On Friday 19 November, the team at Marylebone were entertained at the award-winning Sipsmith Distillery in Hammersmith, London. Store Manager Hansi Baumann enlightens us with some Sipsmith classic cocktails…
The guys at Sipsmith have been distilling gin and vodka since 2008, and have gained a following all over the UK. The copper still, made by a family firm in Germany, is the first of its kind to be used in London for around 200 years, and has been christened Prudence.
Sam (front left on chair) and Jared (back left) welcomed us into Prudence’s lair/domain/boudoir for an engaging, entertaining and educational evening where we learnt about and tasted everything Sipsmith. The utter passion, professionalism and encyclopaedic knowledge of spirits passed and flowed from Jarred and Sam to us, via several glasses and samples of Sipsmith Gin, Vodka and Sloe Gin, not forgetting some Mustard, Horseradish and also a Lady Grey flavoured Gin. This was but the merest of pre-prandial tastings, before the serious business of Cocktail-making began.
Fortified by a large Sipsmith Gin mixed with Fever Tree Tonic and nourished by some of London’s most exquisite pizzas, we embarked upon a cocktail making session. Prior to the evening, I thought myself a dab hand with a shaker, not too bad at improvising drinks when one ingredient runs out, and generally pretty useful to have around when cocktails are needed. After five minutes of shaking, mixing, stirring and pouring, I realised that I had merely taken the first steps along the road of cocktail making.
Over the course of the evening we were introduced (and hopefully picked up) the art, guile, style and sophistication required to combine ingredients and create masterful drinks. We also got to play with fire… every Cosmopolitan I make from now on will be subjected to a flamed twist! Another highlight was a cocktail called the Lady Grey:
- 2 parts Lady Grey infused Gin (made by adding 8 Lady Grey tea bags to 70cl of Gin for 2 hours)
- 1 measure of fresh lemon juice
- 1 measure of sugar syrup shaken with an egg white and strained into a martini glass.
Along with my new favourite Lady Grey cocktail, we enjoyed several versions of the Martini, including what many people believe to be the original; 1:1 gin and rosso vermouth, a Gimlet, a Cosmopolitan recipe dating from the 1930’s using raspberries and gin, as well as several Sipsmith based delights.
All in all, our evening with Prudence was a night to remember and our new-found cocktail making skills will be put to use!
Sipsmith London Dry Gin 70cl Bottle
Floral summer meadow notes followed by mellow rounded juniper and zesty, citrus freshness. The gentle mouthfeel combines with a lemon tart and orange marmalade flavours, ahead of a spicy juniper finish.
Sipsmith Vintage Sloe Gin 2009 50cl Bottle
This authentic, handmade, wonderfully balanced sloe gin is subtle, complex and bursting with sweet cassis flavours, offset by a delicate tartness.
* Prices valid until 31 January 2011.