The iconic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was the backdrop for Hendrick’s gin exciting party as they make their way across America in a giant cucumber garnisher. The unusual Scottish gin maker is on a quest to “properly garnish” thousands upon thousands of cocktails. Did you know Hendrick’s Gin is infused with cucumber?
We were first greeted by a smaller exceptional contraption that with a little push and pull from a “pilot” concocted our first gin cocktail, a smooth Negroni with lemon peal. After sipping on a Negroni and selecting a custom flower crown to be made out of roses, mint, and greens, we made our way over to the next sparkling clear cocktail (Cucumber 75 – See below for recipe) that offered an entire bar filled with herbs and flowers to enhance our drink. Lemon verbena and thyme added a nice accent.
Later in the evening we were escorted behind a curtain to witness the exhilarating and wondrously strange (and old-timey) cucumber slicing device where a well-dressed gentleman pedaled a large-wheeled bicycle high above the front of the machine while levers and chutes and conveyor belts expertly shot cucumber slices into my drink! I screamed for joy like a little kid over this clever Hendrick’s Grand Garnisher.
The machine can achieve road speeds of up to 25 mph, thanks to a hybrid powertrain combining a large diesel motor and a the gentleman pedaling. The 38-foot-long device relies upon an elaborate system of pneumatic tubing, interlocking gears and rotating blades to slice up to 18 cucumbers per hour.
“It’s not the most efficient way to garnish a cocktail,” explained Ambassador Mark Stoddard, “but we do believe it is the most spectacular.”
The Hendrick’s Grand Garnisher started its maiden voyage in New York City June 14th, World Cucumber Day, driving westward from city to city, pausing in select locations to offer citizens strikingly perfect garnishes, cucumber delights and other oddly refreshing activities. Mr. Stoddard said, “This is part of our effort to end misperception of the cucumber as an innocuous salad ingredient. As the core infusion that makes our gin unusually exquisite, we feel the cucumber deserves not only respect but wonder.”
The whole night brought a sense of wonderment as each new station brought a new unusual contraption that would fix our drinks, from a gin and tonic to a cucumber basil smash. I wanted to ride away on their Bike n Bar, a vintage looking bike with a bar set-up around the handle bars.
Members of the public with the good fortune to spy The Hendrick’s Grand Garnisher on the road are encouraged to photograph the vehicle immediately (lest no one believe them) and post it using #HendricksGrandGarnisher hashtag and by tagging @HendricksGin.
Those who would prefer a less-than-random encounter, may consult this schedule and see when the Grand Garnisher may land in your city. It is worth the merriment!
For more festive videos on @LaLaScoop, please enjoy the unusual responsibly.
Try this refreshing summer drink. Garnish with your favorite herbs and florals.
1 1⁄2 parts HENDRICK’S GIN
1⁄2 part Fresh Lemon Juice
1⁄2 part Simple Syrup
3 Cucumber Wheels
Dry Sparkling Wine
In a mixing glass, muddle cucumbers and simple syrup. Add Hendrick’s Gin, lemon juice, and ice. Shake well and strain into a flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a cucumber ribbon or wheel.