We at OnIn.London always love sampling a new gin. Now Hendrick’s has introduced a new expression of gin, a quininated gin titled Orbium. Created by Master Distiller Lesley Gracie, Orbium is a re-imagining of Hendrick’s gin and promoted as ‘what Hendrick’s might taste like in a parallel universe’.
The name Orbium is derived from orb, the plural of Orbis which is Latin for circle. It’s meaning is twofold: firstly, it represents the spherical round taste of Hendrick’s house style gin. As gin drinkers may know Hendrick’s innovations sit roundly on the palate, exploring contrasts in smells and tastes, and having a long pleasing finish. Secondly, the name represents the journey of contrasting smells and tastes both the liquid and the drinker go through. Having a backbone of juniper and distilled with quinine, wormwood and blue lotus blossom, it is both light and complex with spice and floral.
Now, quinine is usually associated with tonic as in a classic gin and tonic, whereas wormwood is usually found in a vermouth, which is normally associated with a martini cocktail. The addition of the Blue Lotus Blossom in Orbium balances both those flavours and creates a sweet aroma. This trio together create a bright gin with an in usually long finish.
Orbium has a sweet, floral and fruity aroma due to the lotus and juniper. As such, when drinking you’ll initially get a sweetness. Lemon zest and spice then emerge, followed by a woody quinine bitterness and ending with a floral note. It’s an odd taste yet one with familiar notes, and it definitely won’t be for everyone. Indeed, one of Orbium’s aims was to open up previously unexplored dimensions of gin in terms of smell and taste and I for one think it has succeeded in this endeavour.
Orbium can be enjoyed in a Martini using 60mls of Orbium gin and 30ml of vermouth garnished with lemon. It may also be enjoyed in an Orbium Martinez which is comprised of 40ml gin, 20ml sweet vermouth, 5ml of maraschino liqueur and a dash of Angustora bitters served with orange zest. Or like I prefer, you can simply enjoy it with soda or tonic water and a garnish of your choosing.
Like most Hendrick’s gins, the bottle is in an apothecary style. One main difference is the dark blue of the bottle which was inspired by the blue lotus blossom used in the distilling process. An all-seeing eye on the label is a further reference to a circle from which it delivers its name as well as a reference to the rounded flavours.
Join us in experiencing this unique concoction in a ‘parallel universe’.
Written by Caitlin Neal