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Cumbria Crystal works with Legendary Gin producer on the perfect recycling project.

At Cumbria Crystal we pride ourselves on producing the finest hand blown Crystal produced by our highly skilled artisans here in our factory in Ulverston. Usually spending our time creating our luxury products for British Embassies, bespoke car manufactures and luxury high street retailers worldwide, we were intrigued when we received a call from Sipsmith, London (who began manufacturing their incredible spirits in 2009 in a small workshop space located in Hammersmith, London) to work on an interesting repurposing project, breathing new life into their bottles and making use of a product that would otherwise of just been recycled in the usual manner.

Fairfax and Sam (Sipsmith’s founders) have an unwavering belief in things well made – the way they used to be, the way they should be, so they set up London’s first traditional copper distillery since 1820. Their mission is simple: to bring London Dry Gin of truly uncompromising quality and character, back to the city where it first earned its name. Every bottle of Sipsmith is hand-crafted in small batches, every batch is lovingly laboured over by hand, by dedicated Distillers. No regimented timings, no automatic cuts, just a craftsman’s flair and a passion for gin well made – reminding of us of our own manufacturing techniques and passion for producing the best quality by hand, using a skilled craftsman’s knowledge and expertise to provide the perfect form to our glassware.   

With this combined ethos and consideration to the art of our individual business’s, the journey began. We received 120 empty bottles from our friends at Sipsmith with the specification to transform these relatively plain bottles into extra special Martini Stirring Glasses for customers worldwide.

The process of making the glasses started with our processing staff cracking off the top third section of the bottle to ensure that the volume was correct to Sipsmith’s specifications. This is achieved by scoring the glass and introducing a flame to the scored line, this shocks the glass and after around 30 seconds the unwanted glass will break away. In order to ensure a smooth finish the next step is to grind the lip to a smooth finish using motorised diamond cutting wheels.

At this point the glass is checked for the correct height.

The unfinished stirring glass is then taken to the Glasshouse team and inserted into a tool which allows the glass to be warmed in a heating chamber. Once the glass is at 600 degrees centigrade a gas torch is used to focus heat on the rim and then a carbon lipping tool is used to hand form the pouring lip. The glasses are then placed into our annealing kiln to cool slowly overnight.  

An extract from Sipsmith’s website for The Ultimate Martini;

125ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin 
25ml Dry Vermouth

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. 

Each stirring glass is 500ml, but for the perfect martini it is recommended to stir down one martini at a time.

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Bentley Centenary Car

As seasoned advocates of our work at Cumbria Crystal we are sure you are aware of our Collaborative work with Bentley Motors, seeing our fabulous bespoke flutes supplied with every new Bentley Bentayga Mulliner – we have recently been working on a new project with the Mulliner team in the run up to Bentley’s Centenary celebration year and are delighted that our bespoke tumbler and decanter collection were shown to the eagerly watching public at the launch event in Pebble Beach, Caifornia at the exclusive Monterey car week.

This has been a long process, to develop a truly unique product to this vehicle (the Mulsane WO Edition) and we feel completely honored to be part of such a special moment in Bentley’s life and look forward to collaborating on many other projects in the future.

The Mulliner Mulsanne WO edition is inspired and created in celebration of   Mr Bentley himself, the man who’s true time goal was ‘to build a fast car, a good car, the best in it’s class’. It features not only an 8 litre engine, the same as WO Bentley’s own vehicle launched in 1930 but every person who is lucky enough to own one of these incredible vehicles will share with them a part of Bentley’s history in the vehicle itself. Hidden between the two rear seats lies a section of the original Crankshaft, somewhat similar to the crankshaft used in all modern Bentleys – this is beautifully inlaid in a clear window in the tray of  the drinks cabinet (located just behind our bespoke tumblers.)

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Try your hand at glassblowing – one of many new experiences lined up at Cumbria Crystal!

Experience the 2000 year old tradition of hand blown glass-making at Cumbria Crystal, Ulverston

Being the last manufacture of luxury crystal in the UK, we are famous for producing some of the highest quality hand-blown and cut lead-crystal in the world and are proud to supply clients such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, all the British Embassies and many Royal families.

Our ethos has always been to welcome visitors into the factory to watch glass being blown as there are very few places left that this 2000 year art can still be seen. The educational benefits for young and old alike are undeniable – sharing the experience of watching glass being transformed from sand into crystal and then being worked by artisans at temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees centigrade is close to alchemy and is fascinating to watch. It is rare that visitors to our factory fail to marvel at the collective skills required to create the crystal they see being made in front of them.

In order to extend appreciation of the craft, a small furnace has been built to specifically enable visitors to receive tuition and blow glass alongside our artisans who may well be blowing the crystal used by James Bond in Casino Royale or Downton Abbey.

