Gin is in! Boutique gins are all the rage and small artisan gin producers are springing up all over the place and there are several in the Westcountry. We are now selling Tarquin’s Cornish Gin, made in Cornwall with a twist of Devon violets!
When Tarquin Leadbetter set up his own distillery, he was the first person to craft gin in Cornwall for more than a century. Tarquin is originally from Devon and, after living and working in London for a few years was very keen to get back to the Westcountry and start up his own business in the food and drink industry. Settling in Cornwall, he identified gin as a market with potential and spent the next 18 months distilling the spirit in a traditional copper still on his kitchen cooker.
”After a lot of work and research, I finally perfected my own recipe,” he says. “I use 11 botanicals in addition to the traditional juniper in my gin, resulting in a modern twist on a classic London Dry.
“One unusual ingredient is the Devon violet. From these I take the delicate leaves, which add a vibrant green freshness to the gin and create something deliciously unique. At the heart of our process is a special flame-fired, copper pot still called Tamara, goddess of the Tamar. The copper gives the gin a very smooth finish – there’s no stainless steel and industrial quantities here! We make small batches of gin, fewer than 300 bottles at a time, and I check every one personally.”
The essential oils present in gin have also been used in herbal medicine for centuries. By looking at each botanical he uses – and its known effect – Tarquin has had fun drawing up a complete character profile of his gin.
“This might provide insight into the effects of drinking Tarquin’s Gin!” he jokes. Here’s the result of his research:
- Juniper – a natural stimulant, great for versatility and effectiveness
- Coriander – soothing and calming
- Lemon – a mood enhancer
- Orange – creates a feeling of happiness and warmth
- Grapefruit – increases ones sense of humour and well-being
- Cardamom – soothes the mind
- Cinnamon – reduces drowsiness and irritability
- Orris – therapeutic
- Angelica – has a protective quality, but also helps to release negative energy
- Bitter almond – wonderful scent and flavour
- Liquorice – soothing
- Violets – relaxing, soothing and inspiring
The gin is delicious. So, next time you fancy a G&T, think Tarquin’s. Cheers!