Hendrick’s gin is a popular brand of gin produced in Scotland. Like all gins, the primary botanical ingredient in Hendrick’s gin is juniper berries. However, beyond juniper, different gins use various additional botanicals to create their unique flavors and aromas. This leads to the question – what ingredients make up Hendrick’s gin? Specifically, is grain used in Hendrick’s gin production?
What is Gin?
To understand if Hendrick’s gin contains grain, it is helpful to first understand what gin is and how it is made.
Gin is a juniper-flavored spirit made from distilled grain. The grain base spirit is typically neutral in flavor. Most commonly, it is made from wheat, corn, rye, or barley. The neutral spirit is then redistilled or infused with juniper berries and other botanicals to give gin its characteristic flavor profile.
By definition, all gins contain juniper and start with a grain-based spirit as the base. The major differences between gin styles and brands come from the specific grains used, distillation methods, and types of botanicals added.
Gin Production Process
Here are the basic steps to make gin:
- Make a neutral grain spirit using wheat, corn, rye, barley or a combination.
- Redistill the grain spirit with juniper berries and other botanicals in a pot still. The juniper and botanicals infuse into the spirit.
- Filter and bottle the final flavored spirit.
So in summary, the underlying base of any gin will be a high-proof grain spirit. The question is – what grain spirit and botanicals make up Hendrick’s gin specifically?
Hendrick’s Gin Ingredients
Hendrick’s Gin is produced by William Grant & Sons at the Girvan distillery in Scotland. Hendrick’s uses a neutral spirit made from wheat as its base.
According to the Hendrick’s website, their gin contains the following ingredients:
- Neutral grain spirit made from wheat
- Rose petal
In addition to the core botanicals above, Hendrick’s states that they use over 10 other botanicals. However, the full recipe is proprietary.
So to summarize, yes Hendrick’s Gin does contain grain – specifically wheat – as the underlying base spirit before redistillation with juniper, cucumber, rose and other flavorings.
How Hendrick’s Gin is Made
Now that we know Hendrick’s contains wheat grain spirit, let’s take a closer look at how their specific gin style is crafted:
Hendrick’s uses a combination of pot stills and Carter-Head stills to produce their gin.
First, a neutral wheat spirit is distilled in a pot still. This unflavored spirit will form the base.
The neutral spirit is then redistilled in a Carter-Head still along with the juniper, cucumber and rose petals. The Carter-Head still allows the gin to absorb the flavors and aromas of the botanicals.
In addition to the core ingredients of juniper, rose and cucumber, Hendrick’s uses over 10 other botanicals to provide additional floral and citrus notes. These likely include coriander, orange peel, lemon peel, chamomile and more.
However, the specific combination and quantities used are proprietary. Different botanicals are likely added at different phases of the distillation process to produce the desired balance of flavors.
After distillation, Hendrick’s infuses the gin with additional cucumber and rose petals. The gin is stored in casks that previously stored Scotch whisky. This helps extract further flavors from the botanicals.
Hendrick’s Gin Flavor Profile
The unique distillation and infusion process helps create the distinctive flavor profile of Hendrick’s Gin:
- Juniper – Upfront juniper flavors create the classic gin backbone.
- Cucumber – Hendrick’s is known for its prominent cucumber notes.
- Rose – Rose petals lend a light, delicate floral character.
- Citrus – Hints of lemon and orange come through.
- Spice – There are subtle background spices like coriander.
Compared to a traditional London Dry gin, Hendrick’s has a more pronounced cucumber presence, with resinous juniper taking a backseat. The rose adds a soft, perfume-like appeal. Overall, Hendrick’s Gin has a smooth, refreshing taste.
Is Hendrick’s Gluten Free?
Since Hendrick’s uses wheat spirit as its base, it is not gluten-free. The neutral wheat spirit contributes gluten protein to the finished gin.
People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid Hendrick’s and other gins made from wheat, barley or rye.
