I was recently summoned to the historic Haas-Lilienthal House in San Francisco for US unveiling of Hendrick’s Quinetum Cordial. Created over several years by Hendrick’s Gin Master Distiller, Lesley Gracie, this quinine cordial was formulated to perfectly compliment Hendrick’s Gin. The recipe developed by Gracie was inspired by the work of 19th century chemist Thomas Whiffen. His pioneering work did much to develop the use of quinine in the 19th century.
A first run batch of just 4,000 bottles has made its way into the hand of bartenders at two-dozen of the top cocktail bars around the US. The bottle is a knock-off of a 19th century medicine (poison?) bottle, a William Grant employee found in London antique store.
Here’s where you can try it in San Francisco:
In Leslie’s words,
“What most bartenders will immediately pick up on is the orange nose, giving way to subtle lavender notes. The taste has a deep green, bitter flavor from the wormwood, holy thistle and, of course, quinine. Bartenders should find this combination amiable for crafting into cocktails with Hendrick’s characteristic floral notes and spicy bitterness, which comes from the caraway seed and cubeb berries.”
Lesley has been with William Grant for over 25 years, starting as a chemist. She has distilled Hendrick’s since its debut in 1999. She is one of the few female master distillers in the world.
Hopefully, we can convince Leslie to make more for all you home bartenders!