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Sipsmith – Sloe vs Damson

The summer has come to an end and Autumn is creeping in. And although I’m not overly happy about having endured the worst summer in two decades, I do love Autumn. The crisp sunny mornings and the beautiful leaves strewn across the floor everywhere you go put a smile on my face. I can’t think of a better way of celebrating the start of the season than by heading down to the Sipsmith distillery to try out the new seasonal spirits, Damson Vodka and Sloe Gin, which I did last week.

We were slightly confused whilst walking down a beautiful tree lined street full of the kind of Georgian houses that everyone wants to live in. ‘Maybe the distillery is in a house’ I said to my boyfriend. But then we stumbled upon it, a small room the size of a modest garage with a giant copper distillery toward the back. We had reached the Sipsmith distillery in Hammersmith, the equivalent of Charlie and the Chocolate factory for booze and the first copper distillery in London for two hundred years.

The aim of the evening was to showcase the two new and very lovingly created products. We drank cocktails and ate delicious cheese, courtesy of La Cave du Fromage. We were even treated to a huge and very impressive damson and Ginger Pig pork pie. After eating my body weight in cheese and marveling at the fascinating paraphernalia scattered around the distillery, I had to dash.

But the cocktails have stuck in my mind. And that’s because Sipsmith is the best. The first time I came across the brand was on a trip to Riverford farm. A self proclaimed ‘gin hater’, I ate my words and spent the next day wishing I hadn’t had quite so much of it. Nevertheless, the enjoyment I got out of it definitely outweighed the bad.

While the Sipsmith Vintage Damson Vodka is very limited edition and only available at Majestic, the Sloe Gin is available in Majestic and Waitrose stores nationwide. Both are priced at £23.50 for a 50cl bottle.

If you’re after something a little more simple, Sipsmith London Dry Gin (£27.49) and Barley Vodka (£26.25) is made in small batches and is available from Harvey Nichols, Waitrose, Selfridges, Hix, The Ivy, Majestic Stores or www.sipsmith.com. If you haven’t tried Sipsmith before, I urge you to and tell me what you think. I can guarantee you’ll like it.

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