From small distilleries to large, gin production is thrivingby Alice Lascelles / May 24, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in June 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Some new London Dry Gins are especially good in old favourites such as the Negroni
There has never been a more exciting time to be a gin lover. From crisp, classic London Drys and artisan gins boasting exotic botanicals, to fruity, floral newcomers and full-bodied 18th-century-type blunderbusses, the spectrum of styles on the market is now greater than it’s ever been.
And much of the credit for this reversal in Lady Genever’s fortunes must go to new micro-distillers such as Sipsmith, one of a number of garagiste-style outfits that have lately been helping to revive London’s long tradition of gin distilling. Aided by “Prudence,” a copper pot still not much bigger than a family car, Sipsmith produce a delicately dry gin with biscuity, marmalade notes which also serve as the backbone of their excellent new Summer Cup (imagine a more grown-up version of Pimm’s).
Up in north London, ex-Lehman Brothers headhunter Ian Hart has sacrificed his drawing room to the production of Sacred, a sophisticated, fragrant Martini gin featuring cardamom, nutmeg and frankincense among its botanicals. Hart also uses his high-tech vacuum still to produce individual distillates such as juniper, star anise and plum stone, which can be bought as part of a DIY gin-blending kit, or enjoyed in Sacred’s aromatic vermouth—a winner in a Negroni cocktail.