Food and Drink


Hendrick’s Gin

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Most of us have had a childhood dream of setting sail on the high seas to find trunks of treasure, donning a silver suit and setting off on a brisk stroll around the moon or combing our forty foot blonde locks at the top of a rocky bell tower. Then we get to school, which turns into work, which turns into a relentless stream of bills and that’s the end of that.  Some of us, however, are lucky enough to pursue our childhood dreams and mould them into a fantastical reality.

David Piper, Global Ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin, is one such person. He was in Melbourne recently to carry out exploratory work in the form of elegant soirees at Ripponlea Estate, Eau de Vie and Black Pearl. After travelling the world for the last 12 months, it is on our fair shores that David rests his bespoke, tailored footwear this week.

David grew up in London reading books which fed his young mind dreams of adventurous expeditions. He recently had the opportunity to fulfill this dream with an exploratory trek through the jungles of Venezuela to literally sniff out different botanicals to add to Hendricks famous gin.

Together with Charles Brewer-Carias, a highly experienced and intrepid explorer, and Lesley Gracie, Hendrick’s Master Distiller, the team travelled to the rugged South American jungle in May this year.

David says the trip was exhilarating and full of extraordinary specimens of flora and fauna. “We dined on giant termites, slightly bitter on the tongue, but I had to decline the live worm sandwiches.”

The trip was fruitful as the group came across a bush by the name of Scorpion Tail with a slight cucumber taste which turned out to be the perfect specimen to take back to Hendrick’s home base in Girvan, Scotland. The group managed to squeeze nine litres of Scorpion Tail extract from the abundant local bushes but David says trying to get through Caracas airport with bottles was quite a hairy experience.

Hendrick’s goes to great lengths to make their gin exceptional. It takes one tonne of rose petals to extract just a tiny litre of concentrate from specially grown Bulgarian roses.  The gin is crafted in small batches using a two-still process to extract the very best out of 11 different botanicals. It is then that the infusions of cucumber and rose petals are added to make a purely unique tipple.

Although David is a true gentleman through and through, even he doesn’t escape the odd occasion of the dreaded hangover. His cure? A red snapper cocktail (gin based Bloody Mary), something extremely spicy to eat and a long run in the fresh air. Chin chin, Hendrick’s.

Red snapper cocktail

3 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
6 ounces tomato juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 dashes Tabasco
3 dashes worcestershire sauce
3 pinches celery salt
3 pinches freshly ground black pepper

Rim a glass with the black pepper and celery salt, shake other ingredients over ice and strain into ice-filled glass.


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