If you’ve ever wanted to be welcomed to the curious world of Hendrick’s Gin (even if it is by an amateur cucumber botherer) then the short film, the brand has released to celebrate the second anniversary of the Hendrick’s Gin Palace, is a must-watch.
With everything from trade shows to meetings now online, it is no surprise that Hendrick’s would use the celebration as a reason to conduct a cinematic journey through the birthplace of their distinct gin. But if you’re thinking that this will be your average online distillery tour, then you’ve got a lot to learn about ‘cultivating the unusual’.
The film was designed to bridge the gap between the hyper-real Hendrick’s brand world and the very real Hendrick’s Gin Palace and provide a greater understanding about the highly inefficient and remarkably peculiar process that goes into making Hendrick’s Gi
The film was produced by Saturday Studios, directed by BLOK, the script tweaked by the brilliant Joe Coles and stars The Gazebo Effect’s Max Berendt and Hendrick’s Global Brand Ambassador, Mr Ally Martin.
When asked about the film, Martin commented: “When I first joined Hendrick’s Gin, acting was nowhere to be seen on the job spec but given the highly theatrical nature of how we bring Hendrick’s Gin to life, it now seems to be an essential part of my day job. Telling the liquid story is important to us.
“The thing that makes us unusual isn’t our delightful and charming events, it’s not our brand world, and it isn’t even our cucumber garnish,” he continued. “Everything we do and every way we behave links back to one thing and one thing only: our liquid. Seeing that liquid being brought to life in this way is an incredibly useful tool in our global advocacy efforts.”
While access to the Gin Palace is normally strictly done by invitation only, due to COVID-19, those highly sought-after ‘golden-tickets’ to the brand’s wonderful playground have been unable to be dispatched. Hendrick’s, therefore, wanted to find another way to bring their most peculiar process of making gin to the world.
So from there, the idea of The Hendrick’s Gin Palace distillery tour film was born. It starts with seeing a fictional roving reporter jump down from a hot air balloon into the private walled garden in front of the Hendrick’s Gin Palace, where he has then whisked away on a telling tour of the palace.
After fighting through the foliage in one of the distillery’s hothouses, where Ms Lesley Gracie, the brand’s Master Distiller, tends to all manner of unusual botanicals, our reporter proceeds to take notes as Ally Martin, Hendrick’s Global Ambassador, hurtles the names of the 11 different botanicals used to make Hendrick’s Gin at him.
The pair then visit the imposing still rooms that dominate the distillery and comprise two utterly dissimilar stills: a vintage Carterhead and an antique Bennett still. Then suddenly a surreal dream scene reminiscent of American Beauty ensues, depicting the consummation of the gin with its coup de grâce of rose and cucumber.
The film’s release also coincides with International Gin & Tonic Day on October 19. From a drink once at risk of falling out of favour, the humble G&T has come roaring back into popularity, with well over 200 million Hendrick’s Gin & Tonics are now being imbibed globally each year. Hendrick’s Gin is widely credited with sparking a ginnaissance and since its launch in 1999, Hendrick’s Gin is now enjoyed in over 90 countries worldwide.
The recent expansion of capacity at the Hendrick’s Gin Palace has allowed Ms Gracie to release a number of curious concoctions. With more space and resources to innovate, her distilling prowess has already released no less than three limited-edition gins from her treasured Cabinet of Curiosities globally.
The first is Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice, a floral celebration of midsummer, Hendrick’s Amazonia, the second was a tropical gin based on Lesley’s memories of her Venezuelan expedition, and lastly, a once in a blue moon release of Hendrick’s Lunar Gin, set to expand its footprint beyond the shores of the UK in 2021.
Experiments abound in Lesley’s lab, and just last year she led Hendrick’s first foray outside of the gin category with Hendrick’s Absinthe, which reimagines absinthe as a super-premium botanical spirit designed to be mixed into modern cocktails. Rumour has it there are more new creations in play but sadly we don’t get any hints about these on the film tour …or do we …?