Last month, we were officially introduced to a new Hendrick’s creation, the Hendrick’s Quinetum Cordial.
What is the Hendrick’s Quinetum Cordial?
The Hendrick’s Quinetum Cordial final is a 4% ABV mix of orange blossom, wormwood, lavender and thistle extracts plus the main ingredient of cinchona succiruba bark (aka tree bark) extract where the quinine comes from.
Note: Quinine is used to treat uncomplicated malaria, a disease caused by parasites that enter the body through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria is common in areas such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.
While it’s sure to be in great demand especially for any gin lover, it’s also very exclusive. As a matter of fact, Hendrick’s only made 4,000 bottles of the cordial and not all bars or bartenders will be able to get their hands on a bottle!
Luckily, thanks to our friends from William Grant & Sons, we managed to not only try it firsthand, but also score an exclusive interview with their global brand ambassador, David Piper, during the cordial affair.
David Piper is the ideal envoy for Hendrick’s Gin. A master of many creative endeavours, David has been an artist, writer, journalist, voice artist, actor, Master of Ceremonies and radio presenter, to name but a few. He’s also the proprietor of the world’s smallest mobile peepshow, head of an agency for Genuine English Cads, Scoundrels, Rascals, Rogues, and Rotters and leading light of the New English Dandies.
Now, who better to give us a Hendrick’s Gin as well as Hendrick’s Quinetum cordial crash course than he man himself, eh? 😉
Here’s what went down:
Hi David, tell us a little bit more about what you do.
Hi! Well, before becoming the brand ambassador for Hendrick’s, I did all sorts of things. It’s quite a long story and it doesn’t really make much sense. I started out making art but realised that you can actually make the world more interesting and give people an experience so I started doing parties, in beautiful venues in London where you had to dress up to come in. And there was incredible music that was made for dancing – but not the kind of dance music where you have to play really loud to dance. It was about glamour and elegance. So I started doing that and performing, the kind of burlesque cabaret scene and that’s how I met Hendrick’s Gin! Then we realised that there was a big affinity between myself and the brand.
So, how different is Hendrick’s from other brands of gin?
It’s made in a very, very different way and that’s why everything that we do is different. From the very beginning, Hendrick’s isn’t made like any other gin, neither does it taste like any other gin. We used 2 different types of still – the pot still and the Carter-Head still, which is a vapour extraction in botanicals. Almost all other gins used one, some gins use another, but until very recently nobody did both. One of the stills, the pot still, is from 1960s so it was built 150 years ago – it’s a beautiful little thing. The final Hendrick’s Gin is a blend of these 2 spirits with an addition of cucumber essence and rose petal essence.
And that’s what I’ve always wondered – some gins are served with slices of lemon or lime, whilst others with cucumber. Is the serving with cucumber a Hendrick’s thing?
Other gins probably don’t have cucumbers as one of their ingredients in it, And the reason why we have slices of cucumbers in a Hendrick’s Gin and tonic is because it lifts it up, makes it even more fresh and cool and refreshing, which is what a gin and tonic really should be. so it works particularly well with Hendrick’s. You can put it into another gin, but it won’t work anywhere near the same.
How do you know whether a Hendrick’s Gin and tonic is made well? Is there a specific way to tell?
That’s down to taste and experience but I think the most common problem with a bad Hendrick’s Gin and tonic is that people don’t put enough ice in the glass. The glass should be full of ice! And when you do that, you tend to get a much better balance between the gin and the tonic. When you don’t have enough ice, and you put in the same measure of gin, then you have to put in twice as much tonic and that’s doesn’t quite work as well. Don’t skimp on the ice, don’t be stingy with ice, ice is your friend, ice keeps it cool. Plus, the more ice you put in, the less it dilutes, because when you fill the glass with ice, it keeps the drink cold or longer.
Now, tell me a little bit more about this new Hendrick’s Quinetum cordial.
Quinetum’s really exciting and it’s something that Lesley Gracie our master distiller, the amazing woman who first came up with the formula for Hendrick’s. Hendrick’s Gin was created by a woman, yeah. Absolutely. She comes from a background of science and biochemistry so she combines this amazing technical knowledge and how it affects your taste or the scent. She’s always experimenting and she does incredible things. It was designed to complement the Hendrick’s Gin profile perfectly. She’s been working on something like this for many, many years, trying to get it right and it’s still very difficult as well as really expensive for us to make. At the moment it has got a limited release but hopefully, we’ll find a way to give it a wider release.
What are some ways to make drinks with the Hendrick’s Quinetum cordial?
Really, you can use it in 2 different ways – one as a cordial to mix with soda water or tonic water, then you can change the amount, the flavours, and the intensity as you like, before adding a dash of Hendrick’s Gin in it. Also, you can use it as a cocktail ingredient! It’s a very, very different ingredient than anything out there. Because quinine has a medicinal history and there aren’t anything else with such a strong component of quinine that’s so balanced.
Thanks for the Hendrick’s crash course and for the chat, David!
To find out more about the new Hendrick’s Quinetum cordial, check out our event coverage here.
For more information, visit the Hendrick’s Gin website.