Some gin brands, like Bombay Sapphire, use corn or grapes as a gluten-free base. These would be suitable options for those avoiding gluten.
Hendrick’s Gin Cocktails
The unique flavor profile of Hendrick’s gin makes it well-suited to a range of classic and modern gin cocktails:
Hendrick’s Gin & Tonic
This simple cocktail lets the botanical flavors of Hendrick’s shine through when paired with tonic water and garnished with cucumber.
Hendrick’s Cucumber Cooler
- 1.5 oz Hendrick’s Gin
- .75 oz Lime Juice
- .5 oz Simple Syrup
- 3 oz Soda Water
- Cucumber Slice Garnish
This effervescent cocktail highlights the cucumber essence of Hendrick’s along with a refreshing lime and soda base.
Hendrick’s Rose 75
- 1.5 oz Hendrick’s Gin
- .75 oz Lemon Juice
- .5 oz Simple Syrup
- 2 oz Sparkling Wine
- Rose Petal Garnish
The rose notes in Hendrick’s pair beautifully with the sparkling wine and lemon in this gin take on a French 75.
- 1.5 oz Hendrick’s
- 1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters
- Lemon Twist Garnish
This classic gin cocktail lets the complex herbal aromas of Hendrick’s mingle with sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur.
Where to Buy Hendrick’s Gin
Here are some options for where to buy Hendrick’s Gin:
Hendrick’s is carried by most liquor stores, especially those with an extensive gin selection. It retails for around $35-50 per 750ml bottle.
Many grocery stores, like Total Wine and large supermarket chains, stock Hendrick’s in their liquor department. Availability and price may vary by location.
Websites like ReserveBar, Drizly and Wine.com sell Hendrick’s Gin online for home delivery in eligible states. This is a convenient option, but local availability restrictions apply.
Bars and Restaurants
Upscale bars and restaurants often carry Hendrick’s on their cocktail menus. You can taste it before committing to a whole bottle purchase.
Check your preferred local liquor retailer to find Hendrick’s Gin near you. The recognizable black bottle with cucumber and rose decor makes it easy to spot on shelves.
Common Questions about Hendrick’s
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Hendrick’s Gin:
Is Hendrick’s Gin made in Scotland?
Yes, Hendrick’s is produced at the Girvan distillery in South Ayrshire, Scotland. It is distilled and bottled there.
Who founded Hendrick’s Gin?
Hendrick’s was created by William Grant & Sons, a Scottish distilling company that also produces other spirits like Glenfiddich and Tullamore Dew.
When was Hendrick’s Gin first made?
Hendrick’s Gin was first launched in 1999. It was an early leader in the modern “New Western” style gin movement that moved away from the traditional London Dry style.
What is the alcohol percentage of Hendrick’s Gin?
Hendrick’s is bottled at 44% alcohol by volume (ABV), which is a typical strength for gin.
Is Hendrick’s good for gin and tonic?
Yes, Hendrick’s unique botanical profile pairs very well with tonic water’s bitterness and carbonation. The cucumber notes complement the citrus flavors often found in quality tonic.
Does Hendrick’s gin have a smooth taste?
Compared to a strongly juniper-forward London dry style gin, Hendrick’s has a relatively smooth and rounded taste. The rose and cucumber provide a softness on the palate. However, the spirit base still contributes some heat and dryness.
In conclusion, yes Hendrick’s Gin does contain grain – specifically wheat – as its underlying base spirit. The wheat is distilled into a neutral spirit, then redistilled with juniper, cucumber, rose petals and other botanicals to produce Hendrick’s signature flavor profile.
While Hendrick’s has a distinctive taste compared to traditional gins thanks to its infusion of cucumber and rose, it still uses the standard gin production process beginning with a grain spirit. Since it contains wheat, Hendrick’s Gin is not gluten-free.
Hendrick’s works very well in both classic and modern gin cocktails. Its balanced botanical flavors make it a versatile spirit for gin drinkers looking for an alternative to traditional London Dry style gins.