Created in the heart of Berlin, Elixier Gin is a Gin unlike any other you had before. It comes in a flat, angular, and somewhat whimsical bottle. And the old-school label reminds me of fairs and circus from the 1920s. The unusual combination of woodruff and juniper leads to a mildly herbaceous Gin with a sweet note. At only 40% vol., it is very enjoyable when drank neat.
A Gin from Berlin
"We have a heart for originals, unique personalities, and crazy birds. We love loud music in the morning and cold drinks in the evening. Not everything goes to plan, but that is okay. We only want to have fun in what we do." This introduction phrase from the website already sets the tone. This Gin is fun, the packaging is fun and unique, and so is the taste. Due to it being sweet and quite unusual, I would classify it as a New Western Dry Gin. It is a type of Gin that pushes the limits and implements new and unique ideas. So let's see what is inside.
The list of botanicals is long. In total, Elixier Gin contains 16 different botanicals that create a round and fresh flavor that is dominated by juniper and woodruff. And the 14 other botanicals like fennel, citrus fruits, and anise compliment them well. Most of these botanicals are commonly known, but some of you may never have heard of woodruff before - at least if you didn't grow up in Germany. There woodruff-flavored drinks and sweets actually are pretty popular.
When I first heard about Elixier, I was instantly intrigued. Although there are thousands of Gins already on the market, a Gin based on woodruff certainly is something special. And because so many people don't even know this herb exists, I will provide in a little more detail what it is. And despite it is unlike anything else and therefore hard to compare, I will attempt to describe the taste.
Woodruff – also known as “Master of the woods” (in German: Waldmeister) – has a sweet and earthy aroma, almost hay-like. Some also compare it to freshly mowed grass. The flavor is so intense that you might think it is artificial. - But it's not. There are many medical use cases for woodruff: it is beneficial for strengthening your heart and helps with headaches, migraines, abdominal cramps, kidney stones, and even liver diseases.
In Germany, there is a long tradition of woodruff-flavored drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic. You can get woodruff-flavored lemonade, ice-pops, sweets, and even beer. Elixier finally created a worthy woodruff-based Gin which I am absolutely in love with.
When opening the bottle, you can already smell the subtle, sweet smell of woodruff. The nose is quite earthy and sweet with herbal notes. Woodruff, juniper, and citrus fruits are dominating the nose. In the background, you can detect hints of fennel, anise, and also mint. It is a fresh but not too complex nose.Besides woodruff and juniper, there are 14 other botanicals added. Citrus fruits, anise, and fennel are just a few of them. Woodruff dominates the nose. You can also smell juniper, citrus notes, and a subtle sweetness. A hint of mint is adding some freshness to this beautiful but not too complex nose.
Poured into a glass, you immediately notice the viscosity of this Gin. By swirling it, you can see how slowly it is moving around, almost like oil. Especially interesting as it is filtered six times. In the mouth, two components are dominating: Juniper and a subtle sweetness. The sweetness also explains the oily appearance inside the glass. But of course, there are also notes of woodruff. This natural and not overpowering woodruff taste is also present when making a Gin and Tonic with this Gin.
Elixier Gin and Tonic
I would recommend using Fevertree Indian Tonic Water to go with Elixier Gin. Serve it over a generous amount of ice, garnished with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.
The most interesting part for me is that the woodruff notes seem to be even stronger in a G&T than when drinking the Gin neat. Those earthy woodruff notes create a very unique taste I never had in a Gin and Tonic before.
Elixier Gin in Cocktails
Elixier Gin also works great in Cocktails. Its slightly sweet taste reminds me of an Old Tom Gin, making it a perfect replacement for any recipe asking for an Old Tom. The unusual notes of woodruff also work exceptionally well with lemon juice, creating fresh and earthy cocktails.
As a bonus, I have a special Elixier Gin Cocktail recipe ready for you. Created and tested by the guys from Elixier, this cocktail is perfect for a cold winter day. This hot cocktail is called “Heißer Kirmes Apfel”. It tastes amazing and can easily be made at home. Try it and let me know in the comments if you like it.