Dr. Nicola Nice— founder of the Pomp and Whimsy brand— sought to bring stateside a category of spirit that has been sorely neglected for quite some time. “I wanted to create…something that didn’t immediately scream ‘I’m for girls,’” she described to the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation earlier this year. Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur looks a bit more like an aged gin, with a deep amber tone and clean floral line art on the label.
Dr. Nice’s isn’t the first gin brand to specifically target women with a more feminine design and spirit. Ish Gin tried it in the mid 2010’s with a good spirit and a somewhat cringe-worthy fuzzy handcuff laden marketing campaign. G&J Greenall famously expanded their line with a “his” and “hers” offering. The designed for women Bloom Gin is a beautiful spirit that has taken on a more gender-neutral brand campaign in recent years.
But that doesn’t mean Dr. Nice isn’t on to something. Beautiful gin cocktails are all over Pinterest. Women and men are re-creating at home these infusions of spirits that hearken back to Victorian homemaking traditions. The demographic that will throw a birthday party for their one-year-old daughter and make all the adults an elaborate and light gin cocktail rife with fresh fruit and herbs. There’s few gin products that acknowledge that gin’s diverse appeal includes these (often very brand-loyal) gin-drinkers.
Bright notes of sweet lychee fruit jump immediately from Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur. The overall impression is brightly fruit-forward— hints of strawberries, peaches, and custard. At first nose, it’s not very gin-like. Even among gin liqueurs you’re going to find that Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur is a bit closer to a fruit cup than a straight up sweetened gin.
Sipped, Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur shows that it’s more than just a fruit-infused liqueur. The base gin comes through with a pleasant pine background note. Sweet berry notes segue into a floral warmth. It’s likely the jasmine pearls; however, I get notes of honeysuckle, violet and raspberry tea.
Gin Liqueurs and highly unique blends like Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur defy standard characterization. There isn’t a cocktail that immediately comes to mind. The back of the bottle recommends topping some gin liqueur with tonic, soda, or champagne. Gin Liqueur and Champagne is a fantastic combination, but you could push it just one step forward and make a French 75 with Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur (but hold the sugar, please— this liqueur is sweet enough already).
My favorite recommendation for this liqueur is to put together a Summer Fruit Cup. Gin Foundry has a great recipe with it; however, but the man behind the Gin blog Summer Fruit Cup also has some thoughts on the matter. No matter who you look to, the combination of this and lemon tonic/bitter lemon is absolutely beautiful.
Overall, Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur
There’s few gin liqueurs on the market today and among those, there’s nothing else quite like Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur. Fans of fruit cups and Pimm’s will likely find a lot to like about this liqueur.
While it’s a bit light on juniper, it’s not absent. The gin acts as a base that grounds the heavy fruit and floral notes that the liqueur incorporates. There is balance and there is a reason that the base is gin and not just a neutral (or any other base).
For me, when evaluating how successful a gin liqueur is, it’s ultimately about two questions: Firstly, is the gin doing anything; would this be a different drink without it? The answer for me is a clear yes. Secondly, is it good? That answer is also a resounding yes.
Juniper-heads, fake-gin criers, and classic gin aficionados probably won’t find a lot to like here. But that group isn’t the target audience. For everyone else, Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur is a well-executed niche liqueur that will appeal to all genders in search of something light, sweet, and different.
Recommended in its category.