Sipsmith - our “Gin-aissance” Friends ...
Sipsmith Gin and The Oak and Rope Company met at The Spirit of Christmas in 2015 and have been firm friends ever since.
Our friendship started over the swap of a bottle of Sipsmith’s and an Oak & Rope G&T board, a marriage made in heaven and we haven’t looked back.
So here is their story...
The Sipsmith tale begins in 2007 with two childhood friends, Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall, with a life-long affection for things well made...and Martinis. They had been introduced to renowned drinks aficionado Jared Brown at a Negroni party and before the evening was out he was ready to join them on their mission to create the world’s best London Dry Gin.
A unexpected obstacle presented itself at the start of their venture in the form of a historic British law. An excise act still in effect from 1823 made it impossible for distillers to obtain a licence for a still under 1,800 litres but the shiny new Sipsmith still was only 300 litres. With persistent passion, unwavering vision and no doubt some Dutch Courage, their petition led to the law being changed in 2008. Thus the “Gin-aissance” was born and the spirit was once again crafted in genuinely small, characterful batches.
The Three Musketeers shared the same vision:
On the 14th March 2009 the final recipe was made in their first still, Prudence. ‘Sipsmith’ the gin and the brand was born.
Whilst London’s thirst for hand-crafted gin grew, Sipsmith had set their sights on an even bigger dream; to take Sipsmith Gin international. The first overseas outpost was Spain in 2012, where the “gin tonica” was all the rage. The news of the beautifully
balanced gin began to spread within the world of mixologists and can now be spotted behind the bars in over 50 countries.
The team at Sipsmith believes that buildings have a soul. The original site on Nasmyth Street in Hammersmith was steeped in alcoholic history, but became rather snug as they continued to grow. In 2014 Sipsmith moved into their current home in leafy Chiswick, where every drop of their gin is still made.
The Sipsmith distillers then began to channel their enthusiasm through experimenting with ingredients. They would test their mastery by balancing flavours with a seasonal theme, all based on their classic London Dry Gin recipe. In 2015 they decided that their creations couldn’t be kept from the world and the Sipping Society was born where members continue to receive the most incredible “gin-ovations” throughout the year, crafted in the smallest still, Cygnet.
In 2016, the gin went to new heights with the launch of Hot Gin Roof, a celebration of how gin was sipped centuries ago but with a surprising, contemporary twist. Now a firm date in the winter sipping calendar, the event has been hosted by the Ham Yard Hotel every year since.
Sipsmith celebrated their 10th Birthday in 2019 true to fashion. Along with a year of exciting gin-novation and the launch of their first book, SIP, they also vowed to never to change the Sipsmith London Dry Gin recipe. More stills and more distillers were introduced and more sipping occasions to serve a generation of gin- lovers.
The new decade takes Sipsmith into the roaring Twenties – a great excuse for more sipping. The gin scene is booming and since becoming the first copper pot distillery to open in London since 1820, hundreds of distilleries have opened across the UK. Gin is officially in.
Now partnering Wimbledon as their first official gin partner the phrase “mixed doubles” takes on another meaning. And with B Corp certification under their belt, Sipsmith have ambitious plans for every single one of the team to be part of their strategy, Crafting a Better Future. This strategy focuses on five missions with which Sipsmith strives to be better for people and planet. It has been an inspiring journey so far. With the Sipsmith no half-measures approach to challenges and desire to leave a legacy, together the team are continuing to innovate and craft the Quintessential London Dry Gin.
Sipsmith paved the way for the enormous growth in artisan gins since 2008.
In parallel we have sold more G & T boards than you could ever imagine!
A customer told me it was her pet-hate when her husband would use a large chopping board simply to cut the lime or lemon for his regular evening G&T... When she saw our neat little blocks of wood engraved with very clear instructions for her husband, she was delighted. She even reported back that her husband was equally pleased with the new solution as he now felt obliged to use his new chopping board every day, giving him the excuse to continue his habit!