Search

Made in Hackney: The Tudor liqueur that no one’s tasted for centuries is back

PUBLISHED: 10:28 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:28 19 June 2017

An Escubac 'E and T'

An Escubac 'E and T'

sweetdram

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we visit Sweetdram’s HQ in Gillett Street to find out what, precisely, royal usquebaugh is.

The botanicals used to make EscubacThe botanicals used to make Escubac

Andrew Smith and Daniel Fisher set out to create a liqueur popular in Tudor times they’d only read about in ancient distilling manuals.

Royal usquebaugh was a spicy citrus-y cordial coloured with saffron and the only British liqueur that migrated from Britain to the continent. The French renamed it “escubac” before it became obsolete.

Under the name Sweetdram, the pair spent 18 months in their Dalston micro-distillery tinkering with different weights and measures of the dried plants and botanicals it is made from, until they found the right balance.

Daniel said: “We wanted to design a modern spirit that could be served with tonic like gin, but wasn’t gin, so our signature simple serve is escubac with tonic and lemon – the ‘E and T’.”

They don’t have the space in Gillett Street to create the volume needed to distribute to the seven countries it is sold in, so they travel to a bigger distillery in France four times a year to produce it. But this summer they will bring out two liqueurs distilled in Dalston.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney News Stories

Yesterday, 18:29

All housing projects requiring external cladding have been “paused” by Hackney Council in the wake of the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Yesterday, 16:06

A man who kidnapped his ex-wife, tied her up and raped her in a dungeon has been jailed for 13 years.

Yesterday, 15:32

Plans to sell booze to artists and designers at a London Fields workspace face an uphill battle – because police say its launch party turned into a rowdy nightclub.

Yesterday, 12:07

A man has been charged following the Finsbury Park terrorist attack.

Yesterday, 11:44

Left-wingers loyal to Jeremy Corbyn swept the board at last night’s Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party AGM, clearing aside the centrists who have dominated the party’s local top table in recent years.

Yesterday, 10:25

A new Guinness World Record has been set for the most people on trampolines in one location by a group of hardy souls in Haggerston Park.

Yesterday, 09:21

Hackney Police is appealing for witnesses after a series of “frightening” night-time burglaries in the past week.

Star reporter Emma Youle has scooped her second top national award in weeks for the Gazette’s Hidden Homeless series, which dragged Hackney’s housing crisis into the spotlight.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Now in its 11th year, Field Day is bringing together an exceptional mix of artists and genres once more to an east London park.