Sacred Microdistillery

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Sacred Spirits
IndustryMicrodistillery & Distillation
FounderIan Hart and Hilary Whitney
HeadquartersHighgate, London
Area served
Key people
Ian Hart, Hilary Whitney
ProductsGin, Whisky, Vodka, Vermouth, Aperitifs & Bottled Cocktails

Sacred Spirits is a multi-site distillery located in Highgate, London. It is unusual in that it distills its spirits by use of vacuum distillation, and thus distills at a lower temperature than traditional pot stills, which operate at atmospheric pressure. The microdistillery started in the back room of a residential house, with a vacuum plant situated in a wendy-house in the distiller's back garden.[1]

Sacred Microdistillery, in Ian Hart (Distiller)'s home in Highgate, North London.

The Sacred Spirits Gin distillery is one of 24 in London,[2] the others are: Beefeater Gin, Sipsmith, The London Distillery Company, Doghouse Distillery, Old Bakery Gin, Bimber Distillery, Boxer Gin, Portobello Star, Graveney Gin, Four Thieves, Thames Distillers, Half Hitch Gin, Highwayman Gin, 58 Gin, East London Liquor Company, City of London Distillery, Bermondsey Distillery (Jensens Gin), Bump Caves Distillery (The Draft House), Kingston Distillers (Beckett's Gin), Portobello Road Gin, Butler's Gin, Little Bird Gin, and Hayman's.


Sacred Spirits was established in London in 2009 as Sacred Microdistillery; it is the only vacuum distillery in London.[3] Sacred was launched by Ian Hart[4] and Hilary Whitney, initially as a pure gin distillery, but this has now branched out into vodkas, such as Sacred London Dry Vodka, produced using the same process. Also now produced are three vermouths using English wine and an English alternative to Campari - Rosehip Cup. The distillery started on a small scale, and personally delivered stock to local bars and restaurants on London's tubes and buses.[5] It is based on 2 residential streets in North London.[6]

Sacred Gin came first in its category in the 2009 Ginmasters competition,[7] which is a blind tasting competition organised by The Spirits Business magazine. Subsequently, Sacred London Dry Vodka and Sacred Organic Vodka both won gold in the 2010 Global Vodka Masters competition, organised by the same publication. In 2010, Sacred Gin placed in the top three[8] alongside Hendrick's and Tanqueray 10 gins in another blind tasting organised by Imbibe magazine.[9] In 2013, Sacred Gin and Sacred Organic Gin each won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


Sacred Microdistillery's spirits are produced in small batches of a few hundred bottles a time, distilled from English Grain Spirit. Each botanical is macerated in alcohol for 4–6 weeks and then distilled individually. These distillates are blended as the final part of the production process.[10] The firm currently produces the following products,[11] available in the UK and overseas:[1]


  • Sacred Organic Sloe Gin, 28.8%. Sloe Berries rested in Sacred Gin for two and a half years, with extra distilled Juniper added before bottling.


  • Sacred Peated English Whisky, 48%. Peated single malt spirit distilled in Norfolk, aged in ex-bourbon casks for 3 years, followed by a two year finish in Pedro Ximenez casks in London.
  • Sacred English Whisky Liqueur, 40%. 3 year old English Whisky, blended with macerated Spanish Orange, distilled star anise and cubeb, and a little sugar.


  • Sacred London Dry Vodka, 40%. A wheat vodka redistilled with 7 botanicals, similar in character to a gin, but with no juniper, coriander or citrus botanicals. The firm holds the trademark for London Dry Vodka.[16]
  • Sacred Organic Vodka, 40%. A blend of English Organic Wheat Spirit and English Organic Rye Spirit.


  • Sacred English Spiced Vermouth, 18%. A dark, 'rosso' style of vermouth made with English white wine from Gloucestershire. The wine is fortified and bittered with Wormwood, grown in the West Country, and 23 other botanicals.
  • Sacred English Amber Vermouth, 21.8%. A medium-sweet amber style vermouth, made with English white wine from Gloucestershire and 16 botanicals.
  • Sacred English Dry Vermouth, 21.8%. An extra-dry vermouth, made with English white wine from Gloucestershire and 16 botanicals including thyme, intended for the Dry Martini cocktail, but also usable in other mixed drinks.[17]


  • Sacred Rosehip Cup, 18%. A bittersweet liqueur, made with rosehips, gentian root and 25 other botanicals. This liqueur was originally made for the Negroni cocktail, and can be used as an English alternative to Campari.

Bottled Cocktails[edit]

  • Sacred Bottle-Aged Negroni, 26.8%. Made with equal parts of Sacred Gin, Sacred Rosehip Cup and Sacred English Spiced Vermouth, conditioned in the bottle.


  1. ^ a b "Sacred Spirits Company". Retrieved 2016-09-21.
  2. ^ French, Phoebe (13 November 2017). "London now home to fifth of England's gin distilleries". The Drinks Business.
  3. ^ Gerrard, Neil (2010-02-05). "The Still Life". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  4. ^ "Life after the City: Ian Hart". eFinancialNews. 2010-01-11. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  5. ^ Culshaw, Jenny (2009-07-30). "New gin distilleries for London". BBC. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  6. ^ "Urban foodie visits Sacred Microdistillery". Urban foodie. 2009-12-06. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  7. ^ "Quality Will Out — and it did". The Spirits Business. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  8. ^ Mason, Angela (2010-02-20). "Meet Zanzzi Barr Contessa Cocktail". The Mail on Sunday. Archived from the original on 2010-02-21. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  9. ^ "Imbibe Magazine ICE awards Jan/Feb 2010 blind tasting". Imbibe Magazine. January 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  10. ^ Purves, Nick (2010-01-09). "Sacred Gin". The London Word. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  11. ^ "shop". Retrieved 2016-09-21.
  12. ^ Culshaw, Jenny. "BBC's Jenny Culshaw visits Sacred Gin Microdistillery for Working Lunch" (YouTube video). Working Lunch. BBC. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  13. ^ "Coriander Seed is the second most important botanical in Gin". Retrieved 2016-09-21.
  14. ^ Stephenson, Tristan (2016). The Curious Bartender's Gin Palace. Ryland Peters & Small. ISBN 1849757011.
  15. ^ Dehn, Georgia (15 December 2014). "The Telegraph Magazine". p. 73.
  16. ^ "United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office".
  17. ^ "COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH". Retrieved 2016-09-21.

External links[edit]