This blog post was written and shared by Friend, Jim Scott.
Winston Churchill is one of my favorite figures in history.
His ability to lead during extremely dark times, commitment to his beliefs, and boundless energy are just a few of the traits that I admire. His inspiration, in this blog, however, was his belief that there was never a bad time for a potent potable. In today’s world, Winston would probably be considered an alcoholic, and though we do not feel the need to have a drink with us at all times of day, we do enjoy a refreshing libation from time to time and on this trip to London, gin was the frequent drink of choice.
Sipsmith Gin has only been around since 2009, but it has made quite an impact on the history of gin in Britain. During the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, private stills of gin were quite common and caused a problem in the poorer areas of London with alcoholism and crime. Thus, laws were passed to crack down on private stills and made it very difficult to have a legal permit to distill gin. Prior to Sipsmith applying for and eventually getting a permit for their distillery, a permit had not been issued since 1820. Sipsmith made history in 2009 and have impressed with their London Dry Gin.
Jim, Terry, Becky and Brian had sampled Sipsmith on a previous journey to London and signed us up for a tour of their distillery. The Sipsmith Distillery is in London but on the west side, so we rode the train out and stopped at a pub for dinner before meandering to the distillery. Per google maps, we found the distillery was only a five-minute walk from where we ate dinner. But when we got to the google pin point, we were standing in front of someone’s house and figured we were lost. We continued to the end of the block, turned the corner, and saw a person standing by a sign with a clipboard and figured this must be it. Luckily, it was it, but we were surprised to find that the distillery was quite small as we walked up to and entered the building. Although small in stature, it did not disappoint in telling its story and taste testing’s.
We came to find out that they are currently producing 10,000 bottles of gin per day. Obviously, the bottling is not done at this site, but the three stills they work hard and efficiently and produce an excellent gin. For more information on Sipsmith, visit their website.
At the end of most of our evenings, we liked to retire to our neighborhood pub The Windmill. Terry and Jim had found this gem of a local pub in previous trips and we stayed at the same Airbnb that they had stayed at before in the Lambeth area of London.
The Windmill has a very British charm and warmth and though they never stay open past 11 pm, it was nice to come and slide into their soft high back chairs or cozy couches and enjoy a night cap while sharing laughs and stories with close friends. I have said it before but…. Life Don’t Suck!
Find Jim's previous blog about this London trip here.
To see my pictures of our adventures, check out our Instagram.