Gin Botanical: Cardamom.
I love cardamom. I love it in curries, I love it in sweets, I love it in coffee and I love it in gin. Opihr Gin has a huge cardamom-load and I love it. I even made some saffron and cardamom bitters, which I often add to a G&T.
- Cardamom seeds lose their flavour rapidly when ground; as a result, they are usually sold as whole pods (pictured).
- Cardamom is the third most expensive spice, by weight. Only saffron and vanilla are more costly.
- Even though India is the home of cardamom (it being native to India, Nepal and Pakistan), Guatamala produces the highest quantities of this spice (India being second largest producer).
Given how flavoursome and aromatic cardamom is, the nose is fairly restrained, with hints of spicy bay, lemon and juniper aromatics.
Pow! An explosion of flavour.
Cardamom is flavour of contradictions. The taste is unique, distinctive, and difficult to describe; let’s have a go though…
Cardamom contrives to be woody, herbal, resinous and earthy, all in one pungent, aromatic hit. There’s an underlying mint/menthol coolness to the experience, as well as hints of citrus, bay and juniper/pine too.
The attack has a brief sweetness which swiftly reverses to the dry, green, herbal and resinous joy-ride. The after-taste is long and fragrant, living in the back of the throat for long minutes after being swallowed.
Given that I am attributing juniper flavours to cardamom, when I’m tasting it as part of a gin (which contains juniper), I dug-out my pure cardamom distillate from a Sacred Open Sauce kit, and tried it separately. I stand by my comments; there are hints of juniper/pine in the pure distillate too.