In 2009, when two childhood friends called Sam and Fairfax decided to set up a gin distillery in London, there was nobody else in the capital making gin the traditional way.
Their mission was simple: to bring gin of uncompromising quality and character back to the city where it first earned its name, and make it with the reverence and commitment of distillers past. Their handmade copper pot still – called Prudence – was the first of its kind in London for nearly 200 years. And so the first traditional copper pot distillery to open
in London since 1820 was born.
Jared Brown joined as Master Distiller, completing the Sipsmith trio. A world-renowned drinks historian, bartender and spirits expert, he met the friends just as they began their search for the perfect handcrafted process and recipe. Jared was so taken by their commitment to handcrafting their gin in the time-honoured tradition, that he set to work immediately to create the quintessential London Dry Gin. He sought the perfect blend of ten botanicals that wouldn’t have been unfamiliar to an 18th-century gentleman distiller, to forge the signature Sipsmith style. Sipsmith London Dry Gin has subsequently won over 30 international awards – quite a testament to their dedication and passion.
The name ‘Sipsmith’ was inspired by Fairfax’s father, a professional silversmith. ‘You guys do the same thing I do,’ he said. ‘I take something in its original state and, using my specialised tools and craftsmanship, raise it to something intrinsically more valuable than it was before – like jewellery – only, in your case, a finely crafted spirit. That is what undeniably makes you a smith. All you have to do is to find a word that you can put in front of smith that defines your discipline.’
His son felt that the word ‘sip’ truly conjured up the notion of quality, treasuring, lingering and enjoyment. And so ‘Sipsmith’ was born.
Passionate about experimenting, Sipsmith has launched the Sipsmith Sipping Society. Members can taste extraordinary experimental flavours sent direct from the distillery laboratory to their door. Sipsmith has pushed the boundaries of what is possible, with creations like Christmas Tree Gin, Hot Cross Bun Gin, Strawberries and Cream Gin and Lemon Drizzle Gin.
Ollie Kitson, Head Distiller, comments: ‘Everything we make at Sipsmith is a celebration of tradition and exemplifies the creativity that goes into producing a gin of uncompromising quality.
The Sipsmith Sipping Society brings together gin explorers who share our passion and want to experience the very best of our distillers’ experiments from the Sipsmith lab, made on our tiny batch still, Cygnet. It has truly been a team effort and we’re looking forward to another year of sharing our creations with the Sipsmith Sipping Society members. Sipsmith has always warmly welcomed people to the distillery. Every weeknight evening it swings open its doors, so gin lovers from across the globe can experience a real working gin distillery and see the Sipsmith copper ladies (Prudence, Patience, Constance and Verity) for themselves, while enjoying a tutored tasting of the delicious range.
SIPSMITH 83 CRANBROOK ROAD, LONDON W4 2LJ +44 (0)20 8747 0753