How do you enjoy Hendricks Gin?
January 19, 2011 7:50 AM   Subscribe

How to enjoy Hendricks Gin?

I grew fond of this gin in traditional (not dry!) martinis at my favorite bar. I was gifted a bottle at Christmas and since I am the worst possible bartender I tasked my husband with finding the proper way to make me a martini at home. In his research he claims to have found that people do not recommend adding vermouth to Hendrick's and so, a martini is not the best way to appreciate it.

Please let me know if while ordering a Hendrick's martini I am making a fool of myself akin to asking for a well aged scotch to be mixed with cola. If this isn't the case, help me make the perfect (not dry!) martini, and also suggest other drinks I may appreciate Hendrick's in. I cannot stand the taste of tonic water, so lets avoid it unless the drink sufficiently masks the taste. I have seen this previous question.
posted by ridiculous to Food & Drink (34 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
It makes a really great gin and tonic, if you can find tonic water of decent quality.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:51 AM on January 19, 2011

I think Hendricks makes a great martini and is worth using in that way. Yes, add some vermouth. But garnish with cucumber instead of an olive.
posted by Paquda at 7:55 AM on January 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It makes a fine martini, with vermouth. Your husband is misinformed. Hendrick's is a highly aromatic and flavourful gin, so adding a lot of vermouth to it is a bit like gilding the lily. But a Hendrick's martini is a delicious frosty gold lily and that's not so bad. If you want to be fancy, garnish with a cucumber slice instead of an olive.
posted by Nelson at 7:56 AM on January 19, 2011

Lots of suggestions on Chowhound.
posted by grouse at 7:57 AM on January 19, 2011

I drink it 2 ways:

1. Classic martini (chilled with ice). I don't agree that vermouth shouldn't be added. Vermouth is a basic ingredient in a classic martini, which is one of the main ways to appreciate a good gin. By all means try leaving it out if you want to experiment, but there's no rule against making a normal martini with Hendricks and vermouth. Definitely don't use olives. Garnish with a cucumber slice or a twist of lemon.

2. I know you don't generally like gin and tonic, but try it garnished with a lime or cucumber slice ... or both.
posted by John Cohen at 8:01 AM on January 19, 2011

It makes a wondrous martini. No olives, lemon twist or cucumber garnish.

I make a home cocktail in the summer that's Hendricks, muddled cucumber and mint and a splash of Pimms or lime juice over ice. Refreshing.
posted by kjs3 at 8:04 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've had a Hendricks martini with a cucumber (and a touch of vermouth) and it was surprisingly delicious. I'm kind of a purist and tend to scoff at anything other then a gin/vermouth/olive martini but the cucumber gave it a nice cool aroma.
posted by bondcliff at 8:04 AM on January 19, 2011

I'm assuming that you've had gin and tonics before, but if you are dismissing them out of hand and haven't ever tried one, well; best drink ever.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:04 AM on January 19, 2011

Best answer: I certainly disagree that you're making a fool of yourself--I've had many a Hendricks martini--but I would agree that I don't think the martini is where Hendricks shines. To each their own, of course. I strongly advise against olives, onions, gherkins as garnishes, or dirty martinis with Hendricks--but a cucumber slice could be quite nice.

I'm with you, though--I love a traditional martini (with a really dry London gin, for me).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:04 AM on January 19, 2011

Hendricks is a very good sippin' gin, in my opinion. Put it on the rocks, maybe give it a dash of orange bitters? Quite nice. It's also my favorite G&T gin, with, as others have said, a slice of cucumber, but if you're not a tonic fan, alas! Hendricks-soaked cucumbers are a delicious snack in any case.

I think I've had it in a Last Word, but I basically love any type of Last Word. I think it might also do well in a Pegu Club.
posted by whitneyarner at 8:09 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Shaken with fresh squeezed meyer lemon and a touch of simple, and topped up with champagne.

On the rocks with a slice of cucumber and tonic.

