Botanicals are carefully sourced from all over the globe – choosing only the very best quality ingredients. The original Sipsmith recipe was inspired by one found by the Master Distiller, Jared Brown, in an eighteenth century book called ‘The Art of Distilling’. Every day, distillery workers add precisely the amount required to make one batch of gin in each still.
The carefully crafted recipe of botanicals are added to the stills the evening before to allow them to macerate overnight and imbue the ‘alcoholic wash’ with flavour. They typically macerate for around 14 hours but can be as long as three days in the case of the V.J.O.P
The process begins with a neutral grain spirit, which is distilled through Sipsmith’s first still named “Prudence”, transforming the spirit into a smooth and buttery Barley Vodka. Once distilled, that spirit is either diluted with spring water and bottled right away or saved.
The 'one-shot' distillation method, which is rarely used these days, means that the gin comes out of the still according to the exact preferences of Master Distillers.
From here the spirit is infused with ten botanicals – from cassia and ground Spanish almonds to orris root and Seville orange peel – and let the pre-gin mixture macerate for a whopping 15 hours. Once the botanicals’ flavours have steeped into the spirit and it has taken on a delicately oily note, it’s then ready for distilling.
Prudence is slowly heated, and the mixture begins to vaporise and wind its way through the copper still. The fact that Prudence is copper is an important point: the metal is a distiller’s best friend, as it reacts with the alcohol and helps remove any lingering impurities. That means that our gin doesn’t have to be filtered, and as such loses none of its character or subtlety.
Once the infused spirit starts to evaporate, it works its way through the still, bypassing the distillation column to ensure the delicacy of the ingredients isn’t lost. At the end of the process it turns back into condensation.
The resulting gin is then diluted with fresh spring water to an exact ratio of 41.6% ABV – the proportion at which head distiller Jared Brown judged it was best balanced. Only the ‘hearts’ of what’s distilled is used, otherwise known as the middle run – with heads and tails of the distillation discarded.
In 2009, in a tiny workshop in Hammersmith, London, two childhood friends, Fairfax and Sam, had an unwavering belief in things well made - the way they used to be, the way they should be. So, they set up London’s first traditional copper distillery since 1820. Their mission was simple: to bring London Dry Gin of truly uncompromising quality and character, back to the city where it first earned its name. Every bottle of Sipsmith is hand-crafted in genuinely small batches. Every drop of every batch is lovingly laboured over by hand, by our dedicated Distillers. No regimented timings, no automatic cuts, just a craftsman’s flair and a passion for gin well made.
Sipsmith name reflects focus on dedication to artisanal, hand crafted processes – Fairfax’s father, a silver smith, inspired the brand name, because the same level of skill, passion and “smithery” that goes into creating his exquisite silver goods is applied to the skill, passion and “smithery” of creating Sipsmith gin.
After influencing a change to the law, to allow small batch distilling licenses (previously deemed as moonshine), Sipsmith is recognized as pioneers in the craft spirits movement in the U.K.