This week we focus on the outstanding Sibling Distillery, run by four siblings. Based on the outskirts of spa town Cheltenham where they produce a range of seasonal gins using innovative and modern techniques.
These four siblings have built on their parents micro brewery, using the knowledge of the alcohol and drinks industry. They launched the distillery next door to the brewery in 2014 while they were all very young, the oldest of them Felix was only 22 at the time. But growing up surrounded by a family with a history of brewing left them in good stead when creating drinks.
The distillery that they have built uses a range of traditional methods as well as combining modern techniques in order to create a range of fresh flavoured gins. They state that the still is “made out of glass and stainless steel, it allows absolute clarity both during the process, for our benefit, and in the finished spirit itself, for the benefit of the consumer.” This modern influence helps to push the boundaries of the flavour in the gins.
They don’t cut any corners when it comes to creating the gins, finding high quality yields comes from the high standards of ingredients being used. A majority of distillers buy in a neutral base spirit produced by a larger distiller but Sibling create their own from scratch. Using a sugar cane base they ferment and distill it to create a high quality base spirit.
This pure clean spirit gives them the perfect base in which to build layer upon layer of flavour and they choose to do this through vapour infusion. This process involves putting a basket of botanicals above the base spirit instead of steeping them. As the alcohol evaporates the botanicals infuse into the vapours, this gives the gin a lovely gentle flavour and works wonderfully with lighter botanicals.
They also use copper bubble plates in the still, vinepair.com suggests “Yeasts release sulphur when they’re doing their business. In a non-copper still, that sulphur stays with the liquid. With copper, the sulphur molecules bind with the copper, making hydrogen-sulfide, which becomes copper sulfate. The copper sulfate remains in the still rather than going out with the liquid, and is then cleaned out when the still is cleaned.” This helps the distillers at Sibling to create an extra smooth and pure spirit. Also with the glass condensing column they can monitor each part of the distillation process.
We stock a range of their seasonal infused gins in the shop. These gins have different seasonal influences such as fresh lemon and rosemary in the spring edition. The summer edition fits beautifully for the current season with an infusion of strawberry enhanced further by black pepper. Our favourite, even though slightly out of season is the autumn edition, infused with apple, blackberries and cardamom it is a treat any time of the year!
Photos by Sibling Distillery