Doofus Of The Day #874

Today’s award goes to a distillery in England.

A group of hipster gin makers came close to creating chaos after they accidentally made mustard gas while trying to concoct a new flavour.

Workers from Sipsmith distillery, in Chiswick, west London, were attempting to create a mustard-flavoured drink but instead made the dangerous chemical agent, famous for its devastating use in World War One.

Kit Clancy, assistant distiller at Sipsmith, said: ‘There was a near disaster. What the guys actually produced was in effect mustard gas. The distillery was evacuated. That one wasn’t made again.’

There’s more at the link.

I don’t think they issue licenses to make that stuff any more . . . certainly not during peacetime!

Seriously, though;  while reading more for this blog post, I found that the distillery’s blog has a lot of interesting articles, from ‘British Drinking Traditions: A Brief History of Winter Warmers‘, to ‘Inside London’s Historic Gin Shops‘, to ‘Around the World in 80 Gins: Swiss Gin‘ and more.  It’s worth a look if you’re that way inclined.



  1. From the comments on this article, "Yeah, this doesn't pass the smell test. Chemist here- mustard gas is chemically quite different from mustard oil, and really only has a relatively slight mustard smell. To make sulphur mustard, you *have to be trying to do it*. It is not an accidental byproduct, as you need a strong chlorinating agent and a controlled precursor (OPCW schedule 2), or you need sulphur dichloride (schedule 3) and ethene gas (and a pressure vessel). Unless they are admitting to deliberately making schedule 1, real deal chemical weapons, it's a marketing ploy by these insufferable public school bores."
    I'm just not buying it. You can accidentally make pepper gas (I might have a little experience here), but I just don't believe you bumble your way into mustard gas.

  2. Agree with Jennifer. This has to be some sort of January Fool's jape.
    While it's certainly possible to produce sulfur mustard without actually going out and buying the controlled precursors as such, there's no plausible process that resembles anything one would attempt with food products.
    Still, it's a fun story.

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