If Juniper is the defining aromatic oil of all Gins, then it might be said that one of its most important partners is the fragrant oil from coriander seeds. In the original London Dry Gins, there were few botanicals and prominent amongst them were coriander and angelica root. It is important to recognize the key difference in aroma profile between the oil from coriander leaf and that from the seed. It is the seed oil that is commonly used for Gin. The seed oil has a sweet, gentle, ethereal and floral scent, along with a citrus character which can vary from slight to significant. The ethereal aspect can be strong, and sniffing the oil can provide an almost light-headed dreamy feeling. In many Gins, we believe that the coriander performs an important role in smoothing the potentially robust mélange of citrus notes and integrating them with the juniper base.
In the world of Gin Aromas, “not all corianders are equal” with variations in the level to which they provide a citrus or ethereal or floral character. When sniffing the coriander standard in the Aroma Academy Gin Aroma Kit after an initial period, in which you may discern only juniper, the soft, soothing, deep ethereal, floral and citrus (lemony) aspect of the coriander seed aroma becomes manifest. This aroma has a certain paradoxical quality in that it can be apparently both soothing and even soporific and at the same time be lemony-citrus-spicy-floral.
It is interesting to note in the “myth & lore” of Coriander Seed Oils that there is evidence of the oil being used in anointing ceremonies in both Pompeii and ancient Egypt.
See our Gin Aroma Kit for more information.