Lemon Verbena & Juniper Gin is one of several in the Herb Garden product line. So-named because Hamish Martin, an herbologist bought a piece of land outside Edinburgh. On it, he and his wife planted a garden of herbs, both common and unusual. Today over 600 herbs grow in their garden.
While gin production was not the initial plan behind the Secret Herb Garden, they founded The Herb Garden Gin line in 2017 to celebrate the botanical bounty of their garden.
The juniper is distilled in grain spirit, while the other botanicals are vapor distilled, suspended in a muslin bag within the still. All of The Herb Garden line of gins begin with the same four core botanicals (Angelica, winter savory, juniper and coriander) as their core.
Aroma: Initial and fleeting hints of citrus. Pine and green juniper on the nose, with a slight hint of coriander and herbs. Quite classic.
Taste: Green juniper dominates early. A slight hint of lemon and citrus in the background— more citrus fruit than the herbal signature botanical.
Mid-palate it does become more herbal, with lemongrass, angelica and lemon verbena. Becomes indistinctly green for a few moments before fading into the finish.
Finish: Moderate warmth and moderate astringency. A slight citric acid bite, a fair amount of minerality. Whisper quiet botanically.
The botanical focus of Lemon Verbena & Juniper Gin is up front. Cocktails which accentuate that will best highlight the gin. Secondly, it’s a bit quiet on the nose— I recommend pairing it with an aromatic garnish, especially after those initial notes volatilize.
It’s an ideal Gin Tonica gin. The heavy herbal and juniper perspective lend itself well to a variety of fresh and dried garnishes. For more of the same, try rosemary. For a counterpoint, try star anise. I recommend pairing with either a light tonic or Indian tonic.
Lemon Verbena & Juniper Gin has enough juniper that it will work well in most cocktails. In other words, the juniper will come through. I prefer lighter counterparts that allow the herbs to shine. While it will work in a Negroni, try it in a Gin Fizz, Gin Rickey or White Lady.
Overall, Lemon Verbena & Juniper Gin
With a nice juniper led flavor profile, this gin will appeal to fans of classic style gin. Where it comes up a bit short for me is in the finish and balance on the palate. There’s not a lot of complexity— and the botanicals seem to trail off before the finish. The lightness dissipates on the nose so quickly. Mixed however, Lemon Verbena & Juniper Gin works well.
I like the nice lemon verbena and juniper flavor; however, it feels incomplete. This is a gin that will work well behind the bar and in mixing applications. It’s lack of nose and ethanol-heavy/botanical quiet finish detracts a bit from its potential as a neat sipping or ultra premium gin.