Interview with founder and creator Henrik Hammer.
How long has Geranium existed?
We launched Geranium Gin in September 2009.
How did the development of Geranium Gin begin?
In the summer 2008, I discovered that the geranium plant could be the perfect botanical for gin, because geranium has been used for therapeutic purposes for many centuries – together with juniper, citrus and coriander, which are all key ingredients in gin. Additionally, the essential oils found in geranium plants contain the same molecules which are found in many of the ingredients used for making cocktails, so besides geranium theoretically being a good gin botanical, it also contributes to both taste and balance.
For those reasons, I decided to produce Geranium Gin as, due to my knowledge of gin, I was able to choose which flavors the gin should include to reach the desired result. With help from my father, who was a chemist, we figured out how the flavors could be extracted from the geranium plant.
Unfortunately, my father never got to see the final product, but I am convinced he is sitting somewhere in gin heaven and is looking proudly at our result.
Geranium Gin unique?
It is precisely the use of the geranium plant that makes it unique. On top of that, gin has been my hobby for many years, which is also why I had a solid background to create a savory and well-balanced gin with geranium and the eight additional botanicals that I saw fitting. All the botanicals are distilled in a traditional pot still from 1920 (a type of distillation apparatus) after the original method to get a London Gin, which means water is only added after the gin is distilled. We pick the geranium plants twice a year in Hedehusene, Denmark, where they are distilled while they are still fresh to preserve the fragrance of the essential oils. We use a bottle with a crisp and exclusive design to underline that it is the content that counts, but also to give Geranium Gin a Scandinavian touch.
Can you taste it is a Danish gin?
Indeed! You can taste and smell the delicious floral note from the geranium plant, which at foremost is Danish. Connoisseurs of my gin can even recognize my gin due to the alcohol percentage (44, which is my lucky number) and the good balance.
What is your favourite gin cocktail?
My favorite drink is unconditionally the Clover Club, a classic cocktail from the late nineteenth century. It consists of gin, fresh raspberries, fresh lemon juice, syrup and egg white, which is shaken with ice to create a smooth layer of foam on the top of the drink. The fresh sweet raspberries, the sour lemon and the texture from the egg whites give an unique and cohesive cocktail, which is shaken with ice to create a smooth and balanced drink.
Which gin cocktail is Matinique?
Matinique is a Martinez, also a classic gin cocktail from the nineteenth century and the frontrunner for the famous Dry Martini. A Martinez is exclusive, original, complex, with a good taste and balance, so it is not only the name that reminds me of Matinique. It consists of Old English Gin, Italian Vermouth, Maraschino liquor and Boker’s bitter.
Which two other gin cocktails can you also recommend?
Negroni, which also is a classic cocktail – and a Gin & Tonic, of course. A Negroni is created with gin, Italian Vermouth and Campari. A Gin & Tonic can be made in endless ways, where the choice of gin, tonic, accessories, glass etc. decides how it will taste and look. My favorite Gin & Tonic is Geranium Gin with Fever Tree Tonic, served in a tall glass with either geranium flowers or pink grapefruit.