carterhead gently steams the botanicals in a basket" to create a "more delicate spirit." She adds that water from the Penwhapple Reservoir is added to each batch as well.

It's a small-batch production of only 500 litres at a time

There are many items that are made in small-batch productions. Baked goods. Clothing. Newspapers. Magazines. This list can also include Hendrick's Gin. According to the Hendrick's Gin website, Hendrick's Gin is "hand-crafted in tiny batches of only 500 lovely litres at a time." Lesley Gracie, the Master Distiller at Hendrick's Gin, is thus able to spend more time over each batch and ensure that each bottle is up to par with the standards customers expect from the brand. For great-quality gin, we expect strict measures to be put into place so we aren't disappointed with the time it takes to review each of those 500 litres. We don't blame you if you want to go for a stroll in the lowlands and then rest inside with a gin and tonic! If we were in Scotland enjoying a gin and tonic, we'd probably be doing the same.

Hendrick's Original Gin is crafted from 11 botanicals alongside rose and cucumber

When you think of gin, you may not immediately think of rose and cucumber as a pair together. How did this happen for Hendrick's Gin? "It was Charles Gordon [Great Grandson of Mr. William Grant] who asked me to create a new, very different gin that used both cucumber and rose," Gracie explains to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. "He was a smart guy, a visionary even, and could see a moment when gin would once again be popular — at a time when most people weren't really bothering with it. Rose and cucumber are the classic ingredients of a summer tea party, and I think it brought back fond family memories of rose gardens and cucumber sandwiches. It was my job to take the idea and make it a reality. Charlie had given me two stunning vintage stills and the two ingredients: rose and cucumber. I had to piece together the other parts of the puzzle to make a gin the likes of which the world had never seen before."

The eleven botanicals that are featured in Hendrick's Original Gin include: angelica root, caraway, chamomile, coriander, cubeb berries, elderflower, juniper, lemon peel, orange peel, orris root, and yarrow root. It's an unexpected, yet delightful, combination.

There are limited releases, including Hendrick's Lunar and Hendrick's Orbium

If you're a fan of Hendrick's Gin, then you'll also love these limited releases: Hendrick's Lunar and Hendrick's Orbium. As described on Hendrick's Gin website, Hendrick's Lunar is "a delightfully smooth and alluring gin that is rich with night blooming floral essence, offering a delicate balance of warm baked spices, and finished with a crisp burst of citrus." Hendrick's Gin recommends drinking Hendrick's Lunar at particularly cloudless nights filled with stars or relaxing evenings at your home.

Hendrick's Orbium, on the other hand, has additional flavors of quinine, wormwood, and lotus blossom. "This was an extension of my experiments with wormwood, a botanical I've been playing with for a while," Gracie explains to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. "... We have taken the core Hendrick's Gin and then deconstructed the elements around two ways it is imbibed — a classic Hendrick's & Tonic and a Hendrick's Martini. With Hendrick's Orbium, we've taken quinine, which is the main ingredient in tonic water, and wormwood, the main ingredient in vermouth and an essential part of a martini and to that, added the distinctive Blue Lotus flower to create the right balance and round flavor."

If you're unsure about these flavors, reviewers seem to be on board with them. Reviewer karamonte said, "Hendrick's Lunar is smooth with a hint of citrus and floral." Another reviewer summed things up, saying,"... it doesn't taste like you drank perfume or grandma's soap!" Try them out and let us know what you think!

Dinner parties? Celebrations? Hendrick's Gin has a variety of cocktail recipes for that

Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, retirement parties. There are plenty of times where it's acceptable to have a drink and celebrate with friends, family, and colleagues. But have you ever been stuck on what to make? Never fear, because Hendrick's Gin has a variety of drinks suitable for any lover of gin. There's the classic Hendrick's Gin and tonic, of course. But for those who are a bit more adventurous, you could go for the Supersonic Hendrick's Gin and tonic. In this drink, there's still the Hendrick's Gin and tonic, but there's the addition of sugar syrup and fresh espresso that's gone cold. For more eclectic drinks, there's the Red Snapper which is just a bloody mary made with gin. There's really no limit to the variety of drinks one can make with a good gin. Who knows, you may fall in love with a new gin drink. And then, once you have fallen in love with a new gin drink, you can share it with all of your friends!

