Today, I have the honour of introducing Outlander Kitchen’s next guest post! From Outlander fan and OK friend, Kate Johnston.
And what better topic, so close to the weekend — especially when there’s a guest in the kitchen — than Scottish booze?!
Alas, Kate is taking a different turn today, instead of focusing on whisky, she’s got a little tale about a lesser known tipple, hailing from the south-western seaside village of Girvan, Scotland…a wonderful distillation known, most simply, as Hendrick’s.
And now, without further ado, I give you Kate’s Cucumber Gin…(don’t forget to leave her some love at the end, to let her know how you liked it!)
photo by Hindsight Bride
Ah Scotland, the beloved land of majestic hieland mountains, rugged beautiful coastlines, men in kilts (lest we forget) and Hendrick’s Cucumber Gin. Och aye, ye heard me right. Cucumber Gin. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Scotland is one of the worlds largest producers of gin and has been doing so since the early 1700′s. And let me tell you, all that practice has paid off.
My insatiable appetite (addiction) for all things Scottish (thank you DG), lead my first experience with Hendrick’s to be quaffing it down, ice cold from a shot glass. And after three or six (I don’t remember), It did produce the pleasing result of fuzzy extremities and lowered inhibitions. As fun as that does sound (and it was), I wouldn’t recommend using this high quality libation for such a purpose.
After another day of further experimentation I realized, this gin is special. Enjoyed at room temperature over ice, with a cucumber slice or two, the smooth, fresh and crisp taste of this gin is fantastic. The sharpness of the juniper berry (that is present in other popular gins like Tangueray and London Dry) is instead mild and accompanied by the freshness of cucumber, a mellow citrus and slightly sweet rose petal flavor that blossoms over your tongue.
This is a sipping gin. At HendricksGin.com, there are many recipes for cucumber gin cocktails, and while quality ingredients make for a quality drink, I feel this gin really shines on its own.
It’s handcrafted in small batches and priced slightly higher than the average gin. It should be enjoyed on your backyard deck or patio, during the warm summer months to come. I can imagine our dear Lord John doing just so, feet up, relaxing. Being served a tall cool glass by his faithful Manoke.
Perhaps you would like to try it the way HRH Prince Charles Duke of Rothesay does? In a large ice filled chalice with slices of cucumber and a splash of tonic. I found a squeeze of lemon or lime to be wonderful as well. You don’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool gin fan to enjoy this delightful and refreshing taste experience.
And while Hendrick’s Cucumber Gin may not conjure amorous thoughts of snuggling up in a warm plaid with a tall, red-heided highlander in front of a glowing peat fire, it is one gift from Scotland you really shouldn’t miss out on.
photo by uggboy
Thanks very much, Kate! I’m going to have to hunt down a bottle for myself.
If you have a topic that you think Outlander Kitchen readers would be interested in, please drop me a line to outlanderkitchen(at)shaw(dot)ca — I’d love to hear from you!