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.