Here's how you can bring home some of the Sipsmith magic this holiday season, with our Christmas gin gifts.
The clocks moved back and the temperature dropped. Luckily, Christmas cheer will soon be knocking on the door, armed with our Sloe Gin and a mountain of chopped pies to avoid the winter chill. Let your thoughts wander to stuffed stockings and gifts stacked under a tree festooned with twinkling lights and trinkets, and maybe even our gin-themed Christmas decorations. At Sipsmith, we don't compromise on our gin, so why would we compromise on our Christmas gin gifts? Make your selection here:
CREATE THE PERFECT COCKTAIL
The perfect stocking surprise comes in the form of SIP: 100 gin cocktails with only 3 ingredients (£ 15.99). This beautiful card stock can also be personalized with a Sip with ... blanket to celebrate your favorite home mixologist. The Sipsmith team will guide you through 224 pages of delicious, no-compromise recipes, each satisfyingly simple and with just three ingredients. To make things even easier for the lucky gin lover in your life, why not go for the Gift set SIP book and gin bottle, with a bottle of our London Dry Gin so that they can immediately fall for Christmas cocktails.
Hang on your socks
Our very popular Build your own gin store (from £ 22) back this year, with a green velvet stocking, 20cl of Sipsmith London Dry Gin and an eye-catching Christmas wrapping paper set including tissue paper and Sipsmith ribbon and a wax seal in copper adhesive. Add even more mixology magic with the ability to choose up to six ginny items - including our Gin Sugar Plum Liqueur and party forever Chop the gin pie. A Christmas classic, our Smoked Chestnut Gin instantly transports sirens to a roaring fireside, while our Christmas tree Gin It's like walking through a rosy pine forest while savoring a slice of expertly crafted festive pudding. Alternatively, our Gingerbread Gin is inspired by the historic marriage of hot gin and fiery gingerbread cookies, which would be appreciated by skaters who spent their days sliding down a frozen Thames during London's famous Frost Fairs of the 17th and 18th centuries.
For all the aspiring bartenders, what about our Cocktail at home Storage (£ 45), which not only includes a 20cl bottle of our London Dry Gin, but also a Sipsmith Swan Copper Soup Spoon, a Sipsmith Swan Beverage Stirrer and one Sipsmith copper jigger. Each product in the stocking is individually wrapped in Sipsmith Christmas tissue paper, before the stocking is properly wrapped to arrive at the door of the lucky recipient.
CHRISTMAS GIN GIFTS WITH FESTIVE FLAVORS
You can find our fantastically festive Chop the gin pie available as a gift box with our award-winning London Dry Gin, in a beautiful presentation box here. The perfect gift for those who take their Christmas seriously. Whether sipped neat or in a handcrafted gin cocktail, these gins are sure to feast on even the most difficult to buy.
THE TREE DECK WITH GIN
Bring your Christmas tree to life with our delicious selection of Gin Christmas tree decorations (£ 25). This year, sprinkle your balls with bottles with our six miniature bottles of handcrafted without compromise London Dry Gin and Apple gin. All arrive in a green Sipsmith gift box with attached Sipsmith ribbon, ready to hang on your Christmas tree.
EXPLORE THE DISTILLERY
Give your gin lover the opportunity to visit our three brass ladies - Verity, Prudence and Patience - with a Gift voucher for the distillery visit for two (£ 55). Learn about the history of gin-making and the place of the beloved liquid in London's vibrant history, before enjoying a tutored tasting. As the first small batch distillery to open in London since 1820, Sipsmith is the perfect place to celebrate the perfect sip. Recipients receive a beautiful box containing a miniature London Dry Gin to sip on while they wait, as well as a voucher that can be used towards a distillery tour for two adults. While our distillery doors are closed for the time being, as soon as it is possible to safely reopen to distillery guests, we will be ready and waiting with the perfect G&T to welcome you.
