The empty Hendrick’s bottle at Madame Brussels
All we could find were empty bottles on dusty shelves.
Quite possibly I drank the last drop of Hendrick’s Gin in Melbourne at Madame Brussels (Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria +61 3 9662 2775) the other night.
Owner Vernon Chalker kindly had his last drop – about a third of a shot – mixed into an exquisite Martini.
We’d trawled the whole of Melbourne for the stuff. Alex at Ginger (272 Brunswick Street Fitzroy +613 9419 8058) took my number in case should found any. We were forced to slum it with Miller’s Gin, which to be quite honest isn’t too onerous. And, oh God, on to The Gin Palace (90 Little Collins St entry off Russell Pl +61 9654 0533) and to this place with a stuffed osterich that seems to be open all night but is run by anti-camera fascists.
The quest took me to Australia’s foremost expert on fancy hard spirits Franz Scheurer of the Australian Gourmet Pages.
He tells me that the only way to find the stuff is through grey imports. He says: “You are right, basically every bar person’s friend is asked to bring a couple of bottles in from overseas. There is an opportunity here for a specialist importer.”
Then he comes back to me that Graham Wright from The Odd Whisky Coy in Adelaide is bringing the stuff into the country.
Graham tells me that his next shipment is in April. In the meantime he says the strangely opulent Baroq House (9-13 Drewery Lane +61 3 8080 5680) has a supply.
Jack from Hendrick’s in the UK tells me: “I’m afraid we do not yet market Hendricks in Australia. As you may be aware, we launched the brand in duty free shops last year. However, we will release some product in the next couple of months but currently we do not have any availability in Australia domestic nor can we supply online.”
Top Gins (with help from the raspberry flavoured Ros at Living to Eat!)
2. Miller’s Gin
3. Gordon’s Distillers Cut
42 Below South Gin
7. Bombay Sapphire
8. Gordon’s Ordinary London Gin
9. Other London Gins
1. Do not tolerate inferior gins
2. Switch to premium vodka if gin not available
3. Check out the range of pastis type stuff at Madame Brussels
4. ALWAYS drink responsibly
5. No cigarettes
6. Has anyone noticed how weird too much gin makes you feel compared to other spirits?
7. Has anybody else out there got Hendrick’s?