Is Hendrick’s Top Shelf Gin? A Bartender Weighs In

Hendrick’s is and has always been a popular choice. It blurs the line between affordable and luxurious as it’s high-quality, delicious, and won’t break the bank. The question is, is Hendricks a top shelf gin?

Hendrick’s is not classed as a top shelf gin. It generally sits in the middle above budget brands like Gordons; however, it’s not expensive, rare, or premium enough to be classed as top shelf. 

Where Hendrick’s is situated on the shelf hierarchy will depend entirely on where you go – it generally hovers somewhere between the middle and top. It’s immensely popular as it’s easy to find, has a wonderful taste, and is versatile so it can be consumed in several ways.

What Does Top-Shelf Mean And Where Does Hendrick’s Sit?

Most of us enter a bar knowing exactly what we want to drink; we don’t pay too much attention to the array of bottles lining the shelves. As much as it may look as if they have been randomly placed, it’s not… there is significance to where each bottle is situated.

We asked a local bartender about this and this is what she had to say:

The higher up the bottle, the more expensive and uncommon the drink is. The most costly alcohol goes on the top shelf as it’s used far less frequently.

Keeping the frequently used brands on the bottom shelf means they’re easily accessible for bar staff to use for their most popular orders.

An up close view of a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin, Diplmatico rum, and Hendrick's gin.

Although Hendrick’s is often seen as a classy and luxurious gin, it doesn’t always sit on the top shelf. Despite its luxurious appeal, Hendrick’s is a commonly used gin in many bars.

It’s the perfect mix of great-quality gin and a gin that doesn’t break the bank. And since it’s used more commonly than some of the more luxurious and expensive gins, it usually sits on the middle of the shelf.

Of course, this also depends on which bar you’re going to. Some bars have Hendrick’s on the top of their shelf since they mainly serve cheaper gins.

But some of the higher-end bars can have a bottle of Hendrick’s at the bottom of the shelf. On average, a Hendrick’s bottle will be positioned in the middle!

What Gins Might You Find On The Top Shelf?

What brands you’ll find on the top shelf will entirely depend on the kind of bar you’re visiting. A small micropub, restaurant, or hotel bar will have a much smaller collection than, say, a themed bar.

Therefore, Hendrick’s may be on the top shelf as it’s classed as a premium gin and is used less commonly than budget brands such as Gordons, Bombay Sapphire, and Beefeater. Let’s take a quick look at 4 gins you will surely find on the top shelf:

  • Monkey 47 is a popular premium gin that is often situated on the top shelf regardless of where you go. It’s best used in a Martini and is well worth a try!
  • You may also see The Botanist on the top shelf, which is a gorgeous Scottish gin that is best served with ice, tonic, and a sprig of rosemary.
  • A new and unusual gin that is becoming increasingly popular is Ki No Bi Kyoto, which comes from Japan and uses unusual ingredients. It’s not that easy to get hold of but that will hopefully change because it is great!
  • Finally, here is an example of the most expensive gin that money can buy; it’s the epitome of luxury. Nolet’s Reserve is a limited-edition gin and only a few hundred bottles are released every year.

    A single bottle will cost upwards of $699 so it’s not one we’ll all clamor to try but might be one for the bucket list if you’re a real gin connoisseur!

What About Hendrick’s For At Home

We all love a home bar; being able to drink in the comfort of our own home (or shed) with our friends and family but with all the perks of a proper bar.

If you’ve just set yours up or are looking for new drinks to add, you should definitely consider grabbing a bottle of Hendrick’s to complete your collection. Although it may not quite make the cut to the top shelf in most bars, it should take pride on your shelf.

Unless you’re an avid collector of gins, Hendrick’s will most likely be the most expensive and best quality gin you have in your household.

Cheap, budget gins are great for use in cocktails, G+T’s, and with soda but if you want something to impress your friends and family then Hendrick’s is the gin for you.

Hendrick’s is not only great to use in cocktails (keep reading for some ideas!) but it’s also a gorgeous drink to enjoy neat. It’s expensive enough that you get superior quality and bragging rights but affordable enough to keep in your home bar.

If you have a bottle of this at home, it definitely deserves a place on the top shelf.

How To Best Enjoy Hendrick’s Gin

Three different gin cocktails in three different glasses. They each include different fruits and herbs.

We’ve talked a lot about top shelves, other gins, and home bars but what about Hendrick’s as a brand? Released in 1999, it uses botanicals such as cucumber, rose, juniper, and citrus to achieve a unique and balanced flavor.

We know it’s popular, easy to find, and isn’t as expensive as other premium gins but another reason to keep a bottle at home is its versatility. It can be served in many ways and is amazing in cocktails – here are some ways to enjoy Hendrick’s plus a few new quirky cocktails to try!

  • Gin and Tonic: It’s perfect as part of a classic G+T. Use a tonic of your choice and plenty of ice to enjoy a refreshing, summery, and iconic drink.
  • With Cucumber: Due to its strong taste, it’s a beautiful gin to enjoy neat. One of the most prominent ingredients is cucumber so filling a glass with ice and cucumber will only heighten its flavor.
  • Colorado 75: This is a fruity cocktail that looks as good as it tastes. Mix Hendrick’s with pear brandy, lemon juice, simple syrup, and pear cider.
  • The Garden Party: This is an uncommon cocktail but don’t be put off by the ingredients! This is unique with a savory edge.

    Mix Hendrick’s with Jardesca, lemon juice, simple syrup, 1 sprig rosemary, 1 sprig thyme, 1 egg white, and 4 drops of Angostura bitters.
  • Midsummer Solstice Bramble Spritz: This is another intensely fruity cocktail that I think everyone should try! Mix Hendrick’s, berry liqueur, lemon juice, soda water, and sparkling wine.

For more tips on how to enjoy Hendrick’s gin, we have a guide on how Hendricks should be served.

Final Thoughts

Hendrick’s is a gorgeous gin with a unique flavor and is popular among most gin drinkers. It’s more expensive than your typical budget brands but isn’t quite premium enough to make it onto the top shelf in most places.

Served with tonic and cucumber, this makes for a gorgeously refreshing drink, ideal for those hot summer afternoons.

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