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Gin meets cucumber

Published Dec 17, 2013, 9:44 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 12:53 am IST
Easily available in the Indian market, Hendrick’s gin is such a unique variety

There are gins and there are gins. Hendrick’s falls most certainly in the latter category. It is one of the frontrunners in this a segment of juniper berry-based spirits. While it is easily available in India along with Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, and Beefeaters, Hendrick’s stands out not just in price but also in its flavour profile.

Among the more expensive gins to be sold in the country, Hendrick’s treads the fine line of the definition of gin with its unique set of ingredients — elderflower, chamomile, meadowsweet, rose petal, cucumber, and caraway seed. These ingredients are often unheard of in any other formal setting, and one would have to go out on a limb to resemble anything even close.


The aroma from the bottle is pleasant; slightly floral and with a light juniper whiff. Unlike the usual gins, the pinch in the juniper berries smell doesn’t hit you first; the essence of the rose does. Sold in a bottle that looks like it is straight out of an apothecary, that is probably the closest to anything traditional or old world about the gin.

The cucumber is a subtle taste that blends in, while the rose stands out more. The cucumber brings with it an inherently refreshing taste that can be easily overpowered by either a strong tonic or limejuice. So use mixers with caution. Bartenders love to add a bit of cucumber to the cocktail to enhance the flavour and usually underplay the citrusy norm pertaining to gins.


There is a slight spiciness to this gin that is warming and pleasing on the tongue. Try it on the rocks or with mixers like club soda or a simple fruit juice.

(Randolph is the sommelier at Spices)