The Hrafn Gin / LSA Collaboration
Once upon a time…
50 years ago, a certain Janusz Lubkowski and his wife Ewa approached Terence Conran at Habitat in fashionable swinging sixties London with traditional brightly coloured enamelware from their native Poland.
In 1985, Monika, Janusz’s daughter, joined the company and following a traditional apprenticeship, she quickly understood skilled craft production and a talent for both quality and style. LSA International had arrived and under Monika’s stewardship, the company goes from strength to strength. Their reputation for incorporating contemporary design with traditional glassblowing is renowned throughout the world.
Our cousins (second cousins, twice removed) are the magpies and they love shiny things and they told us about Monika and her glittering crystal, so we had to find out more. Then one day a phone call came into the switchboard saying “Hi, this is The Gin Cooperative, Undercover Division. Meet us at such-and-such a time at such-and-such a place next week, if you know what’s good for you!” Always up for an adventure, albeit, a mysterious one we flapped across to the rendezvous point at the stated time.
As Natalie from the Gin Cooperative was involved there was cake and coffee, and an introduction to Jo, Chief Poohbah of LSA International, UK … and she had brought the shiny things. Needless to say, it was love at first sight and we were chicks in a sweet shop.
“Yes, wonderful things!”
I felt like Carter entering the tomb. Jo smiled and said “take all you like onto this table” … and I did not need another telling. So, as Jo and Natalie finished off the cake, I was re-enacting ‘Supermarket Sweep’ and doing a mad trolley dash. There was an abundance of collections to choose from, but a singularity of quality. Eventually I had a tableful and was a very happy bunny raven. Jo catalogued the treasures and after another cake we went our separate ways.
A week later two huge boxes arrived, and I re-enacted every childhood Christmas as I unwrapped and removed each fragile glass. One for each new drink and cocktail in the Big Bumper Companion Book of Hrafn Potions. It was time to ‘Shake, Rattle, Stir and Experiment’.
Here are our current favourites from the LSA International range:
Mouthblown drinkware inspired by clouds of mist suspended in the air. Each piece is sandblasted by hand to create a tactile frosted effect which diffuses towards the rim or base, emphasising the modern silhouettes. These glasses remind us of condensation on a childhood window or morning frost. At 345ml this glass is just the perfect size for a full pour G&T with optimal ice and garnish.
Distinctive interconnecting silhouettes inspired by Eastern Bloc design define the Vodka Collection. These glasses immediately stood out as perfect for the clean, neat sipping of HRAFN GIN ‘Valhalla’ or combined with a ‘tickle’ of something else to lengthen and build on the taste. Perfect glasses for embedding in ice.
Sophisticated and yet, eclectic. The fine coupe bowls and tall, hand drawn stems with a unique tiered detail give the design an element of drama. Perfect for a predilection of pretence! They also come in midnight blue for when you need to up the ante and inject some showbiz into your mixing. A fantastically surreal glass for parties.
The Bar Collection has always been a favourite, due to its simplicity and wafer-thin crystal. Classic designs in clear, mouthblown glass to meet all your needs for both serving and enjoying drinks. If you only had to choose one Collection, then this is the one to check out. Our selection of the Brandy balloon is due to its fine rim and holdability (is that a word? It is now!)
Giving Reidel a run for its money is the Wine Collection. A comprehensive range of classically mouthblown designs. This Champagne Saucer has an inward curve to stop any of those embarrassing ‘slops’ often found with wide glassware, when partying in style. At 300ml it is perfect for your ‘larger than the average’ serve.
The Borough Collection is new for 2020. We were delighted to find the LSA International re-design of the classic Martini glass. The new Borough version is in the style of a Nick & Nora, but bigger and so has more adaptability for both Martini type cocktails and mixed drinks suited to the N&N. A dual use glass that is just perfect.
To get your hands on LSA International simply go to www.lsa-international.com/shop and, like www.hrafngin.com, there is free P&P to be had (on sales over £15). Alternatively, LSA International is available widely from John Lewis.
To see what mixed drinks and cocktails the Ravens made for their LSA International glasses, fly over to our Shake & Stir Section on the homepage.
Image credits LSA International