On a damp October evening in Glasgow, we're escorted down a a misty lane to a stately manor house. Our host, Lord Von Hendrick, is a jolly geezer. Big sideburns match a boisterous attitude and mirror his Spanish wife's larger-than-life personality. Their home is staffed by a motley assortment of butlers and bumbling old military folks. The aura is, decidedly, a little odd.
The evening ends with spoons of ether.
Bompass & Parr, culinary alchemists with a taste for historic recreation, provide the food… the menu draws from a 1912 dinner at London's Savoy Hotel and includes a sumptuous assortment of eel pies and the duos signature jellies. The evening ends with spoons of ether. (Yes, they've served an almost forgotten 19th-century drug).
A truly usual night.
Unless, you are guests of Hendrick's Gin. Distilled near the famed Turnberry Golf Course, Hendrick's is a peculiar small batch gin infused with rose and cucumber. The spirits that form the finished product come from two distinct stills, the Bennet Still and the Carter-Head Still, accounting for an unusual smoothness and imbuing a historical note (the stills date back to 1860 and 1948 respectively) to this still young brand.
Hendrick's was launched in 1999, the child of a master Whiskey distiller, and trades on a glorious mix of the bizarre. Drawing from 19th-century curiosities and a unique twist on steam punk, Hendrick's is about finding fun in the unusual.
“We create experiences that truly highlight the spirit of Hendrick’s Gin, embracing our unusual process and the tremendously peculiar characters it takes to get from botanicals to that delicious cocktail in your hand," says Dave Welty, Hendrick's Gin Commander Of Special Operations, explaining it all, "Our desire to interrupt the ordinary and celebrate our brilliantly unusual world is something that we believe should be reflected in everything we do.”.
Dave Welty studied history at The Ohio State University. Eventually he landed in New York City, finding (fittingly) a peculiar way to invest his peculiar interests. As Hendrick's Gin Commander of Special Operations, Welty brings to life the brand experience in through a range of weird and wonderful special events. Among them, the famous Enchanted Forrest.
Complex spoke to Welty to learn more about life as a Special Commander and designing the Hendrick's experience.