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: Facts.

Cardamom Pods
Cardamom Pods
  • 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).

Cardamom: Nose.

Given how flavoursome and aromatic cardamom is, the nose is fairly restrained, with hints of spicy bay, lemon and juniper aromatics.

Cardamom: Taste.

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.

Update: 07/12/2014
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.


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