Review: Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Gin

Review: Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Gin

Hendrick’s Gin and its Cabinet of Curiosities line of special editions continues with this fifth release, Grand Cabaret, the first wandering of master distiller Lesley Gracie into the world of stone fruits as botanical ingredients.

Lesley Gracie has long been tantalized by the notion of experimenting with unusual combinations of botanicals, though as the fifth release from the Cabinet of Curiosities in the United States, GRAND CABARET marks the first time she’s wandered into the world of stone fruits. After reading about stone fruit spirits that gained popularity at fashionable celebrations in Paris in the early 1900s, Lesley was incredibly intrigued by eau de vie, a distilled fruit-based spirit that was served with a dash of gin and scented with rose.

“There’s something to be enthralled by everywhere we look, and this time I was captivated by historical recipes for indulgent stone fruit spirits, eau de vies, peach schnapps, and cherry liqueurs that were in vogue in the 1900s,” said Lesley Gracie. “I experimented with these flavors a bit and found that when you put them together, they produce a rich cabaret of notes that are both bright and light, ultimately serving as the inspiration behind this latest release.”

Sounds perfect for summertime. Let’s crack the bottle.

You won’t miss those stone fruits — they’re evident from the moment you pour the gin from the bottle. On the nose, bold notes of cherry and peaches are prominent, evoking fruit brandy more than any gin you might be imagining. Some blossom elements provide a slight break from the exuberant fruit notes, but they are comparably mild in relation to the bolder, juicy fruit quality.

The palate holds no surprises: Slightly sweet, it’s a fruit bomb that again drops a torrent of peach, cherry, and some tropical elements on the imbiber. Florals are present mainly in the form of lilac and lavender, with orange and cherry blossom also in the mix. Juniper and the signature cucumber of standard Hendrick’s aren’t notable here until the finish emerges, where some gentle green herbaceousness finally shows its face. Still: Red fruit dominates, through and through. As gins go, this will be far afield from anything remotely familiar to most, but it’s certainly charming as a diversion and works very well in long drinks (think soda, cranberry juice, Prosecco, or ginger ale — or a combination of these). Whatever you do, don’t even think about using it in a martini.

86.8 proof.

A- / $40 / 

Hendrick's Grand Cabaret Gin




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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