We set up Sipsmith on a mission to bring the art of traditional distillation – and consequently gin of uncompromising quality and character – back to the glorious city where it all began: London. Old School gin – made the way it used to be; the way it should be. We’ve taken that inspiration and had a little fun with cocktail cordials…
At the heart of what we do has always been a restless enthusiasm for discovery and experimentation as well as a celebration of what went before. Being the first copper distillery in London for nearly 200 years, and with drinks historian and Master Distiller Jared Brown at the creative helm, we’ve always strived to be where the old meets the new and the two get along rather spectacularly – it’s something that we embrace daily. It began with our London Dry gin, which has now won over 30 international awards, and was the result of a lifetime of research from Jared Brown and months of trials in the Distillery; a quintessentially classic expression of its style, translated for the way we drink now.
London is the home of gin – the place where it all began – and the city’s rich spirited history is a constant source of inspiration and ideas for the old meeting the new: for example it’s the home of the first recorded pairing of gin was with ginger, in 1731; the cocktail was likely a British invention and the first British drinks book with cocktails, published in 1869, began with a gin and ginger cocktail. So it’s with great excitement we’ve now looked beyond just the spirit of gin alone to how it would have been sipped back in the day and created an introductory range of cordials that we’re naming Original Cordials For Gin by Sipsmith.
These Original Cordials for Gin by Sipsmith are crafted to reflect the values of how we craft our gin – using traditional methods for maximum flavour, staying true to how they should be made. The first release of cordials consist of;
Master Distiller Jared Brown’s recreation of the original recipe from the 1700s and the 1st documented British cocktail from Terrington’s 1869 “Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks”. Terrington describes cocktails as ‘compounds’ used to ‘fortify the inner man…’ and gin was first on his list mixed with orange bitters and ginger. So “The Original” is an homage to where it all began- and what Jared calls “”The Rosetta stone of drinks”; candied ginger roasted with a touch of orange bitters.
As with all the 3 Original Cordials for Gin by Sipsmith, Master Distiller Jared Brown has two serving suggestions – one a simple Fizz that carries the subtlety of the Cordials elegantly, and a shorter Martini-glass serve that is similar to the original serves that inspired them;
- Fizz: 25ml Original Cordial, 25ml London Dry gin, topped with Soda in a highball filled with ice, garnished with a wedge of squeezed or unsqueezed orange.
- Terrington’s Original Gin Cocktail: 20ml Original Cordial, 50ml Sipsmith London Dry gin, stirred over ice and double strained into a coupe and garnished with a twist.
Its natural cloudy nature opens with sweet florals, giving way to full on lime peel and a dry finish
to complete. It’s exactly how lime cordial would have tasted and should taste for a great Gimlet. According to Jared, “Drinking this is like being hit by a big lime twist wrapped in velvet”.
- Gimlet: 20ml Gimlet Cordial, 50ml Sipsmith London Dry gin, stirred over ice and double strained into a coupe. No need for a lime garnish as the sharpness from the real juice in the cordial does all the hard work.
- It can also be enjoyed long in a Fizz: 25ml Gimlet Cordial, 25ml VJOP, topped with Soda in a highball filled with ice, garnished with a wedge of unsqueezed lime.
Also documented in Terrington’s 1869 publication as a “Good Bishop” and originally a warm drink with Port or Wine, it was Dickens’ favourite drink, where clove pierced citrus was roasted by an open fire. So we did a celebratory version to stir in with gin; it makes a great Fizz, and stir 20ml with 50ml gin and strain into a Martini glass – no need to garnish.
“This isn’t history for history’s sake”; says Jared “I’ve taken the best of inspiration to create cordials the way they used to be made, full of flavour and a realness – how they would have tasted, and should taste – but the Bishop is where we’ve had a little extra fun: it’s the warmth that kept Londoner’s alive during the bleakest of winters.”
- Gin Bishop: 20ml Bishop Cordial, 50ml Sipsmith London Dry gin, (optional 10ml Port) stirred over ice and double strained into a coupe. No need for a garnish, if you want the colour of an orange twist do it just for aesthetics.
- Fizz option: 25ml Bishop Cordial, 25ml Sipsmith London Dry gin, topped with Soda in a highball filled with ice, garnished with a wedge of unsqueezed lime.
Original Cordials for Gin by Sipsmith come in 250ml bottles, but as Batch One from the Distillery consists of 140 bottles only, they’re not for sale but are being shared exclusively with a few Bars in London and Barcelona by the Sipsmith team.