Citadelle Gin Vive le Cornichon, $29.99 (700 ml)
The back story
Happy National Pickle Day!
Yes, there’s a day to celebrate our love for the popular sandwich topping, snack and even ice-cream flavor (OK, maybe the latter is not as popular). And now, you can have your pickles in boozy form.
Citadelle Gin, a French-made gin that’s been around since 1996, has just introduced its cornichon-inspired gin. Cornichons are pickles, of course — the tiny ones that are a staple in France. (What’s a good charcuterie board without them?) It’s part of what the brand calls “a new collection of unexpected gins” that carries the moniker “Les Excentriques” (as in eccentrics).
Guillaume Larry, a managing director with Maison Ferrand, the French spirits company behind Citadelle, says it’s indeed all about experimenting with different flavors. It’s also about showcasing Citadelle’s unique gin-making process (it has to do with how different flavors — or botanicals, as they’re called — are carefully infused into the final product). Either way, Larry says “creativity has been a defining factor of the brand since the beginning.”
For Citadelle, the formula seems to be working: The brand says it has averaged 18% annual sales growth in the U.S. over the past five years, with an increase of 38% in 2021 alone.
What we think about it
If you’re expecting a mouthful of pickle flavor, Citadelle’s cornichon gin might be a surprise. The flavor here is more subtle — more like a quick whiff of pickle. But perhaps that’s a good thing: The gin is very well balanced and has all sorts of pleasant notes, particularly of the salty kind.
How to enjoy it
This is a gin tailor-made for a martini. Just be sure to add a cornichon or two as a garnish.