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Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret, a novelty to the Cabinet of Curiosities

Hendrick's Gin Grand Cabaret Photo: Hendrick's

If someone had told me one day that I would meet, in person or virtually, Mrs. Lesley Gracie, creator and master distiller of Hendrick’s gin, and Mr. Ally Martin, Hendrick’s global brand ambassador, I wouldn’t have believed it. And yet that is what happened recently when I had the chance to ask them questions virtually a few weeks ago for the launch of Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret gin, the latest addition to the Hendrick’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

Discovering Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret

Table of content

    1. When will it be available in Canada ?
    2. Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret, the product before the interview
      1. Aroma
      2. Goût
    3. The interview with Mrs. Lesley Gracie & Ally Martin on the Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret
    4. Recipe of the Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Royale


When will it be available in Canada ?

First of all, I have not had the chance to taste the product yet, as it only appeared a few days ago in the various Canadian provinces. It will be available everywhere across canada from April 2024 at a price of just under $60. In all, the product will be available in more than 50 international markets, making this the biggest ever launch of Hendrick’s Cabinet of Curiosities. The first one of this line was the Orbium.


Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret, the product before the interview

The Hendrick's Gin Grand CabaretPhoto: Hendrick's

The Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret
Photo: Hendrick’s

This new limited edition gin is designed for dreamers, artists and free spirits. It is inspired by a historic fruit-based libation that was in vogue in Paris in the early 20th century.

Steeped in exuberance and wild poetry, Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret boasts a rich array of bright flavours that seduce the senses. It is designed to appeal to free spirits looking for a spirit that is both indulgent and refreshing for their glorious gatherings.

Mrs. Lesley Gracie in the midst of creationPhoto : Hendrick's

Mrs. Lesley Gracie in the midst of creation
Photo : Hendrick’s

The spirit we mentioned earlier was served with a dash of gin and scented with rose, which quickly gained popularity at fashionable Parisian parties in the early 1900s. This eau-de-vie, in turn, was inspired by a 17th-century revelation: distilling stone fruit (think peach Schnapps, for example, or cherry-based liqueurs) produced a tasty portion of great wildly indulgence.



It would be hard to ignore the classic juniper character of Hendrick’s Gin, enhanced by the natural soft sweetness and bright fruitiness of deliciously decadent stone fruit, which complements and accentuates the freshness of the cucumber notes, characteristic of the English premium spirit.



A cabaret of stone fruit flavours seduces with wild waves of light, fruity freshness, complemented by sweet herbs for a deliciously smooth, distinctly different and fragrant fruit finish.


The interview with Mrs. Lesley Gracie and Mr. Ally Martin on Hendrick’s Gin Grand Cabaret

Mr. Ally Martin, Hendrick's Global Brand Ambassador, and Mrs. Lesley Gracie, Hendrick's Master DistillerPhoto: Hendrick's

Mr. Ally Martin, Hendrick’s Global Brand Ambassador, and Mrs. Lesley Gracie, Hendrick’s Master Distiller
Photo: Hendrick’s

Although I follow Hendrick’s and Mr. Martin on social networks (@ally_martini), I was not expecting to see the Hendrick’s global ambassador on my screen! What a nice surprise! So let us move on to the interview where Mrs. Gracie was at Hendrick’s Gin Palace in Girvan, Scotland, and Mr. Martin was at home.

What is the challenge in creating a new gin like Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret? 

Lesley Gracie (L.G.) “We have new flavours and new ingredients, and get them all to balance within each other just sure we get a nice enhanced balance flavour. We have lots of ideas kicking around and when we are looking to start to develop the liquid than the thing that we do want is the absolute balance. We need nice consistent ingredients and balanced out and we want to make sure that the Hendrick’s still shines through.”

How do you reproduce the taste you have in mind in the bottle? 

Mr. Martin and Mrs. Gracie in Mrs Gracie's laboratory at the Gin Palace.Photo: Hendrick's

Mr. Martin and Mrs. Gracie in Mrs Gracie’s laboratory at the Gin Palace.
Photo: Hendrick’s

L.G. “A thing when you start to look at something is you know what the end product has to be. It has to all balanced and everything. On the journey from starting it to get into that glass is always exciting because you can look at different results or at different elements to putting it in as well and that will change the overall profile slightly different. So that was always really interesting pieces doing little steps and making sure that everything is still in balance and then, of course, when I get to a certain point I get Ally involved because he will know when it will absolutely be perfect with he drinks it with tonic but also it is going to be perfect when he goes into different cocktails as well. Ally does all that side of the thing. We work together between us on certain points and he will take the liquid and make sure it is great in cocktails and if it is slightly unbalanced, we will go back and just rethink the main liquid itself. It just gets into that balance absolutely right just making sure we have got the flavour that we want in there to give us the profile with Hendrick’s still at the forefront.”    

When you think about creating a new gin, do you produce it so that it can be enjoyed naturally (neat), or is the cocktail part more important, so you have to think about the amalgams to be created by the mixologists? 

