Celebrate Thanksgiving with Hendrick’s Gin Recipes from Around the World

In the United States, we’re celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday this weekend. Traditionally, it’s a holiday characterized by a table full of rich food, time spent with family and friends, and maybe a cocktail or two. To celebrate, we’re sharing some of our favorite Hendrick’s Gin cocktails from around the world. Drink up and have a happy Thanksgiving!

The following article by Ryan Crosby first appeared in Ker & Downey’s Spring 2014 Quest Magazine

Hendrick’s gin arrived on the scene ten years ago with a vibrant twist to the Juniper-dominated spirit our grandparents loved. Mashed cucumber and pressed rose petal infusions create a distinctive and exciting flavor that caters to modern gin enthusiasts as well as the recent mixology trend in bar tending. Emerging to the forefront of the “New American-Style Gin” movement, this Scotland-produced spirit uses a very small batch distillation process to allow more control when infusing the 11 unique botanicals they have introduced to the classic formula. These include coriander seed, sweet angelica root and the flavor-binding orris root, which complement the exotic flavor of juniper berry. While innovating to invigorate the spirit, Hendrick’s tips its hat to the past with an old-timey, apothecary-style bottle.


The Itinerary: The Royal Treatment

Ker & Downey takes you on an unforgettable, luxurious journey through the sweeping landscapes and opulent properties of India.

From the moment you step off the plane in India, you know you’re someplace special. Its vibrant markets, opulently carved temples and colorful festivals breathe life into the large country, while its soul lies in the diverse culture and long religious history evident by the many sacred sites and rituals. Its landscapes are as diverse as its people. From bustling cities to quiet desert terrain, sun-drenched beaches to snow-covered mountains, India is a place to be explored again and again. With so much to see and do, where does one begin? We’ve crafted a journey that draws upon India’s history, brings out the sweet aromas of the country’s best coffee and relishes in the cool dew of the rainforest over ten incredible days.


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Ker & Downey Staff Profiles: Gana Marek

At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.

Gana has officially been with Ker & Downey for ten years, but you could say she’s been here just as long as David Marek, her husband. She’s traveled all over the world, tested the spa in just about every property she’s been to, and has a deep passion for protecting the people in rural Uganda from malaria with our Nets for Africa program.


Favorite city and why: Istanbul. I love the history of the city and its beauty.

What is the best thing about traveling: Learning about new cultures.

Travel accessory you can’t live without? Converter

Favorite plane ride activity: Sleeping

Top of my travel bucket list: Eastern Europe

Two weeks + and unlimited budget, where are you going? Italy, France, and Switzerland.

Beach or mountains: Mountains

How do you take your coffee? With Splenda and cream.

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read? Extreme Introvert

My theme song is: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Any pets? Two pups

If I were a super hero, I would be: Wonder Woman

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Get married at 19


Two things I can’t live without are: My Bible and toothbrush

It’s Sunday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: In church

My favorite physical activity is: I don’t really like to exert myself.

One thing I love that everyone else dislikes is: Butter and sugar sandwiches

The first thing I do when I wake up is: Brush my teeth.

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: My real name.

The last concert I went to was: Michael Buble

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights.

If I could instantly learn a new language, I would learn: French

Guilty TV pleasure: Eating while I watch it.

On my nightstand: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What’s inspiring you lately? Having two new grand babies.

Life mantra in four words: Be kind to everyone.

Favorite quote: “If you met my family, you would understand.”


Check back next week to learn more about another Ker & Downey team member! Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.

Layover: Doha

On a quick jaunt through a country on the rise, Lesley McKenzie declares the capital of this sovereign Arab Emirate a true “Desert Rose.” Read the article on our blog and in the current issue of Quest Magazine.

Doha, the capital of Qatar, sits at the intersection of sand, sea and skyscrapers. Located on a thumb of the Arabian peninsula, this jewel-box of a kingdom sets itself apart from a number of its neighbors with a commitment to promoting tourism (Doha has been selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first global sporting event held in the Middle East), all while maintaining a hold on its desert roots. This is evident as soon as I touch down in the new Hamad International Airport, which opened this spring as part of the country’s efforts to reinvent the desert destination as a world-class, international flight hub.

museum of islamic art in doha
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Ker & Downey Staff Profiles: Michelle Nicholson

At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.

Michelle was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, moved to the United States in 1994, and joined the Ker & Downey team in 2004. She served in the US Army Reserve as a Broadcaster and spent time in Iraq on Deployment where she met her husband, with whom she now shares two children. Michelle specializes in journeys to Africa and South America and with Ker & Downey, has sailed the Nile River, walked with elephants in South Africa and Botswana, been on safari in the Masai Mara, visited Petra at night, ridden camels in Dubai, hiked in Patagonia, sailed the Amazon River, and visited Machu Picchu.


Favorite place you’ve traveled: It’s so hard to narrow it down! Probably Torres del Paine in Patagonia, Chile. It’s majestic, awe inspiring, and beautiful.

