Everybody knows Hendrick’s Gin for its refreshing cucumber and rose petals notes. Now, the brand’s Master Distiller Lesley Gracie is back to expand the taste spectrum with the launch of Orbium, an experimental quininated gin.
The use of quinine itself isn’t new in the world of drinks. Besides tonic water, you can taste it in things like Cocchi Americano and San Pellegrino’s Chinotto soda, among others. Once a medicine for treating malaria, the compound helps Hendrick’s reimagine what its gin might taste like in a darker universe. Orbium follows on from the previous trade-only innovations of Hendrick’s Master Distiller Lesley Gracie, who’s known for her skills in conjuring new tastes using an array of botanicals. It’s also the first of her experiments from the famous Hendrick’s Gin Palace to be available beyond sample quantities.
In addition to the distillates of cucumber, rose, and some 11 botanicals in your typical bottle of Hendrick’s, Orbium takes gin into a new dimension by infusing two quintessential flavours from two iconic cocktails — the G&T and Martini — in one holistic experience. Quinine is infused into Orbium together with wormwood, an ingredient that’s usually found in vermouth, and in turn, the classic gin martini. That’s not all though. The third element in Orbium is the coveted blue lotus blossom, which ties the overall flavour together in a trinity of complementary essences.
The gin is particularly complex with a pleasant brightness and finish that’s uncommonly long, spiralling from floral notes into an alluringly bitter place. As Charmaine Thio, the Southeast Asia Brand Ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin describes it, “Orbium leaves a wildly unfamiliar yet oddly recognisable sensation on the palette. It’s altogether mysterious, balanced between bitter and sweet and has a divinely long finish.”
To truly showcase the flavour journeys that Orbium can take you on, 16 bartenders around Singapore have each created a cocktail that they feel best expresses the spirit. At Nutmeg & Clove, bartender Jayden Ong’s Lychee & Roses is a reimagination of the classic rose and condensed milk beverage bandung, using the gin to add a rounded character. The soon-to-be-launched Barbary Coast sees Celia Schoonraad creating The Passepartout, a botanical-forward concoction with Orbium, Yarrow Flower Dry Vermouth, Pau d’Arco bark cordial, and lemon peel.
Gorgeously presented in the iconic apothecary style bottle synonymous with Hendrick’s, the Orbium comes in a lavish blue bottle inspired by the essence of blue lotus blossom. The bottle label also features an ‘all seeing eye’, a continuous circle and a reference back to the gin’s rounded profile.
Available in 10 markets around the world, Hendrick’s Orbium can be found in Singapore at 28HKS, Antidote, Atlas, Gibson, IB HQ, Idlewild, Jigger & Pony, Manhattan, Madame Fan, MO Bar, Nutmeg & Clove, Origin, Oxwell & Co, Skai, Tippling Club, and Barbary Coast. More details here.
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