The Hendrick’s Gin Palace: Step into the unusual mind of Lesley Gracie and explore the Cabinet of Curiosities

The stills at the Hendrick’s Gin Palace.

If you’ve spent even a week tending bar, you’ll be familiar with Hendrick’s Gin. You know, the one responsible for the cucumber garnish? The one with the essence of cucumber and rose that changed the world of gin? 

Well, they’ve got some big news: faced with ever-increasing demand for their most unusual gin, they’ve expanded their distillery.

But they’ve done it in a peculiarly Hendrick’s way.

The Hendrick’s Gin Palace

Faced with a voracious demand for Hendrick’s Gin, they’ve doubled the production capacity at the distillery (known affectionately as ‘Girvana’). But that’s not all — they’ve put the focus squarely on the art of their master distiller, Lesley Gracie (pictured above), and given her both the space and creative freedom to experiment and conceive of new Hendrick’s expressions.

Hendrick’s tastes like no other gin because no other gin is made nor behaves like it, and The Hendrick’s Gin Palace is like no other distillery. The Hendrick’s Gin Palace features a mysterious walled garden which leads to a magnificent and imposing Victorian-inspired palm house. This is flanked by two botanical hothouses used to cultivate a plethora of unusual botanicals and flora from around the world. There is the inner sanctum that is Lesley’s laboratory which features a curious flavour library, a lecture theatre that encourages scholarly learnings and a suitably stylish bar.

And of course there are two stunning new still houses. The Hendrick’s family of stills now stands at a proud six: four Bennett stills, including the original antique copper pot still hailing from 1860 and three precise replicas; and two Carter Heads including one originally constructed in 1948 and one exact copy. The new stills have been active for almost a year producing the same delicious liquid that tastes exactly like Hendrick’s did on the day it was launched.

Lesley Gracie.

The Cabinet of Curiosities

Hendrick’s master distiller, Lesley Gracie, has spent the best part of two decades distilling Hendrick’s Gin, and the same unquenchable thirst for experimentation which brought the original Hendrick’s to life is given even more creative freedom at The Hendrick’s Gin Palace.

At the core of the experimentation is Gracie’s Cabinet of Curiosities: a locked cabinet within the distillery in which she keeps their most experimental liquids, and from which Gracie will draw for future releases.

“I’ve been distilling Hendrick’s for almost 20 years and during that time, my team and I have had the opportunity to explore and experiment on a small scale,” says Gracie. 

The grounds of the Hendrick’s Gin Palace.

“However, I’m thrilled and excited to take full advantage of our wonderful new distillery and begin working on a line of experimental liquids, some of which will hopefully blossom into future releases and potential new expressions of Hendrick’s.”

It’s from this Cabinet of Curiosities that Gracie will bring a new release from Hendrick’s each year, and unique to that year.

The first limited release is in bottle and on its way to Australia for a release this September: the Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice. It’s a deeply floral gin inspired by the eternal mystery of nature’s most vivid blooms, which take place on the midsummer solstice, when botanicals and flowers are believed to be at their most powerful. It’s an enchanting gin which sees the classic Hendrick’s Gin recipe instilled with a secretive selection of floral essences that complement the existing bouquet — it is unusual (as is their way), and blooms on the palate; it is unmistakably Hendrick’s.

Expect to see limited release Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Gin on back bars from September, and in the meantime experiment for yourself with their unique, quininated and only-from-Lesley-Gracie Hendrick’s Orbium. 

For more information contact your William Grant & Sons representative.

The bar at the Hendrick’s Gin Palace.