We are delighted to welcome Clare Wilson to the team to co-ordinate & deliver an extensive programme of activities. Clare studied for three years at the Edinburgh College of Art and trained for four years at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide, Australia, a highly respected contemporary craft organisation. Combined with extensive teaching experience Clare is well placed to revolutionise the experience on offer by offering hands on opportunities to our visitors both near and far.

15 and 30 minute experiences making coloured glass baubles or paperweights are now available and bookable Saturday – Wednesday. Participants will be guided through every step of the process, selecting different coloured glasses to work with, melting the colour into the liquid glass and then blowing & forming the paperweight or bauble. Paperweights are very hands on & in addition participants will be able to form the liquid glass with wet newspaper held in their hands!

Bauble workshops are available from 8+ years (Starting at £20). Paperweight workshops from 13 years+ (£45). Workshops are suitable for group sizes up to 8 people, reservations are recommended especially at busy times, drop in sessions are available subject to availability.

In the coming weeks we will expand the programme to include a three hour tumbler workshop suitable for up to three people, plus half and full-day glass blowing tuition packages suitable for up to two people. These present the perfect opportunity to share an amazing creative experience and develop glass blowing skills, or to give someone an amazing present (gift vouchers are available).

Experience the 2000 year old tradition of hand blown glass-making at Cumbria Crystal, Ulverston

Being the last manufacture of luxury crystal in the UK, we are famous for producing some of the highest quality hand-blown and cut lead-crystal in the world and are proud to supply clients such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, all the British Embassies and many Royal families.

Our ethos has always been to welcome visitors into the factory to watch glass being blown as there are very few places left that this 2000 year art can still be seen. The educational benefits for young and old alike are undeniable – sharing the experience of watching glass being transformed from sand into crystal and then being worked by artisans at temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees centigrade is close to alchemy and is fascinating to watch. It is rare that visitors to our factory fail to marvel at the collective skills required to create the crystal they see being made in front of them.

In order to extend appreciation of the craft, a small furnace has been built to specifically enable visitors to receive tuition and blow glass alongside our artisans who may well be blowing the crystal used by James Bond in Casino Royale or Downton Abbey.

We are delighted to welcome Clare Wilson to the team to co-ordinate & deliver an extensive programme of activities. Clare studied for three years at the Edinburgh College of Art and trained for four years at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide, Australia, a highly respected contemporary craft organisation. Combined with extensive teaching experience Clare is well placed to revolutionise the experience on offer by offering hands on opportunities to our visitors both near and far.

15 and 30 minute experiences making coloured glass baubles or paperweights are now available and bookable Saturday – Wednesday. Participants will be guided through every step of the process, selecting different coloured glasses to work with, melting the colour into the liquid glass and then blowing & forming the paperweight or bauble. Paperweights are very hands on & in addition participants will be able to form the liquid glass with wet newspaper held in their hands!

Bauble workshops are available from 8+ years (Starting at £20). Paperweight workshops from 13 years+ (£45). Workshops are suitable for group sizes up to 8 people, reservations are recommended especially at busy times, drop in sessions are available subject to availability.

In the coming weeks we will expand the programme to include a three hour tumbler workshop suitable for up to three people, plus half and full-day glass blowing tuition packages suitable for up to two people. These present the perfect opportunity to share an amazing creative experience and develop glass blowing skills, or to give someone an amazing present (gift vouchers are available).

For further details, or to book, please contact:

beth@cumbriacrystal.com

www.cumbria crystal.com/blow-a-bauble

+44(0)1229 584 400

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Win a piece of luxury Crystal for your friend from their favourite Collection

To enter fill in the details below.  Your friend will be entered into our Prize Draw for a chance to win a piece of crystal from their favourite collection. The individual piece will be chosen from their preferred collection by Cumbria Crystal and will have a minimum value of £80 RRP. We wish your friend the very best of luck and hope we’re helping banish the blues and lift spirits this January.

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Please enter the name of the person you wish to nominate followed by their email address

All entries must be received before the Prize Draw closes at midnight 5th February 2018. By entering above you agree to our full Terms and Conditions below. This does not oblige your nominated friend.

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Where Poirot would have drank his Creme de Menthe?

Stimulate your little grey cells with a Creme de Menthe this #CremeDeMentheDay. The vivid green mint infused liqueur was well loved by Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot. The great detective even came here to the Lake District in one of the author’s novels and it seemed only right to mark the occasion ourselves. Cumbria Crystal went to Broad Leys where the Poirot episode Dumb Witness was filmed in 1996 to enjoy his favourite tipple in style. We couldn’t think of  a better way for us to celebrate than by enjoying a Creme De Menthe by Poirot’s favourite window in one of our elegant Grasmere Sherry Glasses which are perfect for fortified wines and liqueurs.