Shaken with lime juice, St. Germain, and a dash of absinthe.
posted by kaseijin at 8:10 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like Hendricks in a G&T with cucumber, but rather than just garnish, I actually chop up the cucumber into tiny pieces and throw it in to get more cucumber flavour. It looks a bit messy, but tastes really refreshing. If you can't stand the tonic, that might be good in a martini too.
posted by teg at 8:10 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've had something, too, that was along the lines of: Hendricks, St. Germain, muddled cucumber and white seedless grape, top with soda, garnish with pressed basil leaf.
posted by kaseijin at 8:13 AM on January 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

I would certainly not put it in a classic martini -- not because (like your Scotch example) it's too good for that treatment, but rather because it is -- to me -- the wrong balance of flavors.

Martinis are best, in my opinion, with a gin that is fairly traditional and more forward with the juniper. Hendricks is best mixed or served in a G&T.
posted by kaseijin at 8:15 AM on January 19, 2011

Tonic, on the rocks. The cucumber slice is really just for show, as Hendrick's already has essence of cucumber in it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:22 AM on January 19, 2011

Hendricks plays well with cucumber (as noted above) and (as also noted above) it goes nicely with St-Germaine. I have a couple champagne cocktails based off Hendricks and St-Germaine:

Bar Spoon of Absinthe
1 oz gin (Plymouth or Hendricks Preferably)
.75 oz St-Germain
.25 oz fresh lemon juice
Brut Champagne or sparkling wine

Muddle a sprig of lemon thyme or a lemon peel with a sprig of thyme in a chilled cocktail glass. Mix absinthe, gin, St-Germain and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a the glass. Top with champagne

or if you find you're willing to try tonic again:

1½ parts Hendricks
1 part St-Germain
½ part Meyer lemon juice

Mix, pour into a Collins glass with ice, top with tonic.
Top with Q tonic
posted by crush-onastick at 8:24 AM on January 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: We make martinis with Hendricks, using a slice of preserved orange peel as a garnish. Really nice.

In the summer, we like experimenting with making various fruit ices/slushes, to which we add gin or tequila. Now I'm thinking cucumber, peeled, seeded, blended and frozen into a slush might make a very nice refreshing mix for Hendricks, too!
posted by LN at 8:28 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

1 part Hendricks.
1 part fresh-squeezed Orange Juice.
1 part tonic water (I know, I know...)
Dash Bitters.

Best served repeatedly on a hot summer day.
posted by piro at 8:30 AM on January 19, 2011

(belatedly -- I somehow missed your specific dismissal of tonic water, and did not actually mean to be an ass. APOLOGIES.)

Seconding suggestions of cucumber garnish, however.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:30 AM on January 19, 2011

Best answer: Why don't you try it prepared in these various ways and then select the one(s) that you find most appealing?

Surely you're not planning to subordinate your own personal tastes to the One Right Way To Consume %HighEndLuxuryGood. People who write/perpetuate these guidelines about spirits are often notionally right in the generalities, but so utterly and entirely full-of-shit, pedantic, and reactionary in the specifics.

The "best" way to appreciate your Hendricks gin is -- after sampling several ways suggested in this thread and elsewhere -- to select the way that pleases you the most. The only "foolish" way is to internalize this notion that someone else knows what you should like better than you do.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 8:42 AM on January 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

ridiculous: "I cannot stand the taste of tonic water"

I urge you to seek out Q Tonic, which is far superior to any of that oversweetened stuff you're probably used to. It's a lot more subtle, and actually tastes like quinine instead of sugar. More importantly, it doesn't overpower your gin.

From what I understand, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's sell house-brand tonics that have a similar profile.
posted by mkultra at 8:43 AM on January 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

I really, really, really hate the Hendrick's website because it takes forever to load but they offer a variety of cocktail recipes which are quite nice and put a spin on some classics and yet, the very first one is a Cucumber Martini, which includes vermouth. 2 parts Hendricks, 2 part dry vermouth, slice of cuke. Also worth a look is the Negroni as well as the Carte Blanche.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:44 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I will make a point of picking up some St. Germain next time I am at the liquor store since it seems to be a highly recommended companion to Hendrick's.

On the subject of tonic, for years I despised gin and wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, then I realized that I had only ever had it in a G & T and that the tonic was what I couldn't stand. It's the quinine taste. I have tried all different brands, since tonic is so common in the world of cocktails, and unfortunately the dislike remains.
posted by ridiculous at 8:58 AM on January 19, 2011

I like using Hendricks in a Bijou cocktail -- though the drink tastes different, and maybe a little less balanced, than if you use something like Plymouth. Still one of my favorite drinks, though.

