Hendrick’s has been releasing their Cabinet of Curiosities special editions for some time now. Some have been exceptional and others have been quite disappointing. The GIN is IN has endeavored to cover them all. Here is our list (as of 2024) ranking all the releases in the Hendrick’s product line (including the original) from worst to best!
Hendrick’s, known for pioneering the Gin renaissance, has expanded its product line with the “Cabinet of Curiosities” collection, introducing Flora Adora in 2023, a limited edition gin inspired by garden aromas, featuring botanicals like lavender, rose, and hibiscus. The gin presents a distinctly floral aroma with notes of honeysuckle, tuberose, and vanilla, and a taste profile that combines peach and rose with a dominant juniper mid-palate, complemented by lavender, lilac, and a hint of coriander. While suggested for cocktails like the Wildgarden Cup, Flora Adora’s intense floral and herbaceous qualities can be overpowering in some mixes, leading to a soapy taste. Despite Hendrick’s successful track record, Flora Adora is seen as excessively floral, reminiscent of old-fashioned perfumes, and is recommended only for serious Hendrick’s collectors, failing to fully meet expectations as both a gin and a mixer.
If it captures any coast, to me its a briny ocean wind kissing a citrus grove. Heady citrus segues into an herbal, savory finish that suggests Hendrick’s has noticed the rise of Mediterranean influenced gins.
But Neptunia Gin for me falls a bit short. It’s a challenging mixer behind the bar. The briny and savory character, while growing in popularity, is not for everyone. Finally, it feels like it’s all over the place— its herbal, floral, savory, piney— and it’s a bit chaotic at times. While a critic might comment on it being cacophonous or unbalanced, Neptunia Gin is sure to find its place among fans of savory gins and Hendrick’s in particular.
#5 Hendrick’s Lunar
Hendrick’s Master Distiller, Leslie Gracie, drew inspiration from the nocturnal ambiance of the Ayrshire coast of Scotland and her botanical garden at night to create Hendrick’s Lunar Gin. The gin features a moderate floral nose with hints of honeysuckle, violet, juniper, and coriander, and a palate that blends floral notes like violet and jasmine with a spice-led heart of juniper and black peppercorns. Although it emphasizes floral notes, the gin maintains balance with its spice and juniper elements, making it a versatile mixer in cocktails like Negronis and Gin and Tonics, but it may not appeal to those who prefer non-floral gins.
Hendrick’s Orbium Gin is a limited edition variant of the classic Hendrick’s Gin, maintaining the original base spirit and botanicals but adding three post-distillation essences: Lotus Blossom for a floral anise and rose flavor, Wormwood for a bitter herbal profile, and Quinine, known for its distinctive bitterness. The gin is notably floral with an overtone of bitterness, particularly from the wormwood and quinine, making it a polarizing choice for those who dislike tonic water or Hendrick’s original gins. In cocktails, Orbium Gin shines in drinks like gin and tonics, Martinis, and Negronis, where its bitterness enhances the flavors, but it may not be suitable for sweeter, fruity, or dessert-like drinks. Overall, Orbium Gin is a unique, contemporary expression that appeals to fans of bitter and floral flavors, though it may not be as versatile in mixing.
Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Gin is inspired by a 17th-century French stone fruit distilling recipe, with a likely focus on apricots and mirabelles, reflecting the stone fruit heritage of the Alsace region. The gin features a vivid stone fruit aroma, with strong notes of fresh apricot and sweet peach, and a flavor profile dominated by stone fruits like honey, apricot, and mirabelle plum, complemented by juniper and elderflowers. While its bold, fruit-forward character may appeal to fans of contemporary, floral, and fruity gins, it might not satisfy those preferring a more juniper-forward gin. This gin is recommended in simpler mixed drinks like gin and lemonade, but may not work as well in cocktails with bitter ingredients.
Hendrick’s has expanded its gin line with Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Gin, a limited edition product created by Lesley Gracie, who also designed Hendrick’s flagship gin. This variation maintains the brand’s characteristic style but adds post-distillation infusions of natural flavors and floral essences, similar to those found in popular seltzer drinks. With a sweet, floral, and fruit-forward profile, including notes of raspberry, rose, strawberry, and juniper, this gin is ideal for fans of contemporary, less juniper-centric gins and serves as an alternative to pink gins in cocktails like Gin and Tonics, Tom Collins, or Gin Brambles. Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Gin is recommended for those new to gin or fans of contemporary styles, though traditional juniper lovers might find it straying too far from classic gin flavors.
Hendrick’s Gin, launched in 1999 by William Grant & Sons, represented a significant moment in gin history, introducing a unique distilling process combining a Carter-head and traditional pot still method, and adding post-distillation essences of rose and cucumber. This distinct approach, along with its apothecary-style bottle and Edwardian era advertising, positioned Hendrick’s as a pivotal player in contemporary gin trends, making it stand out in a market that was less diverse at the time. Despite being overshadowed by newer gins in today’s market, Hendrick’s remains a well-made gin, appealing to both classic gin enthusiasts and newcomers to the spirit, with its balanced flavors of juniper, citrus, and unique floral notes, and its versatility in a range of cocktails from Gin and Tonics to Dirty Martinis.