Distilling in small batches using traditional methods might not be the most efficient way to make spirits, but the team at Sipsmith's in Hammersmith do things the old fashioned way. Their spirits are all made by hand in their
one-of-a-kind copper still, aptly named Prudence. The resulting quality of their Gin and Vodka really shines through.
Yesterday, the 31DOVER team had the undoubted pleasure to visit Sipsmith. They have only been distilling for a few years, but they've made quite an impact and already have a clutch of awards to their name.
We're very grateful to James for taking us through the distillation processes for their Gin and Vodka and for introducing us to Prudence, who they describe as the most important member of the Sipsmith team. Built in Germany, Prudence is the first new copper still to come out to play in London for nearly 200 years. It might seem odd to describe a still this way, but she really is a thing of beauty.
Already one of our favourite tipples, Sipsmith Gin has a depth of flavour that you just don't get from most other London Dry Gins. It's made using the traditional one-shot process. Rather than making a concentrate, which is then diluted with neat spirit, each batch of Sipsmith is macerated in the botanicals - one of the only gins in the world to be made this way. The initial intensity of the juniper is nicely balanced by the tartness of the bitter orange and lemon. And the other botanicals give a delicate sweetness with just a hint of liquorice.
Sipsmith's Vodka was something that we hadn't tried before, so we were keen to explore. It's an unfiltered vodka, which is purified in Prudence's distillation column. It retains more flavour than most filtered vodkas, resulting in a smooth and mellow taste with a deliciously peppery finish.
And while we we there, we thought it was rude not to try the Sloe Gin and Damson Vodka. Both were delicious and The Barman is already thinking up ways to include them in some new cocktails.
The lovely folks at Sipsmiths have really rediscovered the art of hand-crafted distilling. And they're always keen to share their passion and introduce you to Prudence. We highly recommend a visit: www.sipsmith.com/tours