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Living-room gin made in Highgate couple’s home is shipped as far away as Japan and Taiwan

PUBLISHED: 14:09 01 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:09 01 May 2013

Ian Hart of Sacred Spirits mixes gin at a tasting event at the Spaniards Inn in Hampstead

Ian Hart of Sacred Spirits mixes gin at a tasting event at the Spaniards Inn in Hampstead

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Everyone knows rum is native to the Caribbean and whiskey is the stalwart staple of the Scottish highlands, but now it is time to contend with Highgate as the humble home of gin.

Heathman has learned that bottles from the Sacred Spirits gin micro-distillery in the backroom of a house in Talbot Road, Highgate are being shipped across the world.

The Taiwanese are ordering bottles in their thousands and in Japan the heady brew is rivalling saki as the aperitif of choice.

Sacred Spirits are distilled at home by a local couple Ian Hart and Hilary Whitney who use 12 botanicals, from the classic juniper to the potent cardamom, to create the perfect firewater.

The elixir is also in high demand at Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.

Alessandro Palazzi, manager of the legendary Duke’s Bar, where Ian Fleming coined the phrase “shaken not stirred”, is also a fan.

At the turn of the 18th century there were more than 1,500 distilleries in people’s homes in London but now Sacred Gin’s operation in Highgate is the only residential distillery in the city - and their gins have a global reach.

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