Christmas

Christmas pudding flavoured gin – the perfect excuse for a tipple after turkey

PUBLISHED: 15:44 20 November 2014 | UPDATED: 12:49 27 November 2014

The Christmas puddings and brandy used to make the gin at Sacred in Highgate

The Christmas puddings and brandy used to make the gin at Sacred in Highgate

Archant

Whether you’re a gin fan or not, the Sacred Christmas Pudding version should get your taste buds wondering enough to try it. Especially, as it’s distilled by hand, by one man from his home in Talbot Road, Highgate from a handwritten family recipe dating back to the 1920s.

Ian Hart in his micro distillery in Highgate Ian Hart in his micro distillery in Highgate

Ex head hunter and derivatives trader, Ian Hart, makes this special gin, not by simply distilling Christmassy botanicals, but by making and distilling actual whole Christmas puddings made according to his Great Aunt Nellie’s recipe.

Ian began making this year’s first batch back in August which was a huge 30lbs (or 14 kilos) of Christmas puddings. He steamed them in large earthenware pots in his own kitchen for eight hours (filling Talbot Road with heavenly smells) and then macerated them with English grain spirit for two months and redistilled.

Ian said: “This Christmas pudding recipe has been in my family for years. I still have the handwritten recipe in my Great Aunt Nellie’s recipe book written by her and annotated with my grandfather’s hand. We have put the recipe as it was copied down on the back label of the bottle.”

“We think it makes a great G&T or out of the freezer as a shot – and much healthier than eating your Christmas pudding as well as being a lovely one-off gift for a gin lover. It is also a great nightcap.”

The Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin The Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin

Ian’s labour of love began in 2008 when he left his financial career to begin re-engineering Bordeaux wines, but having taken delivery of some neutral spirit and botanicals, he found himself working towards a formula for gin.

The landlord at his local pub, The Wrestlers in Highgate, tasted it and told Ian to make him a bottle and he would put it on the bar.

Four years later Sacred Spirits produces a range of gins, vodkas, and vermouths but you won’t find any on the supermarket shelves. Sacred supplies to 120 independent retailers including high-end stores such as Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges and Gerry’s of Old Compton Street. It has increased sales by 6,000 each year for the past three years, selling 30,000 bottles this year and 1,000 a year online.

Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin 70cl RRP £33.85, is available online from sacredspiritscompany.com.

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