Sixteen kilometres off the coast of Scotland you will find Ailsa Craig. The rock looks like a thumb sticking out of the ocean and is where 70% of the world’s curling stones are mined. The best view of Ailsa Craig is from a town called Girvan, and just outside Girvan is the distillery of the world’s most unusual gin, Hendrick’s Gin.
Housed in a room about the size of a high school gym are two very old stills used to make the world’s favourite rose and cucumber tinted gin. One of these stills (named a Bennett Still) was first used in 1860 in London and makes a robust gin bursting with flavour. The other (a Carter-Head Still) makes a more refined and cleaner spirit, with subtle flavours. The two gins, when combined, complement and support each other like fraternal twins. After using these two stills, Hendrick’s Gin isn’t quite there yet. Beyond the juniper, lemon, orris, angelica, yarrow (according to Greek myth, Achilles covered himself with a yarrow tincture to make himself invincible everywhere on his body except his heel) and six other botanicals, two more ingredients are needed.
One is rose petal essence. Derived from the Bulgarian Roses, picked only when the oils are most fragrant. The flower we most associate with love caresses the already forever entwined two gins. The other is cucumber essence. Those two stills mentioned before have nothing to do with these two essences. These essences are distilled by a family of perfumers that have been in business for a very long time. Almost as long as the Bennett still has been around.
When one wants refreshment, the coolest vegetable in the garden is the way to go. The cucumber also is the best way to garnish a Hendrick’s cocktail be it a Martini, a Tom Collins or a Hendrick’s and Tonic.
We hope that the next time you sit to have a drink, you think of something unusual.
Custom Cocktail: Demon In The Sheets
2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
.75 ounces Lime Juice
.5 ounces Hendrick’s Quinetum Tonic Cordial
A slice of jalapeño.Muddle jalapeño in the bottom of a shaker tin. Add all other ingredients. Fill shaker tin with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Or for a longer lasting, lighter version, strain over ice into a collins glass. Garnish with a cucumber ribbon.
Hendrick’s Quinetum Cordial is a rare and endangered ingredient. Feel free to use your favourite tonic syrup for this recipe in it’s place, or make your own.
What you need to remember:
Hendrick’s is a Distilled Gin with essence of Rose and Cucumber. Always serve your Hendrick’s with a cucumber garnish
What to brag about at your next cocktail party or to show off on your next date:
Hendrick’s uses two very old stills to make the world’s most unusual gin. One of the botanicals used is Yarrow, which tribes all over the world have sometimes used for meditative aids.
What to order with your Hendrick’s Cocktail:
With the briny air you can imagine breathing in Girvan, oysters are the best accompaniment to your Hendrick’s Martini or Gimlet.
Post in collaboration with Hendrick’s Gin and PMA Canada. Please drink responsibly.