Ms Lesley Gracie, the Master Distiller at Hendrick’s Gin has been visiting the South African shores from 26 – 30 September 2022, and brought along a new flavour from her cabinet of curiosities.
From an early age Lesley Gracie was fascinated with the curious world of botanicals, and at the tender age of four, Lesley began serving her family teas derived from various plants and twigs. Years later, her childhood fascination blossomed into a full-time career distilling one of the world’s most unusual gins. With a background in chemistry, her genius lies in her fascination with flavours and how they work together, she visualises flavours as shapes and strikes to create a round, balanced flavour in all of her elixirs.
Lesley, alongside fellow Master Distiller at William Grant & Sons, John Ross, crafted the recipe for Hendrick’s Gin in 1999 and it wasn’t long until the gin became a worldwide success thanks to its infusion of cucumber and rose essences delivering a taste like no other gin. Amazingly, Lesley is only one of four people who knows the specific recipe of the 11 different botanicals that go into making the gin, a secret she is sure to keep close to her heart.
Working in a male-dominated environment at the remote distillery in Girvan, a small village in the south-west corner of Scotland, Lesley is well known for her attention to detail which enables her to fine-tune the distillation process and produce a high-end gin every time.
Since the discovery of Hendrick’s Gin, Lesley’s innovations have included premium liqueurs, bitters and other limited-edition liquids including the likes of Hendrick’s Kanaracuni, Quinetum and Battersea.
The Radisson Red in Cape Town will have a sea of display of what the new variant of Hendrick’s Gin is about. Keep a lookout for more information.