Waterhead loves to add another bottle to its blossoming gin library, and to discover the unique character of each one. Our Gin of the Month is Sipsmith London Dry, a gin eminently suited for the crisp and refreshing gin and tonic combination.
New but Old
A newcomer to the UK gin market, Sipsmith was founded in 2014, but draws on the rich traditions of handcrafted gin going back over two hundred years in the UK. The Sipsmith team talk a lot about ‘heart’ and this is evident in the character of Sipsmith London Dry Gin which is bursting with a careful blend of botanicals, with juniper the lead vocal in the choir.
Sipsmith Gin and Tonic garnished with lime / Sipsmith Facebook
Gin making went a bit haywire when the Distillers Act of 1690 opened the floodgates for all and sundry to produce their own form of the spirit. The Gin Craze as it became known saw a frenzy of one in four households in the UK making and selling DIY gin, some with the distinct overtones of turpentine.
A semblance of sanity was restored in a lengthy parliamentary series of eight Gin Acts from 1729 – 1751, with a good few riots and uprisings in between, which effectively restricted production to those who could afford to pay the licence fee and taxes.
A Coppersmith Work of Art
This ushered in an era of respectability in the business of distilling and selling gin and it was elevated to domain of well-to-do manufacturers and sophisticated gin palaces – a reputation that has remained to this day.
Enter Prudence – the first copper still to be launched in London for almost two hundred years and hailed ‘beautiful and elegant’ by the Sipsmith team. Indeed, she is a coppersmith’s work of art, completely unique and produced by Germany’s oldest distillery producers, Christian Carl.
'Not from Concentrate'
The other distinguishing feature of Sipsmith London Dry gin is that they use traditional gin making methods – small batches and ‘single shot’ production. To explain, in order to distil gin, one needs to extract the essence of botanicals into the spirit.
To this purpose, the juniper and botanicals are macerated in neutral spirit prior to distillation. Some great mind in the industry discovered that if you macerate your botanicals in greater quantity than required and then mixed it with neutral spirit, you came up with a type of concentrate which makes large-scale production possible.
This is how almost all internationally marketed gins are produced. We have all seen the label ‘not from concentrate’ on our supermarket shelves, and in the same way, Sipsmith maintain the traditional small batch method of gin-making yields a better taste.
London Dry Gin
A particularly dry gin with a zesty, citrus finish.
The quintessential expression of a classic, traditional London Dry Gin. Bold, complex and aromatic – smooth enough for a Martini, but rich and balanced, perfect for a G&T.
Experiment with Sipsmith Gin and different garnishes / Sipsmith Facebook
Gin Tasting Events at Waterhead
Waterhead Bar & Grill regularly hosts Gin Tasting Evenings with special guest speakers. To keep up-to-date with all future gin tasting evenings at Waterhead take a look at the events page for our upcoming events.
Gin Tasting Events at Waterhead, just one of our Hotels in the Lake District.