Hendrick’s Gin is well known for its odd and unique approach to gin. The high-quality spirit is produced in very small batches, with essences of rose and cucumber added to give it its unique flavour profile. In keeping with this tradition of challenging convention, it recently released its Cucumber Hothouse and Atomising Companion, celebrating two quintessentially British pastimes, horticulture and afternoon cocktails.
The design of the package takes its inspiration from Hendrick’s Gin’s own hothouse in Girvan, Scotland, where the gin is crafted. This hothouse is where the 11 botanicals that make Hendrick’s Gin so unique are grown. Although the packaging might not inspire the average gin enthusiast to develop a green thumb, it does underscore the tireless efforts of those who are committed to making a gin like no other.
Where the gin enthusiast is more likely to find inspiration is in the atomiser, which is comprised of equal parts genius and adorability. Hendrick’s Gin has been prized by those who appreciate the finer things for some time, but the atomiser takes the experience to the next level. The Hendrick’s Gin martini takes the classic cocktail and replaces the olive with a refreshing, translucently thin slice of cucumber. Fill the atomiser with vermouth and spray it over the glass to add a bit of theater as well as a wonderful aroma, to awaken the senses to the cocktail experience.
As the atomiser turns any liquid into a mist of vapour, what goes in there is really up to its owner. A thin mist of one’s favourite cocktail ingredient can be used either as a mist on top of the glass, or to line the sides of the glass before the other ingredients are added. One could even experiment with creating one’s own tinctures to add in minute quantities to the cocktail, straddling the line between mixologist and mad scientist. Another way to use the atomiser is to make your own bitters. Much like gin, bitters has made a comeback in recent times. For many decades, cocktail enthusiasts have had to be satisfied with the standard herbal bitters found on most shelves. Recently, there has been an explosion of bitters, including orange bitters, mint bitters, peach bitters, and even hibiscus bitters. Sadly, many of these exotic additions have not been available to the general South African public – until now.
The atomiser can become your very own bitters receptacle. Simply add a clear spirit, and your own secret recipe for the perfect bitters, these can include citrus peel, flowers, fruit, nuts, and even coffee beans. Or take inspiration from the hothouse theme and add the best herbs and spices from your garden. Each cocktail enthusiast will find their own best combination, but the best ones are ingredients that are already associated with gin, such as juniper berries, allspice, and rose. For the more adventurous, try the likes of chilies, cardamom, star anise, ginger, toasted almonds, and coffee beans. If the atomiser appeals to your sense of showmanship, there is another way to harness its possibilities. When making a cocktail with a cream topping, or even one that contains shaken egg whites, the white surface of your cocktail could serve as a canvass. Use a stencil of your liking and spritz a garnish with a vivid colour over it to create a picture in a glass. You could even add a bit of food colour to your atomiser’s contents to achieve this effect.
Feeling creative yet? Grab the atomiser set and start raiding the spice cabinet to make your next cocktail a true conversation piece.
The gift set is available at selected stores countrywide and retails for R399,95