Jared Brown is one of the leading historians in spirits. Along with his wife Anistatia Miller, they have published over 30 books on mixology, cocktails and history of spirits. They own over 1200 books to keep them busy with the very subject. Speaking with him, he seems to always back up his statements with some interesting historical fact.
Brown made his first hard cider at the age of 10 from collective innocence. Freeze distillation, which is freezing cider then skimming off the ice in order to concentrate the rest of the juice and raise the alcohol volume. Not bad for a preteen.
He loves all spirits but his passion is London Dry Gin. His first professional batch was the Bardenay Gin for a martini bar in Boise Idaho. Brown and his wife were one of the first customers in the bar. When they began speaking to the owner of the bar, he was shocked to learn that he was the author of the book he had based his bar on. Everything from the glasses, the height of the bar, the library ladder and olives came straight out of Brown's books. It was a sign, the three had to start working together.
Brown and his wife began to distill and work with individual botanicals, experimenting to really understand their flavors and aromas. They tried, tasted, and grew a garden with all kinds of flowers, herbs and spices.
After the experience in Boise, Brown was introduced to the other founders of Sipsmith Gin. Their vision was mutual, create an authentic gin from original recipes that have been somewhat forgotten among the mass-produced gins of the day.
He is now the master distiller for Sipsmith in London, the first London Dry Gin distillery since 1823. When I asked him what makes a London Dry Gin unique, he said is it quite an ambiguous term since it’s the world’s most popular gin type, however rarely made in London. The primary flavor should be Juniper, which should be added with the other botanicals before distillation. No concentrate should be used. After distillation you can only add neutral spirit and water for bottling. He does not add any neutral spirit to his blend.
He's influenced from his historical knowledge of spirits. His London Dry Gin comes from early 1700’s recipe.
Some of Jared Brown’s favorite ways to drink Gin.
“In the morning” A Ramos Fizz
“After noon” Gin Ricky
“At 5:00 pm” Gin & Soda or the classic 1888 Martini, with fresh sweet vermouth.
Some of his favorite bars when traveling:
The Bar High Five in Tokyo.
Chicago: The Office at Aviary, Scofflaw, Maude’s, Drumbar, NICO, Sportsman’s, The Drifter.
“Really there are too many to name in Chicago, I’m blown away with what’s going on here”