When asked to describe a person, tradition would have us list what we see. Going beyond that often proves much more complex for most and the proper words will escape them beyond the predictable choices of hair; long or short, eyes; blue or brown; colour; light or dark.
Food will pose a similar problem: Most can easily define a meal by its ingredients, whether it’s sweet or savoury, spicy or sour. Ask them to describe the actual subtleties and nuances, though, and only the foodies among us will spend hours on end flinging metaphors and similes with gusto.
The innocent bystander, not as gastronomically inclined, might think the language just as mystical as the culinary process itself.
It boils down to the same with spirits: your common barfly will quaff down any old liquor on juice and would be none the wiser to citing anything in their glass beyond what’s written on the bottle.
And yet, the craft that created the contents of that bottle is rife with a historian’s wealth of techniques and variations. Likewise, the art of distinguishing commonplace liquor from the truly unique would take a wordsmith’s talents to make heads or tails of it all… or maybe it would only require the heart of a Sipsmith?
Masters of their craft, the minds behind Sipsmith wax lyrical when describing a summer field noses and an orchard palates.
Prudence plays her part, of course, to bring out the best in the myriad botanicals that read like a naturalist’s treasure trove, from Chinese cassia bark to Spanish liquorice root. What emerges, after years of nightly filtering and experimentation, is the first London Dry Gin to see the light of London since 1850.
Rightfully so: an Englishman’s humour could be no drier, and any playwright would be hard-pressed to describe as much character. Even the water used comes from the same source as the Thames River. How’s that for unrepentant dedication?
For those desiring a more eastern taste of finesse, Sipsmith’s pure barley vodka sips just as well and, without a doubt, merits what lesser liquors often claim: smooth as silk and just as clean.
So, having both the driest of London Dry Gin and the smoothest of single-botanical vodka, barmen and Bond fans can finally celebrate Vesper as only she should be…were we only able to find a bottle of true Kina Lillet hidden away in someone’s wine cellar.
Vesper Martini – 3 glasses
50ml Sipsmith Gin
25ml Sipsmith Vodka
10ml Lillet Blanc
Add the Gin, Vodka and Lillet into an ice-filled shaker.
Shake well and strain into a pre-chilled Martini glass.
Garnish with the lemon peel.
Note: For the true Bond purits among you, Vespers should be served in a long-stemmed Champagne glass.