Unless you’re practicing personal prohibition, every man should have a basic understanding of spirits and how to order them. If you don’t already know what you like, let me suggest a classic: Gin. However, it’s best to keep in mind that not all gins are the same. Some are meant for people on a budget, and their flavors are artificial and dull. The gin you should be drinking will have complex flavors created by re-distilling a neutral spirit with juniper berries and other botanicals. Cheaper gins are created by simply flavoring neutral spirits with “natural flavors”. Stay away from the cheaper varieties – you deserve better.
Hendrick’s is an exceptional small batch gin, and is consistently ranked one of the best in the world. The company uses rare stills and adds Bulgarian Rose and cucumber to their gin, which is unique only to Hendrick’s. For this reason, gin aficionados and Hendrick’s both claim: “It is not for everybody” and “Preferred by 1 out of 1000 gin drinkers.” Being a gin drinker myself, I think they’re right – most people are used to the industrial, flat flavors of other gins. Hendricks is different, complex, and demands respect.
So how should you enjoy Hendrick’s? Here are three drinks worth trying:
The Classic Martini
2.5 parts Hendrick’s Gin 1/2 part dry vermouth cucumber slice
Stir gin and vermouth into a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a martini glass. Finish with a cucumber garnish.
The Gin and Tonic
2 parts Hendrick’s tonic water cucumber slice
Pour Hendrick’s Gin into highball glass over ice cubes and fill with tonic water. Stir. Add cucumber garnish.
4 oz Hendrick’s Gin 1/2 oz fresh lime juice 1 oz Rose’s lime juice lime wedge
Mix the ingredients in a rocks glass over ice, and garnish with a lime wedge.