A break from the transmissions and a welcome return to the world of gin. There’s nothing like the peaceful calm and tranquil quietude of the countryside to make you turn to drink. If it wasn’t for the pub and the possibility of inappropriate sex with a fellow student (or better still, inappropriate sex between two other students so we can talk about it for hours), we’d go mad with the long evening monotony.

Months ago, maybe even before Christmas, Peter asked me to review his favourite gin, Hendrick’s. This is a request with a lot of pressure. What if I don’t like it? Will he still like me if I say it’s disgusting drain water that only a tongueless tramp would drink?

I decided to pick my way across this social quagmire from the safe distance of Ireland, so I packed a bottle of Hendrick’s in with my chef’s whites and as the evening sun settled over the gardens, I poured myself a generous measure.

Day or night gin? Woah Momma! It’s 41.4% and there is going to be dancing tonight. Definitely not for the day crowd, unless you have an understanding boss/family/3 hour lunch break.

Smell? A lovely, summery floral smell when you pull the cork stopper from the bottle and there’s a definite whiff of juniper and creamy citrus. There’s also a hint of the bathroom cabinet about it, of mouthwash and toothpaste, but altogether it’s a very subtle scent. You may not end up with gin breath after all, so perhaps it wouldn’t be too outrageous a choice for lunch.

How does it taste? It’s a very fresh, sharp gin – there’s lots of greenness about it and a hint of mint. It has a lot of length too, with the muted spices blooming in your mouth after you’ve swallowed it. I can see why it’s recommended for gin and tonics; it’s young and lively and would be perfect for a long, fizzy drink.

In fact, I turned my measure into a gin and tonic, with the recommended slice of cucumber that makes Hendrick’s such an ostentatious choice in a bar and it was delicious. The cucumber adds sweetness that complements the gin’s freshness and makes the drink very easy to swallow down.

Buy it? There’s a downside to everything and the price is where reality pays us a visit. I paid £23 for it; it’s priced around £23–26 in the shops, although there are online retailers selling it for £21 for 70cl. Quality, it turns out, is still something you have to pay for, which makes it a gin for stylish summer picnics, pre-dinner drinks à deux and quiet nights in the country.

Tagged with: BallymaloeGin

0 Responses to Gin tasting: Hendrick’s Gin

  1. Alan Jackson says:

    You really need to try the Wine Society’s 50% gin: v good in my opinion, definitely an evening gin, and only £14.95. Also, Blackwood’s vintage gin: a neat marketing idea, but also in my opinion nice gin (but only 40%, and £19.00).

    Enjoy the course: I’m sure you won’t continue to burn the potatoes!

    Alan (DJ’s dad)

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Thanks for the recommendations, there seems to be no end to the world of gin. Haven’t burned anything the last couple of days, so fingers crossed it carries on that way!

  2. DJ says:

    As you can see, the gin appreciation is genetic! (And the Campari appreciation too… though probably less scope for tastings there).

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      If I started campari tastings, there’s a danger I would lose my taste buds really quickly.

  3. Helen says:

    I love your blog. That is all.

  4. Ino says:

    I realised how much I love Hendricks when, while I was making Gin/Chambord/squeeze of lemon martinis, I run out of Chambord but continued to enjoy the combination of the other two. First step towards alcoholism? Possibly.

    My friends can never decide between this and Tanqueray 10, but I just love the cucumber hint in it.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      I like the sound of those martinis! Aren’t martinis the first step towards alcoholism in themselves? 😉

      • Ino says:

        I like to think so!

        Anyway, I am sure many people say it to you (who doesn’t love gin and crumpets?!), but I love your blog title- when I first saw it I thought that might be me!

  5. curlywurlyfi says:

    I’m not that keen on the Hendricks, I’m afraid, but I met a London gin called Sacred gin on Saturday + I liked that very much!

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      I’ve heard of Sacred – so many fancy new gins on the market. How will I get through them all? Easily?

  6. I rather like Hendricks gin, especially as a G&T as it doesn’t seem to get ‘drowned’ by the tonic like some gins do.

    Love your blog btw.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      I thought it was the best gin I’d tried for G&Ts for the same reason. And you like my blog too – we are clearly of one mind 🙂

  7. Stan says:

    Hendricks is one of my favorites – I love the hint of cucumber. Have you tried it with St. Germain and tonic? Now that one will knock your socks off on a warm summer evening. I suggest 2 parts Hendricks, 1/2 part St. Germain and top with tonic.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      I like the ides of mixing it with St Germaine, because that’s something you buy a bottle of and then think: “This is nice, hut what the hell do I do with it?” That mix has summer written all over it.

  8. Lizzie says:

    Brilliant post. I am also a fan of hendricks, though it’s not my top.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Not my favourite either yet, although I’ve tried so many gins now I’m getting confused as to which is my favourite all rounder. Going to have to have a massive taste off with them all lined up. I was pre-disposed to dislike Hendricks because of all the heavy marketing but it turned out to make a really nice G&T and I reckon that adding a splash of St Germaine (as per Stan above) could make the perfect early summer cocktail.

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