Coriander, known also by Cilantro, Japanese/Chinese Parsley is a spice used frequently in gin. The coriander seeds give a spicy, warm, citrus flavour when ground and added to the mix.
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Common Name: Coriander
Botanical Name: Coriandum Sativum
Country of Origin: Australia
More Reading and Learning on Coriander in Gin Distilling:
Gin may be synonymous with juniper – but coriander seeds are also indispensable.
“Virtually every gin recipe contains coriander seeds, and in terms of weight there is more coriander used in gin than any other botanical except juniper,” says Charles Maxwell, master distiller at Thames Distillers. “Coriander seed is very different in flavour delivery to fresh coriander; it puts light citrus notes into gin, more lemon than orange, and more lemon zest with a hint of lime, and slightly spicy notes.”
In addition to providing flavour, coriander also provides a vital characteristic that provides significant benefits. Charles Maxwell says, “Coriander is essential as it adds dryness, which helps to underline other flavours. London dry gin should be dry on the palate and coriander seed is an essential part of achieving that.”
While coriander elevates many other botanicals, it has a special relationship with juniper. And it’s a case of reciprocated rather than unrequited love.
Charles Maxwell continues the theme, “Coriander and juniper have almost a husband-and-wife relationship. Juniper has big, heavy, oily, piney notes, and on its own it’s not very attractive, but adding coriander lightens and balances it with citrus and subtle spice, and together juniper and coriander are the two main players in the orchestra.”