Sipsmith spirits touch down in Australia.
Made in London in a German-made still and using ingredients from Italy, Macedonia, Spain and the UK, this is a Contiki tour in a glass.
With its old-school label and bottle and neat twist of being the first new gin distillery in London for almost 200 years, Sipsmith gin could be dismissed as a gimmick but the cool presentation is just the gloss on a fine drink – the best gin I have tasted.
It’s like a fine vodka (which Sipsmith also produces) in that there is no harsh initial hit – just taste, depth and the warmth of a fine whisky.
There is no mistaking the junipers, but there are also other flavours ready to come through, including some subtle aniseed which was a nice surprise.
It works a treat in the classic gin and tonic (particularly with a slice of red grapefruit) but is beautiful slightly chilled on its own – a sure sign of quality.
The downside is that all this care and attention to detail comes at a price and the $95 price tag for a bottle is not for the faint-hearted. Still, if you are a gin connoisseur, this may be the best thing you will ever taste.
Just make sure you don’t cut corners when it comes to buying the tonic – using a cheap brand would be like putting 2-stroke fuel in a Rolls Royce.
The same can be said for Sipsmith’s barley vodka.
A quality lemonade is the recommended partner (along with a twist of lemon or lime) and it does make for a classy summer drink but it’s when the vodka is on its own and nicely chilled when things get really interesting - and even tastier.
Tracking down a bottle may be your biggest problem but the more bespoke independent bottle shops are an excellent place to start.
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