Sacred Microdistillery

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Sacred Microdistillery
Industry Microdistillery & Distillation
Founded 2009
Founder Ian Hart and Hilary Whitney
Headquarters Highgate, London
Area served
Key people
Ian Hart, Hilary Whitney
Products Gin, Vodka, Vermouth, Aperitifs & Bottled Cocktails

Sacred Microdistillery is a microdistillery 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 operates out of 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's home in Highgate, North London.


Sacred Microdistillery was established in London in 2009; it is the only vacuum distillery in London.[2] Sacred Microdistillery was launched by Ian Hart[3] 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.[4]

Sacred Microdistillery is based on a residential street in North London.[5] It distributes its products to many bars, restaurants and independent spirits merchants in London and worldwide.[6] This includes Duke's Bar in St James's, London, where Ian Fleming invented the Vesper cocktail,[7] and Gerry's of Old Compton Street.[8]

Sacred Gin came first in its category in the 2009 Ginmasters competition,[9] 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[10] alongside Hendrick's and Tanqueray 10 gins in another blind tasting organised by Imbibe magazine.[11] In 2013, Sacred Gin and Sacred Organic Gin each won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Currently, Sacred produces 16 products, including gins, vodkas, vermouths, aperitifs and bottled cocktails.[1]


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.[12]

Sacred currently produces the following products,[13] available in the UK and overseas:[1]

London Dry Gin[edit]

Frankincense (Boswellia Sacra), from which Sacred takes its name

Botanical Gin[edit]

As each of Sacred's botanicals is distilled individually and then blended, it is possible to produce gins of a different blend ratio. This allowed Ian Hart to produce a range of 6 'botanical gins', in which one botanical is increased in the blend.

Other Gin[edit]

  • Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin, 40%. Made with juniper and real Christmas puddings, cooked to Ian's Great Aunt Nellie's recipe. Designed to be taken as a shot out of the freezer after Christmas lunch.[17]


  • 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. Sacred holds the trademark for London Dry Vodka.[18]
  • 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 for Sacred, 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.[19]


  • 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. The back label is endorsed with a quote from Sir Kingsley Amis: "This is a fine invention. It has the power, rare with drinks and indeed with anything else, of cheering you up."


  1. ^ a b c "Sacred Spirits Company". Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  2. ^ Gerrard, Neil (2010-02-05). "The Still Life". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  3. ^ "Life after the City: Ian Hart". eFinancialNews. 2010-01-11. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  4. ^ Culshaw, Jenny (2009-07-30). "New gin distilleries for London". BBC. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Urban foodie visits Sacred Microdistillery". Urban foodie. 2009-12-06. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  6. ^ "List of bars and restaurants serving Sacred Spirits". Sacred Spirits Company. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  7. ^ "Small is Beautiful: Sacred Gin". Imbibe. November 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  8. ^ Gerrys (2014-10-10). "Gin | Buy Gin Online| Gerry's Wines & Spirits". Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  9. ^ "Quality Will Out — and it did". The Spirits Business. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ Purves, Nick (2010-01-09). "Sacred Gin". The London Word. Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  13. ^ "shop". Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  14. ^ Culshaw, Jenny. "BBC's Jenny Culshaw visits Sacred Gin Microdistillery for Working Lunch" (YouTube video). Working Lunch. BBC. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  15. ^ "Coriander Seed is the second most important botanical in Gin". Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  16. ^ Stephenson, Tristan (2016). The Curious Bartender's Gin Palace. Ryland Peters & Small. ISBN 1849757011. 
  17. ^ Dehn, Georgia (15 December 2014). "The Telegraph Magazine". p. 73. 
  18. ^ "United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office". 
  19. ^ "COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH". Retrieved 2016-09-21. 

External links[edit]