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The Sipsmith Blog

The Best Summer Drinks: Inside Sipsmith London Cup

in Articles May 18, 2015

The sun finally shows signs of arriving. It’s making the pub garden (or the park, or even your back garden) look more appealing than it has in months. Daisies abound. The breeze is just so. And so: just what do you pair with the perfect British summer day?

The best summer weather calls for the best summer drinks; for us, nothing goes quite so well with the season than Sipsmith London Cup.  Full of fresh botanical flavours, dry and aromatic, featuring floral Earl Grey alongside bright citrus and crisp cucumber, it promises perfect sipping for the warmer months.

The History of the London Cup

In fact, punters in search of the best summer drinks have been turning to the tipple for seasonal refreshment since the 19th century. Back then, every drinking establishment would have its own signature cup recipe, beginning with a gin base before mixing in a number of different fresh ingredients and aromatics.

And before the cup, there was the communal punch. Among the earliest mixed drinks in existence, punch received its moniker from the Sanskrit word ‘panch,’ meaning five (traditional punches contained five key components: something strong, something weak, something sweet, something citrusy, and something spicy). It was British sailors in the Far East who first developed a taste for said punch, paving the way for our modern-day enjoyment of the cup.

Sipsmith London Cup’s Story

Fast-forward to the arrival of our own Sipsmith London Cup. The tipple’s origins began with our Head Distiller Jared Brown, who initially mixed up ‘Summer Cup’ as a refreshing and elegant homemade punch for the summer months. In fact, as with any good botanical cocktail, he even sourced the ingredients right from his own garden: his handpicked lemon verbena was among the ingredients added to those early batches.

In today’s ‘London Cup’ recipe, the lemon verbena features alongside Earl Grey tea, bergamot, Seville oranges, cucumber, and spices – all of which work beautifully with London Cup’s gin base. The result is complex, elegant, and utterly sippable – and requires little more than a fresh lemon wedge to make for ideal summertime drinking.

London Cup Recipes

Sampling Sipsmith London Cup for the first time? You’d do well to begin with the classic serve, which takes just moments to stir up. Or, you can hearken back to London Cup’s history with a glass of punch.

The Classic Serve

1. Fill a wine glass with ice

2. Pour 35ml Sipsmith London Cup

3. Top with lemonade

4. Garnish with a wheel of lemon

5. Sip and enjoy

London Cup Punch

40ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin infused with builders’ tea*

20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice**

20ml simple syrup***

Optional: 20ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin. If sloe gin is added, the drink might need another 5ml lemon juice.

Combine ingredients in an ice-filled wine glass. Stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.

*Place three bags of builders’ tea in a jug. Add a bottle of gin. Let rest for about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and pour the gin back into the bottle until time for use.

**There is no substitute for fresh citrus. If bottled citrus is bought, place a splash into a wine glass. Squeeze fresh juice into another wine glass. Smell them. One smells like citrus, the other purely sulphur.

***Combine equal measures of sugar and water in an empty bottle. Shake occasionally. Within 15 minutes the sugar will dissolve.

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