Released in April 2021, Citadelle Jardin d’été is a permanent addition to the French gin distiller’s lineup. The garden-inspired gin is made with all 19 botanicals that comprise the flagship Citadelle Gin, and adds melon flesh, whole lemon (as opposed to the more typically used lemon peel), yuzu zest and an extra serving of orange peel.
Its nose features honeydew melons, cantaloupe and fresh lemon beside a spicy kick of fennel, aniseed and black licorice. It is light and slightly creamy on the palate, beginning with a burst of lemony freshness that’s tied to a spicy tinge of juniper, cardamom and fennel. If you expected this to be one of those gins that throws out sweet citrus or floral notes to the detriment of spice, the very first sip should correct you.
At the center we hit the jackpot of juicy, fruity melon without ever losing sight of the gin’s spiced side—the effect is something like biting into slices of cantaloupe that have been rolled around in a spice blend composed of cardamom, fennel and aniseed, with a slight touch of tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorn for good measure. What’s been a delightful blend of fruit and spice leans heavily into the latter at the end with a dry lick of juniper, making for a full-bodied finish that finally taps out on a long, rewarding note of dried orange peel.
Citadelle Jardin d’été is great in a Gin & Tonic. It’s all melon and orange up front, bursting with the juicy citrus hit of each, which is soon washed out by a wave of spice with fennel and anise particularly prominent.
In sum, Jardin is an ideal warm-weather gin: one that refreshes with a bright citrus hit, then strikes back with all the spice you expect from a juniper-based spirit. It’s a beautifully balanced gin that stands up and delivers, all at a price that’s pretty hard to argue against.
— 41.5% ABV