Luxebook June 2023

AN ODD TALE Hendrick’s, The Cabinet of Curiosities and a surreal drink era imagery that accompanies all the gin company’s messaging is the world that the liquor would perfectly fit into. Inspired by literature, it is not difficult to imagine Hendrick’s to be a writers or a literature enthusiast’s drink, as it is for many. An oddly-made gin Hendrick’s gin is distilled in two separate stills, an 1860 antique copper pot called Bennett, with a reputation for manufacturing a spirit robust and flavourful, and the other from 1948, a rare Carter Head. The Bennet steeps the botanicals in spirit overnight prior to distillation, resulting in a rich, complex liquid. The Carter Head steams the botanicals gently in a basket, and the flavours are thus gently infused into the liquor. The combination of both the stills produces a smooth to savour drink with subtlety and yet a distinct character. Hendrick’s gin is infused with rose and cucumber, along with 11 other botanicals from all over the world. The whimsical concoction of ingredients produces an unmistakable to miss flavour and a delightful aroma. In the Gin Palace, where it is produced under Master Distiller Leslie Gracie’s sharp eyes, each batch is crafted just 500 litres at a time. Its popularity has not resulted in a mammoth overproduction of the liquor, which remains at its 1999 capacity, for greater control over Ms Gracie’s artistry. The botanicals in the gin include lemon peel, caraway seeds, juniper, coriander seeds, orris root, angelica root, chamomile, cubeb berries, elderflower, yarrow and orange peel. Cabinet of Curiosities Those part of the Hendrick’s verse are aware of their limited-edition Cabinet of Curiosities releases. Every other year, the good folks at Hendricks’ come out with a brilliant, limited-edition release, and its meant to evoke memories of a distant dream for patrons. Following with this theme, these releases are termed ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. A gin connoisseur always has their eyes out for a Hendricks Cabinet of Curiosities release, since it is a rare commodity, and there is no way to get a bottle once it’s sold out. It is a rather unusual name for limited editions of a gin, but quite apt when you think about Hendricks and its world. The drink, which would probably fit into the decadent Victorian era of Oscar Wilde and other gindrinking literary enthusiasts, is made for like-minded patrons with the same good taste for the tipple in this era (and many are here for it). The story begins, as many good stories do, with a grand wedding, and a crate of good ol’ Hendricks. Leslie Gracie, the master distiller of Hendricks decided to take a crate of gin to former Global Brand Ambassador Duncan Mc Rae’s wedding, someone she had worked in close association with, doing research and development on projects. To give it a local flavour, she decided to develop botanicals from flowers that bloom during the summer, and that’s how ‘Midsummer Solstice’ was born in 2019. The name is based on an actual cabinet under the master distiller’s possession, where Ms Gracie stores her wide-ranging botanicals to experiment with. BY PAYEL MAJUMDAR UPRETI The Hendrick’s Gin Palace is in the tiny seaside village called Girvan, in Ayrshire, south-west of Scotland. Overlooking the mysterious island of Ailsa Craig, this outcrop lies uninhabited for the most part, except for a few local gannets and puffins. It is the perfect setting to produce this complex beverage which has its loyal fan following since the year it all began, in 1886 when Mr William Grant bought the distillery. It was more than a century later, in 1988, when Mr Charles Gordon, great grandson of Mr William Grant, enlisted Ms Leslie Gracie to make an unusual spirit out of two very unusual antique stills, a rare Carter Head, and the 19th century Bennett, which he had acquired at an auction many years earlier. The duo wanted to create an unusual spirit using two odd stills, and several experiments later, the rest is history. Not meant for everybody, the production of Hendrick’s gin is still controlled to ensure quality over quantity. The complex liquid is well-fitted for a curious person, those whom mysteries attract, the surrealist Victorian Master Distiller Leslie Gracie Hendrick’s Neptunia and Tonic 16|LUXEBOOK|JUNE 2023 JUNE 2023 |LUXEBOOK|17 THE CURIOUS DRINK