Citadelle continues to crank out new gin variations, its most recent being the new Jardin d’ete, a permanent addition to the French company’s lineup. Per the company, “Inspired by a French garden cultivated by Debbie Gabriel, wife of Citadelle Founder Alexandre Gabriel, Jardin d’été is made with melon flesh, whole lemon, yuzu zest and more orange peel, in addition to the 19 botanicals used to make Citadelle Original.”
Here’s the full botanical lineup: “whole lemon, melon flesh, and yuzu zest in addition to more orange peel (this is also a botanical in Citadelle Original), plus juniper berries, lemon zest, cardamom, cubeb, coriander, nutmeg, Sichuan pepper, cinnamon, cassia, licorice, angelica, iris, almonds, fennel, cumin, star anise, savory and violet.”
The gin is designed specifically to be bright, summery, and fresh, and Jardin d’ete succeeds amicably on that front. The nose is a bit boozy at first blush, but it settles down to give the floor to some of the more unique botanicals in the mix, especially melon, which takes on a big honeydew note here. Juniper is mild, punctuated with a touch of citrus and a grind of pepper, which here feels just a bit out of place.
On the palate, melon is again punchy, a mix of spices muddled into the experience. There’s more traditional juniper here, plus a dried floral note that comes across akin to lavender, but with a touch of basil in tow. Fennel and anise notes inform the licorice-whipped finish, perhaps overdoing it a tad. Fortunately there’s plenty of fruit in the form of more melon and ample, bright, and lemony citrus — yuzu-driven, certainly — to keep things lively. It’s good stuff for a tall drink (not a martini), especially when you aren’t looking for an overproof wallop of a cocktail to kick you in the teeth.