Mark Stoddard Shares Why Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Is Every Gin-Lover’s Dream
Written By: Mayandra Robbins and Jordan Nishkian
Photographed By: Josie Gonzales Best Gin Drinks
Gin has always held a special place in Hendrick’s Gin Brand Ambassador Mark Stoddard’s heart. “I’ve always had a love for gin, specifically, because of the rich history behind it and how it lends itself to creating a cocktail.” After competing against thousands of other mixologists across the globe and earning the title of 2010 Cocktail World Cup Champion, Stoddard began his dream job with William Grant & Sons, Hendrick’s Gins parent company. As someone who has always admired the Hendrick’s brand,” this opportunity turned out to be a match made in heaven. Since then, Stoddard has combined his passion for travel and gin to spread the magic of Hendrick’s across the globe. Best Gin Drinks
For those who have enjoyed Hendrick’s, it’s easy to notice that it’s not your typical gin. And that’s because, well, it isn’t. Nestled within the rolling hills of Scotland, Hendrick’s Gin’s benefits from over 130 years of family distilling heritage. Then, in 1999, the creative genius of Master Distiller Lesley Gracie took over and added some never-before-seen flair to the gin world. A chemist by trade, Gracie emphasized the importance of quality control and presented a desire to use more of the gifts that Mother Nature has provided—making Hendrick’s the first (and only) gin at the time to infuse rose and cucumber into their product. “It’s distilled unlike any other spirit out there,” Stoddard remarks. “[Hendrick’s] innovative nature pushed the gin industry to transform and begin to experiment with new botanicals in gin.”
Hendrick’s latest innovation? Its limited-time-only Midsummer Solstice, which Stoddard describes as “a deeply floral expression of Hendrick’s Gin.” Midsummer Solstice takes “special edition” a whole new meaning—its conception began as a wedding gift for one of Hendrick’s brand ambassadors. Sticking to what she does best, Gracie decided to make a special gin for the couple by infusing the flowers from the bridal bouquet and distilling it into the spirit. It was such a huge hit that Gracie decided to perfect the recipe until it became what we now know as Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice.
The newest member of the Hendrick’s Gin brand pays homage to the flora kingdom in an array of floral essences—a combination that is only known to Gracie. And since she’s the only one who knows the true bouquet of ingredients that creates the summery spirit, the rest of us will have to test our senses. However, Stoddard has his own thoughts about the secret combination. Best Gin Drinks
He describes the Midsummer Solstice as a party for anyone’s palate, and that this newfound floral expression is “balanced, harmonic and spherical-shaped.” Upon first experiencing Midsummer Solstice, you’re instantly flooded with the scent of seasonal, fresh blossoms reminiscent of the summer solstice. The first sip is rich with a symphony of warm floral and spicy notes before drifting to a hint of citrus blossom. After, the gin relaxes into Hendrick’s signature cucumber and Bulgarian rose, which is then finished off with the nice, peppery kick of the juniper, which ties the smooth, dreamy gin all together.
There are plenty of ways to use Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Gin, but Stoddard recommends creating a spin on the classic spritzer. Stoddard shares that “[the Midsummer Spritzer is a] simple and refreshing summer drink meant to be enjoyed outside in a garden.” We couldn’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate the summer season!
Photoshoot Location: Best Gin Drinks
4130 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103
619.501.6404 Best Gin Drinks
Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.