Ally Martin (A.M.) “For us it is a key part of our development process when we work on that liquid. This process took about 6 months, and the main part is working with drinks and making sure the versatility of the liquid really works and like Lesley said, we start with gin & tonics as it is the way most people will taste it, and neat as well and making martinis (editor’s note Ally Instagram is @ally_martini). Sometimes we will taste it will cocktails and it won’t totally be perfect so Lesley will do another few tweaks to the liquid, and I will come back and try one more thing. This one taste amazing in gin & tonic, amazing in martinis and a couple of cocktails developed like the Grand Cabaret Royale (recipe below) with cranberries, lime, sugar and sparkling wine or champagne if you feel fancy and the French 75 as well. I love French 75, if the drinks work with that then it will a nice reminder to bring it in every launch in the world!”      

Is the retro feel of the Hendrick’s image still an inspiration to go back to old flavours?

L.G. “Yes, I always start looking at this, like this time we were seeing things like eau-de-vie and how popular it was in the twenties, the environment where it was being drunk in, and how people were enjoying it, so it came into the liquid as well. But of course, you know the bottle we put Hendrick’s into is just the right topping for something that was in the twenties as well so it fits right across the board for us.”   

And when you mix the product to make a cocktail, what makes it a success in the mouth?

L.G “Ally knows the cocktails, he is still able to taste the real richness of the gin, and when you taste it you got that real impact nice long-lasting flavour for me and that something he does, I only drink the cocktails, I do not make them (laughs).”

A.M. “I think it has always been the same, when Lesley makes the liquid and when we do the tastings in the lab, is when you know you are correct is when you know you are excited. For me it was always the thing. I want to have a real excitement when I taste it inside the glass and if we do not get to that point then I complain and (laughs) Lesley get upset with me and she makes the changes and she eventually gets to the point where she gets me really excited about the product. I am sure she does not listen to me all the time and she plays tricks on me (Mrs. Gracie adds sometimes) and that is when we know it is perfect, because at the beginning, the first question was, you know, people have really high standards for us and big expectations, as a team, everyone who works at Hendrick’s in production but also in the brand has the same high standards, we want to be as excited as everybody else to launch a product like this one, we were talking about it for two years, we talk about this to journalists, to bartenders all over the world and we need to really love the liquid we are talking about!”  

Did a product like the Hendrick’s Absinthe you have in the UK influence that 1920 feels?

L.G. “I really like Absinthe, it is one of those things I really like the star anise flavour. They finally succeed in persuading me to do one, but one thing about Absinthe it is above 70% alcohol. You cannot use that as a base for a drink, you can only pop a small amount in, so the Absinthe that we did was about 48%, so you can use that as a base spirit for your drink rather than a splash of it in something else. I just really like the star anise flavour!”     

Finally, what would a great liquid lover like you have liked to have seen in the 1920s? How would you have participated in this period?

L.G. “I would like to think that I will be there with everybody, dancing and everything like that, purely enjoying myself.”

A.M. “It is the same for me, I will be doing the party as well.”

How do you think the cocktails changed since this period? 

A.M. “I think the bartenders improve and changed quite a lot even if the bartenders back then come up with the first recipes, I think year after year, after years were seeing bars across the world with the standards they set were on a different planet to where they were, even 5 years ago. You go to a bar like the Connaught (in the hotel of the same name) in London it is like the service, the hospitality, the quality of the drinks is in another dimension. That is the one thing I am very grateful for that I live today and don’t have to drink the cocktails from the 1920s as they were not as probably as good.”

As the Grand Cabaret is starting to be on the shelves of the planet, where do you take your inspiration for the next iteration?      

Mrs. Gracie in her garden at the Gin PalacePhoto: Hendrick's

Mrs. Gracie in her garden at the Gin Palace
Photo: Hendrick’s

L.G. “It just depends really, it can be a conversation with somebody and a subject will come up and I will be thinking it is interesting or I can go visit somewhere and it is really nice. The inspiration can come up from anywhere really. You can find a different path and said that will fit really well. And that is what is interesting about it, you are not in a tight channel that you cannot step out, you can just look everywhere and find something and develop from there.”

Thank you so much for your time, it was a pleasure!


Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Royale Recipe

The Hendrick's Grand Cabaret RoyalePhoto: Hendrick's

The Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret Royale
Photo: Hendrick’s

Discover the first official cocktail created by Mr. Ally Martin with the new Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret.


  • 30 ml Hendrick’s Grand Cabaret
  • 30 ml cranberry juice
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • 15 ml simple syrup
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Slice of cucumber
  • Zest of orange


Method :

  1. Combine ingredients in a champagne glass and top with Champagne or sparkling wine.
  2. Garnish with a cucumber slice and orange peel.
  3. Serve
  4. Enjoy

To see the product in SAQ: Click on this link

To see the product in LCBO: Click on this link

View more recipe in the Hendricks cocktail book. Available on Amazon.

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