London-based Sipsmith is one of the most underrated, under-the-radar gins on the market. Recently it took things in a surprising direction by releasing this limited-edition expression, a strawberry-and-mint infused version of its classic gin. Part of the limited-edition Sipping Series, the first release was flavored chili & lime gin, while a coffee-infused gin is already on tap for the third installment in the series.
Sipsmith Strawberry Smash is the real deal, distilled with Wimbledon strawberries and English mint.
The results are curious. The experience is not overwhelming with strawberry notes, to be sure. In fact, the nose feels fairly traditional: heavy on juniper (reminiscent of the V.J.O.P. bottling) with strong undercurrents of angelica and a ruddy, dusky quality. Mint actually feels more present on the palate than the strawberry character, though that fruity, cream-laden quality is also in the mix, though weighed down by more juniper, some citrus peel, and a healthy bill of baking spice. Serve this in a gin & tonic and your guests may think you’ve sweetened things up just a touch, but unless you’re dropping strawberry slices in the glass (see pic) they may struggle to figure out exactly what’s different here.