Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin celebrates the native flora of its home, South Africa. Just like Australia before it, South Africa seems poised to be the next big region of botanical diversity that will be celebrated through international gin.
First— just like we saw with botanicals like “lemon-scented myrtle” and the “finger lime” there’s indigenous South African plants that are similarly named for things that Europeans were familiar with. For example the sour fig is nowhere near related to the figs that are native to the Middle East; and then there’s a whole family of lavender and rosemary plants that aren’t even remotely related to rosemary or lavender.
The Wile Geranium of Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin is not the same Wild Geranium that grows wild in North American forests (though this time it is part of the same family!). The Wild Geranium is a showy magenta-colored flower that grows in sandy, loamy soils. In summer, they blossom, painting the mountains of coasts of the South African cape a vivid hue. That hue is also the pink color of Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin. The flowers are macerated in the gin after distillation.
Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin is certainly a pink gin, but has more in common with Lee Spirits Co. Strawberry Ginger Gin and Blush Gin than Beefeater or Gordon’s Pink Gins. It is unsweetened and bottled at 43% ABV. The base gin also has 20 botanicals — some traditional and other South African and local.
The nose is an intense herbal and floral melange. Hints of hibiscus, jasmine green tea, rose hips and citronella— Wild Geranium Gin is steeped in camphoraceous and exotic notes with a medicinal haze.
The palate is intense with an extremely long presence. The flavor unfolds and evolves for nearly 20+ seconds. The transition from palate to finish is subtle, Wild Geranium Gin holds for quite a long time.
Early, jammy rose hips, green lavender, and musky rose come on. The geranium note is strongest right here only a couple of seconds in. The palate becomes greener and a touch spicier. Pink peppercorn, citronella, and a slight touch of waxy, green juniper.
Towards the end, it’s like rose hip jam with fresh cracked black peppercorn. Rather strong note of black pepper here. Slight radiant warmth leads into a long extended note of flowers and green herbs.
I did find Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin to be a rather challenging mixing gin. It’s a specialty gin with a unique flavor, and needs to be treated as such. Rather than pairing it with tonic, I liked it topped with seltzer and a dash of simple syrup. As a slightly sweet Gin and Soda the floral notes overpower some of the camphor and herbs, making a summery, cool fizz.
I found that Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin pairs well with sweet. It’s beautiful in a Bramble, adding a minty, herbal coolness that suggests blackberries and thyme… (is that combo in the flavor bible? It should be).
Overall, Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin
South Africa is full of new botanicals and new flavors. Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin celebrates one that is unfamiliar to me; however, packages it nicely in a form that is familiar and exotic at the same time.
Fans of floral gins will find a lot to like about Silver Rider Wild Geranium Gin, though some might be put off by the medicinal notes that the herbal counterpoints impart.
Overall, it’s a fun gin that pushes gin in new directions (geographically and flavor-wise).