$$ — 44% ABV — Cucumber, Rose
A new spin on an old classic, Hendrick's was introduced in 1999 to rival the London Dry gins with a "most unusual" addition of rose petal and cucumber. The longtime makers of Glenfiddich and the Balvenie, Grant certainly knows how to make a velvety spirit — but this was their first time re-flavoring it. To ensure this gin is as beautiful as a certain red-headed actress of same name, the production process is an abundance of caution.
Hendrick's is made in two stills. A 1948 Carter-Head still, the same kind used by Bombay, makes gin by passing vapor through a basket of botanicals, extracting only the lightest fruity-floral flavors. A squat 1860 Bennett still steeps botanicals for a day before distillation, making for an aggressively earthy gin. Using two radically different distillates and blending them together affords Grant superior control over the flavors.
Just before bottling, the essences of rose petal and cucumber are added to ensure they remain the top notes. If a smart bartender makes a gin & tonic with Hendrick's, you might see a cucumber wedge in lieu of the typical lemon. These final flavorings are why.
W. Grant & Sons is located in Dufftown, Moray in northeast Scotland. Hendrick's is distilled in Girvan, South Ayrshire in southwestern Scotland. It is made with Angelica, Caraway, Chamomile, Coriander, Cubeb, Cucumber, Elder, Juniper, Lemon, Orange, Orris, Rose and Yarrow. Established in 1887 by William Grant, it remains an independent distiller.