Bros Distillery has managed to combine my love of gin with pride for my Staffordshire heritage and an adoration of ceramics with their secret recipe Sixtowns Gin.
Born in Latvia, brothers Vitalijs and Alex watched their grandparents distill grain, who’d watched their parents before them, resulting in a tried and tested, successful recipe. In the late 90s, the siblings decided to bring their expertise and secret family knowledge over to Staffordshire.
It was here in the Potteries that the duo began selling state-of-the-art Genio distillery equipment, serving more than 100 distilleries across the UK before setting out to use their closely held method to create their own artisan gin.
Priced at £39.95 a bottle, Sixtowns Gin is made in small batches of 100 or less – and this particular bottle was from batch number 72. But we will never know exactly what’s inside, with part of the magic in the mystery.
The brothers, whose distillery is based in Fenton, said: “Our complete recipe will always be a family secret tested with time and passed down through the generations. Therefore we will never reveal amounts and a complete list of botanicals.”
But they do reveal that the London Dry gin features a good balance of juniper, cardamom and zesty lemon before warming ginger and pink peppercorns develop on the palette.
With an ABV of 40%, the satisfyingly smooth spirit is bottled and sealed by hand, making it a real labour of love with true craftsmanship at play here.
The brands name comes from the amalgamation of Stoke-on-Trent’s six towns in 1910, which saw Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Longton, Stoke and Tunstall become a polycentric city.
Expertly crafted, the potbank bottles are a nod to our ceramic heritage, which can be reused over and over as vases, candle holders or simply as a conversational homeware piece.
As you pop off the copper stopper, there’s a real warmth that seeps from the top of the bottle kiln. If I had to guess ingredients like Monica and Phoebe with her grandmother’s cookies, I’d suggest perhaps cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon peel – but we’ll never be certain.