Hendrick's Gin paired with Katz's Deli for gin-infused pickled cucumbers

When you think of gin, you might immediately think of the classic drink gin and tonic. But have you ever considered gin and pickles? Oh yes, this unlikely duo is not an idea created out of the blue but is very much based in reality. For a limited time, Hendrick's Gin partnered with New York's Katz's Delicatessen to create gin-inspired pickles. 

This concoction combines the botanicals Hendricks Gin is known for alongside Katz's Traditional brining spices to create a pickle with both pepper and juniper. Have you ever thought about combining botanicals, rose, and cucumber with pickles? Well, now's your chance! Would you care to pair these pickles with your favorite gin and your favorite sandwich? According to Hendrick's Botanical, a pastrami sandwich might be the excellent pair you never realized you needed until now: "The resulting pickle (some might call it a 'super pickle') goes beautifully with a pastrami sandwich and is surprisingly divine as a cocktail garnish, yielding a new world in which pickles can taste like gin and gin can taste like pickles." If you're looking for more pickle-inspired gin recipes, never fear, Hendrick's Gin has you covered.

The Gin Palace is where the special gin flavors are created

The Gin Palace is as regal and fantastical as the name. Gracie tells ABC Fine Wine & Spirits that "The Hendrick's Gin Palace is my playground, filled with all my favorite things. You follow a path lined with wildflowers and enter the walled garden through this beautiful old door. If you are lucky enough, I'll be waiting to let you in. The Hendrick's Gin Palace was built in the image of an old Victorian Palm House. It has this incredible domed glass ceiling and is flanked by my beloved hothouses, which is where I tend to all manners of weird and wonderful botanicals and flora from around the world."

Who wouldn't want to take a tour of this lovely gin temple? If you're looking for a bit of relaxation, however, that might be the opposite of what you would find. Gracie explains how there's a lot to do on any given day at the Gin Palace, "...from testing and analysing our botanical samples to ensure they are up to our pretty exacting standards, to tasting the distillates to ensure our quality standards. Playing in the lab with different distillates and essences is my favorite part of the day and I find tending to the botanicals in the hothouses a good way to relax and unwind." While there is certainly work to be done, who wouldn't want to spend the day playing in the lab with different flavors? Testing botanical samples? Sign us up!

There's a reason Hendrick's Gin advertising looks the way it does

Based on the advertising of Hendrick's Gin, you may think that the brand is from another era. However, that would be incorrect. Hendrick's Gin is a relatively new brand, only around 20 years old. But why does the advertising look so whimsical, so Victorian?

To get a sense of the Hendrick's Gin brand, you might need to know more about it. In 2000, Hendrick's Gin had its world premiere in New York. Three years later in 2003 the brand launched in the United Kingdom. If you know new brands, you may know that sometimes, things can take a while to become an "overnight sensation." Stella David, at the time the CEO of Glenfiddich Scotch whisky and Hendrick's gin producer William Grant & Sons, tells The Spirit Business, "I don't think brands are born, I think they evolve. When I see a huge launch I always worry that in two or three years' time, it won't have met expectations and will be withdrawn, or price-discounted or pushed one last time." Thankfully, Hendrick's Gin flourished.

But what about the whimsical manner, where did that come from? David Piper, Hendrick's global brand ambassador, mentions that "an old Victorian apothecary's bottle" was probably the inspiration for the Hendrick's Gin identity. He tells The Spirit Business that taking together "the eccentricity, nonsense and surrealism of that era, we were able to have a lot of fun and shake up what was a very staid category."

