Why Hendrick's Wants You To Put Rare Cucumbers In Your Gin & Tonic

With its latest cucumber-centric partnership, Hendrick's is courting cucumber fans, gin lovers, and botany enthusiasts alike. The venerable gin company, which launched in 1999 and has since become one of the top gin brands in the United States, has a long history of embracing the oblong fruit (via Zippia). Hendrick's — which flavors its gin with cucumber, rose, and botanicals — encourages customers to serve the beverage with a slice of fresh cucumber and even teamed up with famed New York City delicatessen Katz's Deli to sell a limited batch of gin-inspired pickles last year (via Food & Wine).

The Scotland-based company is now celebrating cucumbers in a unique way with their latest offering: The Hendrick's Curious Cucumber Collection — in partnership with Farmer Jones Farm — a one-of-a-kind rare collection like the world has never seen. "I've had the pleasure of seeing so many diverse and wonderful varieties of cucumber in different parts of the world. The chance to cultivate some of the more peculiar styles on the brink of extinction has been an extremely fun and welcomed challenge," said Lesley Gracie, Hendrick's Master Distiller, in a press release.

To accomplish this mission, Gracie called on the expertise of agricultural expert Lenore Newman, director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley. "As someone who has devoted my career to the discovery and preservation of rare fruits and vegetables... what Hendrick's has done for these cucumbers is a tremendous scientific accomplishment," Newman said via Food & Wine.

The Curious Cucumber Collection will feature six rare varieties

With the help of Newman, six rare varieties of cucumbers were identified and sourced from around the globe, per Food & Wine. The rare cucumbers selected by the gin maker include the Cucamelon, a sweet and citrusy cucumber resembling a miniature watermelon found in Central America and Mexico, and the Hmong Red, a tart cucumber known for its golden orange hue, grown in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar, as well as the spiked African Horned cucumber, grown in southern Africa, which has fruity notes reminiscent of melon and kiwi.

Also featured in the produce lineup are the Gagon cucumber, found in Bhutan, which has a honeydew-like flavor, the Muromsky cucumber, an Eastern European variety notable for its black spiked exterior, and the Aonaga Jibae, a distinctly sweet, long, and narrow cucumber grown on Kyushu island in Japan.

For the first time ever, consumers have the chance to taste all six rare cuke varieties via the specially curated Curious Cucumber Collection, available exclusively from Farmer Jones Farm. The $48 kits, available for preorder and slated to begin shipping later this month, will feature up to six cucumber varieties (depending on the current harvest), a tasting mat, a rare cucumber field companion booklet, and Hendrick's cocktail recipe cards. Unfortunately, for cucumber gimlet enthusiasts, gin isn't included.