What is gin and where did it come from?

The story of gin is the story of juniper. This is the botanical that transforms a distilled spirit into gin. In fact, you cannot call a spirit “gin” without using juniper. From its inception as a medicinal spirit in Holland during the 16th Century, gin has emerged into a much-loved spirit the world over. To discover more about the history of gin, read more here.

What is London Dry Gin?

Whilst you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that ‘London Dry Gin‘ gets its name from where it’s crafted, it actually refers to a specific method of distillation. For a gin to be called a ‘London Dry Gin’, all of the flavor must be imparted during distillation – this means that nothing except water can be added post-distillation. That’s why you’ll notice that our Lemon Drizzle Gin is colorless – because all of the flavor comes from botanicals during distillation and they are therefore London Dry Gins.

What is the difference between gin and gin liqueur?

Despite sounding similar, these two liquids are rather different. By law in the UK, a true “gin” cannot be less than 37.5% ABV and can have only nominal sweetening added after distillation. Gin liqueurs are typically 20-30% ABV and are distinctly sweetened. This sweetness highlights flavors that might otherwise remain in the background, giving a gin liqueur a completely different flavor profile to a classic gin. Gin liqueurs are not a new fad, however – there are a number of old lost gin styles, such as fine cordial gin, that were sweetened.

How do you make your gin?

Whilst our exact recipe is, of course, a Sipsmith secret, budding gin aficionados often ask us for tips to craft the most delicious gin. So, to make Sipsmith Gin, we load our copper pot stills with pure English wheat spirit and pure water. We then add our botanicals, warm the still gently and leave it to macerate overnight. In the morning we gradually increase the temperature of the still. The liquid that comes off the still is separated into the ‘heads’, ‘heart’ and ‘tails’. We only use the produce from the ‘heart’ cut – the finest, most delicious part that will become Sipsmith Gin. Once collected, we add nothing but water to bring the ABV down to the optimal strength to deliver the balanced and complex flavor of the botanicals. To read more about our distillation process, you can meet our stills here.

What are the types of Martini?

Now, where do we start? Believe it or not, there are actually at least 100 different types of Martini! However, here are our personal favorites: Classic Martini, Dirty Martini, Gibson Martini, Martinez, Vesper Martini and Millionaire’s Martini.


What are your opening hours?

Our Distillery opening hours are 9-6pm from Monday-Thursday, and 9-4pm on Fridays, during which we are contactable by phone. We are closed at the weekend. Due to high demand for our Distillery tours and the health and safety parameters around a working gin distillery, unfortunately we can’t accept walk-in guests. If there is a particular tour that is sold out that you wish to attend, please do get in touch with us and we will do our best to accommodate you to our Distillery during your time in London.

What is your best gin?

That’s a very difficult question! However, as our London Dry Gin is our pride and joy, and is the basis of most of our gins, we would have to say this is our best gin. Our range of gin caters to many different tastes, such as our fruity Lemon Drizzle Gin and Sloe Gin. For those looking for a more juniper-forward gin, we’d recommend our V.J.O.P. Gin. Still can’t decide? Send us a message on social media @sipsmith and we will do our best to help you choose.

Is Sipsmith Gin vegan?

Yes, all of our gins available to purchase are indeed vegan.

Is Sipsmith Gin gluten-free?

Although all of our gins are distilled from wheat alcohol, the distillation process removes any allergens from our distilled gin. However, we always recommend checking with your Doctor as allergies vary from sipper to sipper.

Why the Swan?

Great question! The Swan is personified in everything we do – inspired by a part of the still called the ‘Swan’s Neck’, the meaning actually goes much deeper than this. What could be a better symbol of the quality of our gin than the noble swan? An unflappable and undeniable symbol of majesty, the swan is the bird to be on the pond. Graceful above the surface, what you don’t see is the hours of graft and craft that are poured into every drop of our London Dry Gin.

What do you do with the waste products from your gin distillation process?

You might’ve heard on our ‘We Make Gin, Not Compromises’ TV advert that we don’t know what we do with the gin we don’t use during our distillation process. Rest assured that whilst Mr Swan doesn’t know where the rest goes, we certainly do. Any alcohol that doesn’t make it into our outrageously good gin is recycled as by-products into other industries such as cosmetics and chemical industries.

Do you run Gin Distillery Tours and when?

We do indeed run a range of Distillery Tours, from weeknight tours and tutored tastings, to the Sipsmith Supper Club and our Ultimate Gin Cocktail Masterclass. Find more information on our Distillery Tours in the FAQs below, or here.

What suppliers do you work with?

At Sipsmith we are proud to work with suppliers who align with our company values. As part of our commitment to celebrating our supplier partners and working in a transparent manner, you can find our majority suppliers listed below:
EHD London No 1 Bond Ltd
Beam Suntory UK Ltd
Big Fish Design
Ogilvy UK


Be sure to sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page to be the first to know when our Distillery Tours re-commence.

When will you re-open your tours?

In line with government guidelines, all Distillery Tours have been cancelled until further notice. The safety of our staff and guests is our primary concern, and so our Distillery doors will sadly remain closed for the time being. Keep an eye on our website and social media for further news and updates. If you have a voucher that is due to expire, rest assured that we will honor your voucher and you will not miss out on your experience; we can’t wait to host you. If you have any questions, please email us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

My tour voucher expired during the period when the Distillery was closed, will it still be valid?

Fear not, we understand there were many Distillery Tour guests whose tours were cancelled during the whirlwind of the pandemic, and vouchers that expired whilst our Distillery was closed. We will, of course, honor any vouchers which were due to expire this year, including Virgin Experience vouchers. Just send our team an email and they will be happy to assist.

Can I turn up for a distillery tour or do I need to book?

As our Distillery Tours are gincredibly popular, we require all guests to pre-book their ticket for all of our tours. You can find out more and book your place by clicking here.

The date I want to visit on is fully booked, is there anything you can do?

Our Distillery Tours are often fully booked a few months in advance, however if you’re visiting London for a limited time, or are looking for a last-minute activity for a special occasion, do give us a call on 02087470753 and we’ll see if there’s anything we can do.

I can't make my tour, how do I cancel?

Our Distillery Tours often sell out in advance, so it would be great if you could let us know as soon as you know you can’t attend one of our Distillery Tours to enable us to offer your place to another Sipper. However, we know that these things happen and it’s not always possible to give us notice. Just drop us a line on 02087470753 or pop an email to [email protected] and a member of our Tours team will be able to help out.

Do you host Distillery Tours at the weekend?

As our Distillery is located on a lovely residential road in the heart of Chiswick, we leave our Copper Pot Stills and our neighbors to have a rest over the weekend, so unfortunately our Distillery doors are not open. Our tours are hosted on most weeknight evenings Monday-Friday which you can book here.

We do hope you’ve found the answer to your ginny question, but if you’re still scratching your head, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service Swans.

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