Free Sipsmith gin, direct from London, at Jack Rose tonight

Sipsmith Sipsmith's first copper still, named Prudence, began distilling gin in 2009. (Photo courtesy of Sipsmith Independent Spirits)

London has been going through a gin renaissance in recent years, with new craft distilleries joining the well-established Beefeater. Chief among them is Sipsmith, a gorgeous, juniper-heavy gin made in small batches -- 400 bottles at a time -- in copper stills in a West London garage. Though the distillery opened in 2009, bottles of its London Dry Gin began arriving in the U.S. market last month -- meaning there's one less thing for me to pick up duty-free at Heathrow.

Sipsmith is in the midst of a PR push to introduce its gin to American drinkers, which is why you'll find distillery co-founder Sam Galsworthy pouring free samples and talking about spirits at Jack Rose tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. In addition to straight gin, Jack Rose will have two special Sipsmith cocktails for $10: Elementary My Dear Watson, with St. Germain, tarragon and lemon; and the Big Ben, with honey, ginger syrup, allspice, vanilla and lemon.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.



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Tom Sietsema · October 16, 2013