“A celebration of the Eternal Mysteries of the Midsummer Solstice”
Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Gin is a limited release from the experimental still of Lesley Gracie, Head Distiller at Hendrick’s new Gin Palace at the Girvan Distillery. Inspired by the blooms of midsummer the gin was recently launched (in March in the UK and May in the US) with much marketing fanfare. As a confirmed Hendrick’s fan, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bottle.
At first glance, it is the familiar Hendrick’s apothecary-style bottle coloured an intriguing violet. The label doesn’t give anything away about its botanical profile other than that the gin is “infused with natural floral essences”.
The exact identities of these natural floral essences are being kept a mystery for now. Perhaps this secret is one of the Eternal Mysteries. Time will tell before the secret is out.
The usual Hendrick’s suspects: juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, caraway seeds, cubeb berries, yarrow, elderflower, chamomile, orange and lemon peel.
Post distillation infusion of floral essences: who knows?
The nose will please the gin classicists. While the style of this gin is contemporary it is still definitely gin, floral and sweet but with juniper providing a piney greenness to the bouquet.
Hype aside, this is a captivating gin. Floral but not unpleasantly so. The delicate balance between juniper and the floral notes is superb. There is a sweet citrus burst on the tongue. It reminds me of the refreshers sweets but much more sophisticated.
The strength of the 43.4% is felt but the gin is smooth. Angelica root and coriander add weight and a touch of sourness. The floral botanicals are quite difficult to pick out individually. But I would hazard that violet and lavender are most definitely there, and possibly rose too.
The recommended serve is premium tonic with orange zest and a slice of cucumber. While this is rather good I felt that the cucumber took over and knocked out some of the delicate floral flavours. With the next serve, I left out any garnish and gave the gin a chance to shine.
Finally, I tried it as the base spirit in a Clover Club. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t use a craft gin in a cocktail but while some craft gins just fade away under the onslaught of a shaker full of cocktail ingredients, Hendrick’s original can stand up for itself. And so too I found out can the Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Gin.