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Hendrick's swap gin for absinthe - just beware the green fairy

The new spirit is the result of years of experimentation...

Hendrick's swap gin for absinthe - just beware the green fairy
Danielle de Wolfe
14 November 2019

Known historically as ‘the green fairy’ and cited as the drink that led Vincent van Gogh to chop off his own ear, absinthe has garnered a bit of a bad rep over the years. Now though, spirits brand Hendrick's is attempting to change all that, releasing its very own ‘modern’ strain of the spirit.

The result of years of meticulous experimentation by master distiller Lesley Gracie at Hendrick’s Gin Palace, located in Girvan, Scotland, the brand’s all-new Hendrick’s Absinthe offers up something a little different.

Capturing unusual hints of rose and cucumber - flavours traditionally associated with the Hendrick’s brand - the absinthe is created using traditional absinthe ingredients including star anise and wormwood, alongside hints of juniper, yarrow and orange.

“We’ve been looking at absinthe for a few years,” Gracie told Imbibe of the venture. “I really like the flavours in absinthe, especially star anise… I think people will find it different to what they’re expecting [from an absinthe]. We’ve calmed it down a bit to make it something that I think is far more approachable.”

The result is a fresh and floral tasting spirit - one you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a spirit like absinthe.

Hendrick's launch

At 48% ABV, the spirit is far more palatable than most absinthes on the market, which tend to sit around the 70% mark. It’s a strategic move by Gracie, who set out to create a drink that could be drunk neat as well as mixed as part of a cocktail.

The lower alcohol content also means that the intricate flavours of the spirit are more identifiable without the overpowering kick that absinthe is usually accompanied by.

But with just 4,000 bottles of Hendrick’s Absinthe available at launch in the UK - and on trade at that, meaning bars, restaurants and hotels only I'm afraid - we’ve got our fingers crossed that a wider roll out will happen in the coming months.

  • In the mood for something a little more conventional? Discover our pick of the best gin 2019.