Your Gibson will appreciate this one
You’ve probably had a pickleback at some point in your drinking career, but how about a pickle-flavoured spirit? If you’re a fan of all things brined and cured, then this new gin is for you—Citadelle Gin Vive le Cornichon, which adds French cornichons to the mix of flavouring botanicals.
Citadelle Gin is the creation of Alexandre Gabriel, the owner of Maison Ferrand which also produces Ferrand Cognac and Plantation Rum. He first launched the gin in 1996, producing it at a distillery in the Cognac region of France from a neutral wheat spirit flavoured using a progressive infusion process, or infusing each botanical separately into the spirit. The new Citadelle distillery is located at the 18th century Château de Bonbonnet, a facility that was previously used as a distillery a century ago. There are nine stills there that have been refurbished from their cognac-producing days, and 2,500 juniper trees on the grounds supply that crucial botanical.
Vive le Cornichon gin is the first spirit to be produced at the new distillery, and is part of the “Les Excentriques” series, which is meant to bring unusual and unique flavours into this juniper-based spirits category. Juniper is, of course, the leading botanical here, along with 19 others (including coriander, nutmeg, Sichuan pepper and cinnamon), and of course cornichon pickles. These salty-sour little green cukes (actually Cucumis sativus) come from Burgundy’s Maison Marc, where they are grown without the use of pesticides.
Citadelle Vive le Cornichon is bottled at 87.6 proof and tasting notes point to a juniper-forward palate that expands with vinegary and briny flavours with a touch of mustard and pearl onions on the finish. This is a limited-edition offering (SRP US$29.99) which will join the core lineup while it lasts. Consider trying this in a Gibson, and sub the onion for a cornichon if you want to get even more pickley while you get pickled.
This article was first published on Robb Report USA