Hendrick's Gin even advertised to commuters via a bus stop

If you think you'll only see Hendricks' Gin in the alcohol aisle, you might be mistaken. This heavenly drink has had unique advertising campaigns in the past in a variety of places, including commuters at a bus stop. In a handful of British cities — including London, Liverpool, and Brighton — there have been "experiential bus shelters" where the smell of roses and cucumbers have been placed into the stop so commuters, on their way to work, can stop and smell the ... gin? It's the perfect place for an immersive Hendrick's Gin experience.

This wasn't the only interesting campaign Hendrick's Gin has done. Hendrick's Gin has also gone a bit whimsy with the creation of the Hendrick's High Wheel, a stationary bike that, according to Bicycling, could be yours for only $2,493.11. However, there are only three available in the world so if you're interested you might need to get a move on (or a pedal on?)

There's a real-life Cabinet of Curiosities

Hendrick's Gin is unique. We're not surprised to hear there's a real Cabinet of Curiosities ... but what is it? "It is a real physical cabinet in the heart of my lab," Gracie tells ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. The Cabinet of Curiosities is basically a "library" of botanicals, oils, and ingredients to draw inspiration upon when thinking up new flavors for Hendrick's Gin. "We play about with these to see how different flavors sit together and how we can build new flavor dimensions in our drinks –- there are some interesting things in the Cabinet of Curiosities. All the innovation work for Hendrick's starts here, and it's a lot of fun."

We think it would be an absolute dream to create gin concoctions. For creative people dreaming about their dream job, Gracie's job is a testament to never giving up! "I've always [been] playing and experimenting, but until recently, we didn't have the space or capacity to release these on a wider scale, but it doesn't mean we weren't busy behind the scenes," says Gracie. "... So yes, I tucked away lots of liquid innovations in the Cabinet of Curiosities, ready to release when the time is right. Now with the increased production capacity at the Hendrick's Gin Palace I can share these liquid treats with the world." And we're very glad that these liquid treats have been shared with the world.

Hendrick's Gin created a Victorian-style gaming chaise

How would you describe your ideal home gaming environment? Perhaps you have something cozy to wear, the best gaming equipment and lighting. But have you considered investing in a gaming chaise, specifically a Hendrick's Gin gaming chaise? Yes, this is real. The gaming chaise, according to Hendrick's Gin, is "for those moments when one chooses to lean back and sip the nuances of life in all its glory." 

There are a variety of features with this chair, including a fully analogue horn, retractable arms "engineered to support cocktails, playing cards, and other real-world objects," covert compartments, and more. This chair can be yours for the price of $3,988.08 per unit. If you're not sure what to drink while sitting in this chaise of dreams, don't worry, Hendrick's Gin has you covered with a gin cocktail recipe. The "Camper Cooldown" is made with Hendrick's Gin, sweet tea, ginger beer, a squeeze of lemon wedge and garnished with a slice of cucumber and a lemon wedge (perhaps not squeezed). If you do purchase this chaise chair, do let us know — we'd love to see it in action!

For the holidays, Hendrick's Gin launched a bottled Hendrick's Gin martini

The pandemic has transformed the way we live our lives, and the hospitality industry is no different. For the holidays in 2021, Hendrick's Gin offered a new drink for gin lovers and people curious about gin looking for something new to try: Batch & Bottle's Hendrick's Gin Martini. However, the gin is available at five select bars around the world. According to Marketing Mag, the exciting thing is that for the first year after its release, a dollar from every bottle sold will go to the William Grant & Sons StandFast fund. This fund helps the hospitality industry during this unprecedented time.

"I worked closely with some of the very best martini-making bars in the world, taking inspiration from what they do and translating it into something you can easily pour at home that's fresh, floral, round and smooth like Hendrick's," Gracie told Australia Bartender. "It's fascinating that each bar had such a wildly different take on what made the perfect martini, and I took inspiration from all of the ingredients they used and worked to pull together common themes, finding the best bits of all of them to include in this final concoction. And now that it's bottled, this will be in my freezer ready to be poured whenever martini hour beckons." Drinking Hendrick's Gin tastes good for the palate and, this holiday season, a gin martini can help those in need, too. Cheers to that!