Wondrous Affairs & Occasions
The Perilous Botanical Quest
Our intrepid explorers
Never before has a team such as this been assembled by the likes of mankind!
In search of rare and exotic botanicals to be glorified in an experimental batch of Hendrick's Gin, we dispatched our Master Distiller, Lesley Gracie on an expedition to the rainforest of the Guayana Highlands of Venezuela.
The expedition was led by Charles Brewer-Carias, the most masterful explorer of our time and a story unto himself. The team's flora guide was the acclaimed and venturesome Venezuelan botanist, Francisco Delascio. Reports on the epic journey were filed by Global Ambassador for Hendrick's Gin (and perhaps the leading post-millennialist of his time), David Piper.
“We were looking for botanicals that would both compliment and add character to our gin,” explains Ms. Gracie. “Plants that flourish in competitive environments often provide the greatest flavour. As we were 'flora-hunting' in one of the earth's most densely fertile regions, I had great expectations for what we would discover.”
To learn more about our explorers we invite you to click on the thumbnails below:
In our modest opinion, Mr. Brewer-Carias is by far the most interesting and wildly accomplished explorer of our time. He is the only man we know who can make a fire with sticks in less than 3 seconds, rappel up a cliff, and assess the decay of your left molar. Son of a British diplomat, a trained dentist and master encyclopedist, Mr. Brewer-Carias has participated in over 250 expeditions. But has he discovered anything, you ask? Only an entire sunken fleet of ships, species of both scorpions and frogs, actual biospeleothems, not to mention the world’s largest quartzite cave. Indeed, there exists a plethora of fauna and flora named after him. In one week alone of his venturesome and extraordinary life, he caught a highly venomous snake, had a snail named after him, discovered a new species of frog and unveiled the world’s oldest living organism.
Lesley Gracie (Otherwise known as the woman who put the cucumber in your gin)
Lesley Gracie is our Master Distiller and the auteur behind Hendrick's Gin. In fact, along with our stillman and the help of a much-put-upon apprentice, she has created each and every drop of Hendrick's Gin that has ever been bottled, and she remains one of only three people on the planet who knows its exact recipe. Educated in chemistry at the University of Hull in Yorkshire, she is to botanical instillations what Mr. Brewer-Carias is to insects and caves. By this we mean (botanically speaking, of course) that she is more than a little odd in her willingness to go where few others would be inclined to journey. Indeed, we have seen her perform experiments with kava kava that would make your hair stand on end. Until she concocted her first batch of Hendrick's, many believed her theories of cucumber were sheer lunacy. May this quest represent the next chapter of her accomplishments!
David Piper is a trained artist, poet, international bon vivant, bona fide surrealist, and a cracking croquet player. In other words, he is precisely the type of dashing eccentric who seems born to do little else aside from representing Hendrick's Gin, which he does with significant aplomb as our Global Ambassador. Indeed, it boggles the mind to imagine Mr. Piper being suited for anything else. In the service of our gin, he has bonded with all manner of individuals while sipping cocktails across the globe — from established drinking nations to tiny far-flung islands that rarely see more than a few martinis in the space of a week. To prepare for the rigors of this journey he has shopped for appropriate hats and attire in several excellent shops in both London and Paris. We have great confidence he will survive the adventure!
As a crackerjack explorer, acclaimed naturalist, and renowned botanist, with a particular expertise in the Venezuelan terrain, Francisco Delascio is a splendid addition to our team. We shall rely heavily on him to guide us to exquisite, non-poisonous flora. To those of you who are wondering whether Mr. Delascio has worked at the prestigious La Salle Foundation of Natural Sciences, the answer is a resounding yes! As well, he has directed the Botanical Institute of Venezuela and today serves as both director and assessor of the Hato Piñero Foundation for scientific investigation and sustainable development in the Llanos ecosystem. For those of you who like to accompany your cocktail with deeper study into his work, we are happy to inform you that you can find his work and writings in countless botanical field guides.