Hendrick’s Gin

On the first night of the Lunar New Year, Douglas and I found ourselves sipping on cocktails featuring the exclusive Hendrick’s Orbium in a former East Vancouver Chinese dim-sum establishment. Converted to a new “haunt”, The Dark Manor Inn was the right setting to experience the latest expression from the curiously odd Hendrick’s Gin.

Containing the same whimsical 11 botanicals as the inceptive liquid, Hendrick’s Orbium infuses wormwood, blue lotus blossom and quinine, taking recipients further down the rabbit hole into the Hendrick’s parallel universe.

Hendrick's Orbium

Inspired by Hendrick’s Gin Master Distiller Lesley Gracie’s description of the liquid journey, Orbium is derived from the word “orb”, commonly known as the plural of Orbis, the Latin word for circle.

Perfectly presented in the iconic apothecary style now associated with Hendrick’s Gin, Orbium comes in a deep, sumptuous, cobalt blue bottle inspired by the essence of Blue Lotus Blossom, one of the key ingredients in the parallel pleasure of this special spirit.

Dark Manor Inn
[Smoky and spooky interior]

As I was trying to figure out how to capture photos with my smartphone in this spookily dim-lit place, Douglas wandered over to the bar to see what was being concocted by Rod Redford, Dark Inn Manor’s bartender.

Bartender Hendrick's Orbium Vancouver
[Dark Manor Inn’s bartender, Rod Redford]

Onlookers watched as Rod produced Hendrick’s Euphorbium cocktails featuring Hendrick’s Orbium, pisco, dry curaçao, grapefruit bitters, honey and toasted rosemary.

Hendrick's Orbium Vancouver
[Pouring Hendrick’s Euphorbium cocktail, all lit up]

Hendrick’s Euphorbium
[Hendrick’s Euphorbium cocktail with the event’s cocktail menu]

We admired Hendrick’s Euphorbium’s nice balance of sweet honey and touch of smokiness with the scorched rosemary.

There were several tables aglow with blue glass beakers containing Hendrick’s’ The Horizontal + The Vertical cocktails.

Hendrick's Orbium Vancouver
[A science experiment or a glowing concoction?]

Douglas found The Horizontal + The Vertical on the strong side, while I found it lighter with the alternative acid and sugar.

Hendrick's Orbium Vancouver
[Pouring the Fourth dimension cocktail]

Taking a journey to another dimension, we sipped on the Step into the Fourth Dimension, a Hendrick’s concoction infusing Hendrick’s Gin, fino, lime, honey, tonic and dehydrated lime with black pepper.

Hendrick's Orbium Vancouver
[Ghostly cuke]
Though not the most ‘grammable’ drink, I enjoyed its subtle peppery aftertaste.

In anticipation of Hendrick’s Orbium tasting
[In anticipation of Hendrick’s Orbium tasting]

Our host of the evening, Brand Ambassador Alvin P. Ramchurn, beckoned us to take our seats, later checking to make sure we each had an eye mask to blindfold us with during the Orbium blind tasting.

In anticipation of Hendrick’s Orbium tasting
[We weren’t the only ones wondering what was planned for later in the evening…]

While blindfolded, we sipped on small tea cups of Hendrick’s Orbium. Distilled with three additional elements in addition the already fortuitous flavours of cucumber, rose and 11 botanicals in the classic Hendrick’s Gin, Orbium is truly a parallel experience of the world’s most peculiar, infusing the classic flavours of gin cocktails in one reimagined experience.

Quinine (often found in tonic water) is expertly infused into Orbium as is wormwood (normally found in vermouth), a common ingredient in a traditional gin martini.

Hendrick's Orbium

A third element in the Orbium trinity of taste that will pleasure the palettes of all who shall swill this drink of delight comes from the covert Blue Lotus Blossom, bringing another level of balance, bitterness and brightness to the world’s most peculiar gin.

Generally when I drink gin, I throw in a splash of tonic or other mixer (I tend to find most gins, like those distilled in the “London Dry” method, a bit rough on its own).

Hendrick’s Gin
[Hendrick’s Orbium; photo courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin]

Hendrick’s Gin is classified differently than “New World” gin: their classic gin contains botanicals blended with essences of cucumbers and roses.

Douglas and I both found that the melding of three extra special ingredients of quinine, wormwood and blue lotus blossom made for a very nice, neat sipper.

Following the blind tasting, Douglas and I had a nightcap—Martinez Nebula, a cocktail that reminded us of Negroni. The Martinez Nebula combines Hendricks Orbium, sweet vermouth, marachine, bitters, Coupe and an orange twist on top.

[Ending the night with Martinez Nebula]

Sold as a limited release, the cobalt blue-bottled Hendrick’s Orbium is available in just 10 countries around the world. 
Our neighbours to the south will need to make a trip up to Canada in order to buy Hendrick’s Orbium as it’s not been released in the US.

Following this wondrous allotment, Orbium will diverge from the peculiarly parallel universe of Hendrick’s to vanish into vats unknown.

Dark Manor Inn, Vancouver

Thanks again to Hendrick’s Gin for the unique experience at The Dark Manor Inn. We’ll be looking out for the whimsical Hendrick’s hot air balloon to fly over Vancouver soon.

Top image courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin. Unless expressly mentioned, other photos by Yumi Ang.

About Our Contributor Yumi Ang

Yumi Ang

Yumi Ang is a Vancouver-born and raised multidisciplinary, creative professional. Curiosity for innovation drives her to branding, advertising and marketing. Outside her design work, Yumi stays inspired by discovering the latest gift ideas through events and new adventures. On Twitter @yumi_ang.

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