Favorite city and why: Jaipur, India. I loved the colors, historical architecture, Mughal influences, and palaces.

What is the best thing about traveling: Immersing myself in the culture, learning the language, talking to locals and tasting the food. Continue reading

Adeventures with Ker & Downey

For intrepid travelers looking for a rush during their world travels, active pursuits can be found in every corner of our world. Gear up and go forth on unforgettable outdoor journeys – Contact us to get out there, and take a look at our website to browse even more adventures from Ker & Downey.


Trek to the Lost City | Peru

This pilgrimage takes you through the picturesque Andes on foot, welcomed to luxurious lodges by night and isolated vantage points by day, with Machu Picchu and historic Cusco the final destinations on your remote path.

Tanzania Walking Safari | Tanzania

A walking safari offers a look at the wilderness of Tanzania’s unique environments, and the areas of Tarangire, Rubondo Island, and the northern Serengeti are perfect suited to an up-close exploration without game vehicles.

For more information about making the Trek to the Lost City or Tanzania Walking Safari your next Ker & Downey journey, please contact your Travel Professional or visit us online at www.kerdowney.com. Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.

Retreat: Planet Vana

Veer Singh’s mission is to create the most iconic wellness retreat in the World. Read the article in the current issue of Quest Magazine and on our blog. By Mary Bemis

A few summers ago, high above Aspen in a ski lift on my way to dinner, I found myself deep in conversation with Veer Singh, a young entrepreneur from New Delhi. We were discussing his desire to build a retreat that would offer a range of healing modalities and be self-sustaining, but what struck me was his ultimate goal: “the most iconic wellness retreat in the world.” As time went on, I realized Veer was no ordinary dreamer. His mission ran deep, and he had the vision, the tenacity and the means to make it come true.

I hadn’t been back to India since 2005, when the Taj group unveiled its new spa brand to the world, so I was pleased when I had the opportunity to return this past February. I was among one of the first to step foot inside Singh’s realized dream, the Vana, Malsi Estate. An hour’s flight from New Delhi, and situated on 21 acres dotted with mango and lychee orchards, organic gardens and more, you feel you are deep in the forest, far, far away from human activity. Happily, this is not true. Singh’s five-year, $55 million project provides the best of both worlds, for Vana is pleasantly perched on a small plateau, surrounded by the ancient Sal forest to the west, the foothills of Himalayas to the north and the vibrant town of Dehradun to the east. This is India at its best.

Ker & Downey Staff Profiles: Reid Bader

At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.

Reid joined the Ker & Downey team in 2004 and serves as our Vice President of Operations. Since starting at Ker & Downey, he has amassed an incredible adventure travel portfolio, climbing Kilimanjaro, hiking to Machu Picchu, diving the ruins of Alexandria, trekking for wild gorillas in the Congo, and snorkeling in the Galapagos, just to name a few. His travels with Ker & Downey have taken him all over the world to explore the African bush, rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, and the Amazon River.


Favorite place you’ve traveled: Botswana

Favorite city and why: La Ciudad Perdida, Colombia. Founded centuries before Machu Picchu, this lost city has less than 1% as many annual visitors.

What is the best thing about traveling: It mitigates everyday drama. Continue reading

Calving Season in the Serengeti

Traveling to Africa is exciting year-round as there is always game to be found across several countries, but some times of the year are truly magical. For a few weeks at the start of the year, traveling to the Serengeti in Tanzania gives you the rare opportunity to witness calving season, where thousands of wildebeest are born each day. 

Each year the Serengeti plays host to hundreds of thousands of animals during the migration. In June and July wildebeest make their way across the Grumeti River moving northwest in the park, a sight that easily tops the bucket lists of many travelers. By December, the herds have started to make their way back down south to the southern Serengeti to feed on the short green grasses of the plains. By late January and early February, perhaps the greatest spectacle of the Serengeti takes place with the wildebeest calving season. Approximately 8,000 young wildebeest are born every single day during the peak of the season. There truly is nothing that compares to seeing a baby wildebeest take off running just minutes after being born.


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Layover: Dubai

Just a day or two is all you need to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this bustling metropolis. By Maya Vandenberg


Though Dubai is a relatively young city and has only blossomed to its present-day glory in the past 30 years or so, there is certainly no shortage of things to do and see. 

When Burj Khalifa opened in 2010, it superseded the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab as the new icon of Dubai and claimed the title of the world’s tallest building, standing at an impressive and vertigo-inducing 2,717 feet high. It also boasts the world’s highest outdoor observation deck, so head straight to the 124th floor for an awe-inspiring view of the ever-expanding city. After, follow it up with a trip to the Mall of the emirates to experience a different kind of novelty—the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort. Ski Dubai’s snow park offers ski slopes, bobsled runs and tobogganing hills, but once you’ve had enough of the cold, you can also peruse the 550-plus stores spread over a whopping 2.4 million square feet at this shopper’s paradise.


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