The Sipsmith Blog

Sipsmith’s Quarterly Sipping Service: The Gin Journey’s Leon Dalloway Reviews Box #2

in Articles April 1, 2016

Thrilled to receive your latest shipment of our Quarterly Sipping Service? Read on to get acquainted with the four, special-edition bottles within – plus a cocktail recipe for each.


Quarterly Sipping Service subscribers, rejoice! Your second shipment has been sent, and, if you haven’t opened it already, now’s the time to get familiar with what’s inside. This quarter, we have four very special distillations: our savoury Clearly Dirty Gin, spicy Hot Cross Bun Gin, vermouth-rivalling Cherry and Cocoa Gin Liqueur and our pale-hued Phantom Negroni. They’re all tasting rather marvellous.

But don’t just take our word for it. We sent a shipment to Leon Dalloway, founder of the esteemed Gin Journey. Alongside Hawksmoor bartender Deana Ferguson, he’s crafted four bespoke cocktail recipes – one for each distillation. To fire up your inspiration, read through his tasting notes and recipes before giving your shipment a spin.


The palate brings a bluster of balmy Mediterranean wind. A true bartender’s dream.

Tasting Notes

Clearly Dirty Gin

Leon says: “An enticing, savoury nose with a rush of umami. The palate brings a bluster of balmy Mediterranean wind. A true bartender’s dream.”

Hot Cross Bun Gin

Leon says: “It’s got an exotic spiced nose. The palate then gets buttery and rich. Let’s make a Hot Cross Bun with chocolate spread. But boozy.”

Cherry & Cacao Gin Liqueur

Leon says: “Deep, rich cherry with lashings of chocolate. A liqueur, but not overly sweet. One we can all fall in love with.”

Phantom Negroni

Leon says: “On the nose, it’s vermouth. I’m getting a clean fresh, meadowy aroma. Then the palate brings something light and bouncy with a touch of complexity.”


When I tasted the buttery, spiced depth to the Hot Cross Bun Gin, I dreamt of spreading a healthy dollop of butter and some Nutella all over a toasted hot cross bun.

Cocktail Recipes

Truly, Madly, Dirty Martini

“This cocktail was all about enhancing the beauty of the olives that’s been captured in the gin. I didn’t want to overpower the spirit’s subtlety, but wanted to add a touch of excitement. Mezcal worked to bring a touch of smoke. We added sweet, white vermouth for herbaceousness. The salt solution elevates all the flavour profiles; it lifts the umami and savoury elements of the drink to another level. The garnish of three ravishingly plump olives was a necessity.”

50ml Sipsmith Clearly Dirty Gin

10ml Cocchi Americano

2ml Qui Qui Ri Qui Mezcal

5 drops of salt solution

3 olives

Stir down first three ingredients over very cold ice. Strain into a Martini glass and finish with the salt solution and three olives.

Spread ‘Em

“When I tasted the buttery, spiced depth to the Hot Cross Bun Gin, I dreamt of spreading a healthy dollop of butter and some Nutella all over a toasted hot cross bun. Let’s turn that into a bevy (courtesy of Hawksmoor’s own fat-washed buttered bourbon). We stirred that down with the gin and a healthy slug of Byrrh sweet vermouth to intensify the spice and add richness. A touch of nutty liqueur and chocolate bitters helped evoke Nutella. To finish, we liberally dispensed orange oils over the drink.”

40ml Byrrh

30ml Sipsmith Hot Cross Bun Gin

10ml Hawksmoor Buttered Bourbon

2.5ml Frangelico

1 dash Mozart Chocolate bitters

Orange twist

Stir down first five ingredients. Strain into a coupette and twist orange zest over the drink before discarding.

Rocky Road Negroni

“As a Negroni lover – see our Negroni Journey – it was inevitable one of the Sipping Service products was going to end up in the ‘count of the cocktails’. I was inspired by the Negronis I sampled at the Sipsmith distillery, which replace vermouth with Sipsmith Sloe Gin. In this case, we subbed the vermouth with the intense and exciting Cherry and Cacao Gin Liqueur. The gin needed to stand out, so the ratio of Sipsmith London Dry was increased to how it sits in a classic Negroni. To finish, we then reduced the Campari ratio, which created a perfect balance. The perfect aperitif, digestif and party drink all in one.”

40ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin

20ml Cherry and Cacao Gin Liqueur

10ml Campari

Orange twist

Stir down first three ingredients before straining into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Phantom Spritz

“When I nosed the Phantom Negroni, it led me to spring and summer thoughts. A fun, fresh yet sophisticated spritz was the answer. We wanted to enhance the Negroni elements by using familiar flavours without simply replicating what’s gone into Sipsmith’s creation. The dry orange curaçao was the ideal solution. After that it was a case of creating a refreshing balance with lemon, soda and bubbles. This could be drunk on any sun-bathed patio around the world. Chin chin.”

35ml Sipsmith Phantom Negroni

10ml gomme syrup

20ml lemon

5ml dry orange curaçao

2 dashes orange bitters

1 dash Prosecco


Red grapefruit wedge

Stir down first five ingredients. Strain into a highball or Collins glass. Top up with Prosecco and Soda, giving a quick stir to just blend. Garnish with the grapefruit.

Feature images © Leon Dalloway

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