Citadelle Jardin d’Étéis the latest offering from the Maison Ferrand’s esteemed Citadelle gin line. Their flagship gin launched all the way back in 1996.
The centerpiece of the 22 botanicals is a type of French cantaloupe. Melon Charentais “is considered the best melon ever developed because of its high sugar content, smooth texture and ambrosial fragrance.” [source] They’re commercially scarce because of their soft skin— so the best way to get good ones is to go right to the source.
The melon’s flesh may highlight the botanical bill; however, several types of citrus and a couple surprises like sichuan pepper illustrate how diverse Citadelle Jardin d’été’s garden really is.
Nose: Green juniper is front and center. Lemon zest and mandarin aromas highlight the strong citrus here as well. A hint of fennel seed and winter savory lend some depth. But overall, Citadelle Jardin d’été smells simply like a citrus-forward gin.
Flavor: The palate is where the melon shines. Yuzu, sour lemon and tangerine early. Mid-palate, pine juniper emerges as well as a pungent, rich hint of Canteloupe and stone fruit.
The rich fruit is deepened by an evolving background note of juniper and the bevy of spices. Nutmeg, angelica, cubeb and licorice come to mind— but there is a lot of complexity here.
Finish: Moderately long. The heat is very light. Sipped, it almost seems too mild to be a full proof gin. On the back of the palate cubeb and licorice lead as notes of melon, tangerine and orange peel gently fade.
This is among the best Martini gin releases of 2021, straight up. It’s smooth, light on heat and perfectly complements Dry Vermouth. Almost all Martini-variations are great options, the Vesper being perhaps the best.
It has a flavor that complements mixed drinks nicely. It goes beautifully with a crisp tonic water such as Q or Fever Tree. Tonic seems to bring out the earthier side of the gin with those spice notes coming through.
My favorite mixer for Citadelle Jardin d’été is lemonade though. Try it in a Gin and Sparkling Lemonade.
Bartenders making cocktails will find it a flexible gin, albeit not one that generally brings a traditional gin flavor to the table. Treat it as a contemporary style gin, or as a bold upsell for fans of citrus flavored vodkas. This gin is a great starting point for people branching out into the world of gin for the first time,.
Overall, Citadelle Jardin d’été
Citadelle Jardin d’été is a fun, contemporary style gin that will appeal to those in search of a summery, citrus and fruit forward gin.
If you’re looking for a classic style gin within the Citadelle family, I recommend sticking with their flagship gin.