Our tale begins with two childhood friends, Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall, with a life-long affection for things well made…and Martinis. Before long, they had been introduced to renowned drinks aficionado Jared Brown at a Negroni party (of all places) and before the evening was out he was ready to join them on their mission to create the world’s best London Dry Gin.
Our founders faced a rather unexpected obstacle at the start of their venture – and it arrived in the form of a historic, British law. An excise act still in effect from 1823 made it impossible for distillers to obtain a licence for a still under 1,800 litres, and their shiny new still was only 300 litres. Yet, with persistent passion, unwavering vision (and some Dutch Courage, no doubt), their petition led to the law being changed in 2008. The gin-aissance was born and the spirit was once again crafted in genuinely small, characterful batches.
The Three Musketeers shared the same vision: to smith an uncompromising London Dry Gin, the way it used to be made, the way it should be made. Patience was key when mastering their craftsmanship, as well as a heathy dose of hard graft and a distinctive flair. On the 14th March 2009, the final recipe was made with our first still, Prudence. ‘Sipsmith’ the gin and the brand was born, inspired by the smithery you can savour with every sip.
Whilst London’s thirst for hand crafted gin was growing, we had set our sights on an even bigger dream – take Sipsmith Gin international. The first overseas outpost was Spain in 2012, where the gin tonica was all the rage. The news of our beautifully balanced gin began to spread within the world of mixologists and can now be spotted in over 50 countries behind their bars.
We like to think buildings have a soul. Our original site, on Nasmyth Street in Hammersmith, was steeped in alcoholic history, but began to feel rather snug as we continued to grow. In 2014 we moved into our current home in leafy Chiswick, where every drop of our gin is still made.
We believe the creativity of a craftsman can never be contained, and our distillers began to channel their enthusiasm through experimenting with ingredients. They would test their mastery by balancing flavours with a seasonal theme, all based on our classic London Dry Gin recipe. In 2015, it was decided that their creations couldn’t be kept from the world, and thus the Sipping Society was born. Our members continue to receive our distillers’ most incredible gin-ovations throughout the year, crafted on our smallest still, Cygnet.
We know how to hand craft our gin to perfection, we also know how to sip it in style. In 2016, we took our gin to new heights with the launch of Hot Gin Roof; a celebration of how gin was sipped centuries ago, but with a surprising, contemporary twist. Now a firm date in the winter sipping calendar, the event has been hosted by the Ham Yard Hotel every year since.
In 2019 we celebrated our 10th birthday in true Sipsmith fashion. Whilst it marked a year of exciting gin-novation (and the launch of our first book, SIP), we also raised glasses to our vow never to change the Sipsmith London Dry Gin recipe. Instead, we introduce more stills, more distillers, and more sipping occasions to serve a generation of gin-lovers.