JOIN THE CLUB
For true ginthusiasts, the ultimate gift must be an Annual Gift membership to the Sipping company. Our distillers are always experimenting with new concoctions using Cygnet, our smallest still, and every two months members of our exclusive Sipping Company are entitled to two tastings of our most exciting new developments. Concoctions have included Victorian Mojito Gin, Pink Grapefruit Gin and Gooseberry and Elderberry Liqueur Gin. With a subscription, your gin lover will receive two of our experimental liquids every two months. Quite the treat.
A little time put into preparation makes for an enjoyable evening. Drinking cocktails should be a fun and relaxing experience, so take a while to think about ingredients in advance, to avoid any rushing around last minute.
One of the foundations of many cocktails is sugar syrup. This can be prepared in advance. Here’s my tip for easy to prepare simple syrup : Add 200 gm white sugar to 200 ml boiling water. Stir till sugar is dissolved, and liquid is clear. Allow to cool then bottle
If you mix lemon juice 50 : 50 with simple syrup, you should have a solid mid-line sweet-sour balance. But remember, every palate is different. tera find your own point of balance, mix 15ml fresh lemon juice with 15ml simple syrup, and then dilute the mix with up to 90ml water. Congratulations, you’ve just made fresh lemonade ! If this tastes too sweet or too sour, adjust by adding a little more citrus or syrup. Using this method of calibration, you can adjust any cocktail recipe to suit your own palate.
Ice is the solo most over-looked ingredient at any home bar - you’ll be surprised how much you can go through. Cocktails need ice like baking needs ovens. If popping to the shops for ice isn’t an option right now, keeping a freezer bag topped up with ice will ensure you don’t run out unexpectedly. For best quality home-made ice, try using a silicone ice tray with a lid, to prevent your ice from absorbing unpleasant odours. And wash your ice tray after each use.
Where possible always go for de haute gamme spirits, the freshest herbs, and the best juices you can get your hands on. For instance, the taste difference between cheap juice and pressed juice is more than worth the small extra expense.
Try to use glassware appropriate to your drinks. It’s entirely possible to drink a martini from an old coffee mug, but that misses the point of drinking a martini !
If you can make a Whiskey Sour, you can make a Daiquiri. If you make a mean Negroni, you can riff on a Boulevardier. Once you’ve mastered the Manhattan, have some fun in Brooklyn on your way to Martinez. Cocktails exist in family trees. Once you are comfortable the basics of each category the world is your oyster !
You can pre-mix punches in advance - an old trick from the godfathers of bartending in the 19th century. You can bottle punch and store it in the fridge, ready to use on the day, or later that week. If done properly, quality and consistency are assured. If your punch has a fizzy ingredient, such as prosecco, only add this your glass just before serving.
If you follow the Punch Ratio, you can’t go far wrong : 1 part sour ( citrus ) 2 parts sweet ( simple syrup ) 3 parts strong ( spirit ) 4 parts weak ( juices etc ) And don’t shy away from warm spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and mace, to make that punch really sing. Don’t have those spices to hand ? No problem, a few dashes of Angostura bitters will do the trick.
We all have a few unloved ingredients lying around that need using up. For instance, that last bit of red wine in the bottle ? Try drizzling it over your Whisky Sour, and voila, you’ve got yourself a delicious New York Sour ! Do you have some nice but neglected spice mix in the kitchen ? Try mixing a teaspoon or two into your simple syrup as it cools to give your next cocktail an added dimension. Seasonal fresh herbs make a wonderful aromatic cocktail garnish.
So now, you’ve hit your stride and you’re getting creative in your home bar. Great ! Our top tip for petit cocktail creation ? Write down the exact specifications as you are making it. It’s not always easy to perfectly recall the recipe for that killer cocktail the next day !
If all this sounds like a bit of a chore, then keep an eye open for delivery services available from many local petit cocktail parcs. After all, with the finer things in life, it’s nice to sit back, relax and let the professionals do all the work.