It’s a brisk October night in Heights Bier Garten's courtyard when the most unusual vehicle comes rolling through the packed parking lot. It is none other than Hendricks Gin Grand Garnisher on its second stop of the night. It may not be as famous as the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, but in the same tubular vein, it travels the country spreading its brand's edible gospel. The Grand Garnisher started its voyage from New York City on World Cucumber Day—June 14— and is making its one of its 23 city stops in Houston.
When Hendricks launched in 2000 it took a few years to really catch on. Most of us likely became aware of it around 2008, when its mix of gin, cucumber and rose petals really took off. Today it sets the standard for what other gin brands strive to be. That includes making this non-gin-drinking writer an avid fan of the brand with delightful cocktails ranging from the Corpse Reviver, featuring Hendricks gin, Cointreau, Lillet, lemon juice, and absinthe; to the tried-and-true Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic made with Hendricks gin and tonic water, and garnished with a cucumber slices.
The Hendrick’s Grand Garnisher has slowly made its way through the states, at 25 miles per hour, to slice cucumbers and save us from un-garnished drinks. The vehicle itself is 38 feet long and slices up to 18 cucumbers per hour, and the Grand Garnisher looks like it comes from Dr. Seuss’ imagination and is it delightfully quirky. A Hendricks representative will sit atop a stationary bicycle on top of the vehicle, and as they pedal, they feed whole cucumbers through a French horn. Their pedaling will power a conveyor belt full of cucumbers as they are sliced, ending up in your Hendricks-approved drink.
The Grand Garnisher slowly chugs through the states, but Hendricks is selling a home version of the slicer (no biking necessary) on CocktailKingdom.com. But one thing is for sure, with Hendricks you’re bound to have a curious and unusual time—all you have to do is roll with it.