Bijou: equal parts green Chartreuse, gin, and sweet vermouth. Most recipes call for a dash of orange bitters, too, which I heartily support. (I use Regan's bitters.) Stir with ice, serve up.

I sometimes use Punt e Mes in place of a more typical sweet vermouth; it has a little more bitterness, and makes this drink closer to a mix between a Negroni and a Bijou. (If you do use Punt e Mes, I like using a little less of it, relative to the gin and Chartreuse.)
posted by chalkbored at 9:06 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is it horribly gauche to suggest a Tom Collins or a gimlet? I fear all that citrus juice might overpower the flavor of the gin - but it's worth a shot?
posted by elsietheeel at 9:16 AM on January 19, 2011

Oooh, Hendricks.

Since it's so floral, it's great with citrus juices actually, which I know is untraditional. We've done a lot of experiments with Hendricks and a juicer and various combinations of: kumquats, lemons, oranges, blueberries, pineapples, raspberries and pretty much any other fruit we have on hand. BLOOD ORANGES is sort of the answer, weirdly! It's great with a strong sour fruit juice medley.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:19 AM on January 19, 2011

I think the key to making a good Hendricks martini is using a high quality vermouth. Dolin, Boissierre, and Vya are all good brands. Always keep your vermouth refridgerated.
posted by Jawn at 9:26 AM on January 19, 2011

3 Parts Hendrick's
2 Parts Dry Sake
1 Part Lillet Blanc
1" Slice of Cucumber

Muddle the cucumber and lillet in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice, gin and sake. Shake and strain into a martini glass, garnish with a slice of cucumber. Perfection.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:29 AM on January 19, 2011

Did no one say Bloody Mary? Cukes? A pickle spear? Oh yes, that is a fine way to enjoy Hendricks. In moderation.
posted by fixedgear at 9:48 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cucumber Gimlet! I must admit I've never mixed one myself, but I've drunk several versions at various bars and they are delightful. This recipe looks like a good place to start. It shouldn't be an overly sweet drink, and you might try a spring of mint as garnish. This is a perfect drink on a warm summer night.
posted by tula at 10:02 AM on January 19, 2011

To follow LN's comment, this is very similar to the recipe we use for preserving citrus. Super easy to do and they keep in your firdge forever. The preserved organges are an interesting ingredient for general cookery, but a godly one for Martinis. The oranges that matched so well to the Hedricks were clemetines or honey tangerine, I think.

We used the zest as a garnish and a slight squeeze of the juice into the drink for a dirty martini/bitters sort of effect. It matched very well with the floral character of the gin.
posted by bonehead at 10:10 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like Hendicks in something vaguely Pimm's Cup-ish myself--Hendrick's, Pimm's, and coconut rum topped with ginger ale over ice and garnished with cucumber. Discovered it at a local restaurant where it's their signature cocktail. Delicious any time of year because it's refreshing like a PC but that coconut dimension with the ginger gives it a spicy nutty warmth too.
posted by ifjuly at 10:43 AM on January 19, 2011

I find that Hendricks needs a balancer--it is, as many have mentioned, floral and aromatic, so adding any of these: St. Germain, Lillet, even Q Tonic, is actually tilting the equlibrium too far in the direction of the floral and herbaceous.

I prefer Hendricks with white peach purée (Bellini with a kick), topped with club soda and a cucumber garnish. Raspberries and passion fruit also work beautifully with Hendricks.

If you're looking for something darker and more savory, you might want to try making a dirty martini with Hendricks. I've done this also with juice from caper (berries) and garnished with a slice of red bell pepper. Gorgeous.
posted by yellowcandy at 1:35 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Gin Fizz!

My method:
Juice a fresh lemon and get about 2/3 of a shot worth, add enough Agave Syrup the 2/3rd lemon shot to fill it up into a shaker filled with ice. Add a shot of Gin.


Serve in a highball with ice and top with club soda.
posted by wcfields at 1:11 PM on January 20, 2011

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