Hendrick’s Master Distiller, Leslie Gracie was inspired by Ayrshire coast of Scotland and her botanical garden at night when she designed the recipe for Hendrick’s Lunar. She elaborated on the aroma of the end product, “there is the rich aroma of night scented flowers.”
Silene vulgaris blooms at night and its moth-attracting blossoms are described as “spicy” and “clove” like. Other plants (sometimes botanicals) like honeysuckle and jasmine tend to become more fragrant as the day passes to night.
As to specifically which flowers? Launched in the UK in 2020, Hendrick’s Lunar is rather shy about its botanical bill. Instead, the limited edition release follows suit of their 2019 Midsommer Solstice Gin in evoking a moment, rather than a specific ingredient.
Nose: Moderate intensity with a floral lean. Honeysuckle and dusty violet sit atop piney juniper with coriander and indistinct spice.
Palate: Lunar Gin is predominantly floral. Early, soapy violet with jasmine facets. It settles into a surprisingly spice-led heart of juniper, black peppercorns, Pink Lady Apple and roses.
Lunar Gin finishes in the radiant glow of honeysuckle flowers, musky rose, and a touch of their signature fresh cucumber.
Despite the preponderance of floral notes one can pick out while sipping, it is not a one flavor gin. The spice is surprisingly present throughout and it lends balance. The juniper is present on the nose and palate. While not dominant, it’s never out of sight.
As with many of Hendrick’s Gin offerings, Lunar Gin is an amiable mixer. Even with the floral notes, bartenders can use it in nearly any gin cocktail with good results.
The floral notes lend way to the spicy, juniper heart in a Negroni. The Martini, especially with a lemon twist really elevates the subtle citrus character in the gin. I might steer clear of the savory Gibson or Dirty Martini here.
But Lunar Gin is at its best in a Gin and Tonic. If there’s one thing you can count on a Hendrick’s Gin working well in, it is this.
Overall, Lunar Gin
If you’re not into floral gins, this one is not for you. Fans of floral gins will delight in another well-balanced, floral offering from William Grant & Sons.