Poirot’s Window

Broad Leys‘ distinctive round window, now affectionately known as Poirot’s Window was designed by Arts and Crafts Designer Charles Voysey when he created the stunning house in 1888. The house which was originally built for Victorian industrialists Arthur and Helen Currer Briggs is now home to Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club. The club has an illustrious history, with Donald Campbell driving for the club in the past. Donald Campbell is of course famous both for his fantastic successes breaking water speed records and sadly his untimely and tragic death when he attempted to break his own record in Bluebird K7 on Coniston in 1967.

 

 

It was hard not be moved by the years of history whilst we sipped our Creme de Ment

he on the terrace. Broad Leys is such an atmospheric house with a rich and interesting past, and on a glorious sunny September day our wonderful location was a true joy. If you’d like to raise a Cumbria Crystal glass to Poirot or indeed Donald Campbell then there’s no better place to do it. We’re sure Agatha herself would have seen it a fitting tribute.

If you’re wondering how better to enjoy a Creme de Menthe than just sipping it from an exquisite crystal glass you could try a fabulous Grasshopper cocktail. The classic recipe is here for you, personally we’d serve it in a chilled Boogie Woogie cocktail glass.

Grasshopper Cocktail

30ml Green Creme De Menthe

30ml White Creme De Cacao

30ml Single Cream

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake. Strain into a chilled Cumbria Crystal Cocktail Glass.

You can view our full Boogie Woogie Barware Collection here or our classic Grasmere Collection here.

Happy #CremeDeMentheDay everyone!

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Six Rum-derful facts about Rum!

We keep hearing rumours that rum is destined to become the ‘new gin’ so with that in mind we decided to look into the history of rum, one the worlds most popular drinks on #NationalRumDay. Here are six rum-derful facts you may not have known before!

1. Rum is made from sugarcane by-products – either molasses or sugarcane juice is fermented and distilled to produce a clear spirit. This is then aged in oak barrels according to the manufacturers specifications and recipe.

2. The primary ingredient sugarcane, is a grass of the genus Saccharum. Rums produced from fresh pressed sugarcane juice make up only 3% of all rums, whilst those produced using molasses account for the remaining 97%!

3. After Saccharum’s usefulness (and deliciousness!) was discovered, sugarcane went from being an unknown wild species of grass to the world’s largest cultivated crop.

4. Rum’s history is a chequered and often sad one and to talk of its wonders without acknowledging this would be remiss. As the popularity of rum increased in the 1600’s, more and more plantations were needed. These sugar plantations were supported by a slave-based economy, with people kept as slaves living in wretched conditions with no control over their own lives. Thankfully today’s rum manufacturers are acknowledged for their socially conscious approach.

5. It’s hard to think of rum without envisaging creaking ancient Tall Ships cutting their way across the Atlantic. Rum’s popularity even reached Royal Navy sailors who were supplied rum rations to their crew by the tot (about 70ml of 95.5% Rum!) each midday.

6. Sailing superstition meant glasses were never ‘clinked’ onboard the ship as the sound of ringing glass spelled death for a sailor, and worse the Devil himself would take two sailors if the ringing sound were stopped. Additionally the tot glasses were only washed on the outside as it was believed the lingering rum residue would serve to make the drink stronger. Whilst we no longer believe clinking glasses heralds death, should you be unfortunate enough to chip the rim of your Cumbria Crystal glasses we are often able to repair it – potentially saving you from an unpleasant fate!

Modern rum consumption is broken into two main camps with white or silver rums tending to be used for making cocktails and dark, golden or spiced rums being enjoyed neat, on the rocks or with a mixer. We like ours aged, served over ice; poured from a cut crystal decanter into a beautiful hand-made Cumbria Crystal tumbler or alternatively whizzed up into an all singing all dancing Pina Colada. You can find the definitive recipe for this in our last blog here.

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Steve Cummings Celebrates Tour of Britain Victory with Cumbria Crystal Trophy

We are delighted to share images of Steve Cummings receiving the winner’s trophy for the Tour of Britain this week. The overall winner’s award was sponsored by Cumbria Crystal and was blown by Dave Sharp and Steve Brettle and engraved by apprentice Charlotte Hudson.

@Theo Southee photography
@Theo Southee photography

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Cumbria Crystal Supports the Tour of Britain 2016

tour of briatina

The most famous cyclists from across the world will gather in Glasgow to kick-off the Tour of Britain this Sunday. Mark Cavendish, André Griepel, Rohan Dennis and many more cyclists across twenty teams, will embark upon the eight stage race. The tour will end with a thrilling climax in the heart of central London.

Cumbrian Connection

This years’ race has more than just a hint of Cumbrian tradition attached to it. Not only will the county host the second stage of the race, from Carlisle to Kendal but Cumbria Crystal has been chosen to supply the winner’s trophy. The hand-crafted glass bowl will be awarded to the winner after the final stage on Sunday the 11th of September.

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