Cornwall LivingIssue #108
The pursuit of perfection
We hear from Cornish Rock Gin, and see what the family have been up to during the most recent lockdown.
Determined not to let another lockdown break their spirits, the Cornish Rock Gin Distillery family have used the time to dream up and produce two new fantastic gins, extending their popular ‘Bonanza Boys’ stable of gins to eight. And that’s not all. During what have, for most, been relatively quiet months, the Cornish distillery has also produced a further three rums – bringing the previous rum line-up of three up to six!
The magic that is Cornish Rock Gin began in Cornwall when owners Angie and George were out walking their dog, Blue, on Rock beach. Once the idea came to them, they had decided to distil gin in small batches using natural Cornish spring water and amazing botanicals, and before long, they had set up a distillery in the beautiful, wooded Allen Valley – keeping the flavour and the company local.
The first gin to hit Cornwall was their classic original gin, which is a wonderfully smooth tipple with a lingering aftertaste. This was swiftly followed by Pink Rock, a very dry gin enhanced by pink fermented champagne grapes – a unique and incredibly popular taste. Next came Cornish Gold, again an exceptionally smooth gin with a peppery flavour. Top tip: this particular gin makes for a great dry martini! Cornish Gold was followed by Rock Blue Angel Gin, a fabulous gin in a rich blue colour, and a very smooth gentle gin taste. Soon after came Rock Orange Sunset, a light orange marmalade tasting gin, before the arrival of Rock Cherry Kiss – a well-rounded gin with more than a hint of cherries.
Speaking with Angie and George, we learn that the first of the new gins is Rock Mellow Yellow Saffron, boasting a superb flavour profile with a deep yellow colour. “You get the classic taste of gin with a rich saffron flavour,” explains Angie. The saffron is harvested locally on the Roseland peninsula, which is important, as Angie says, “because with every gin we make, we strive for originality and finely sourced ingredients, and no source of ingredients is finer than local.” Simply put, Rock Mellow Yellow Saffron is a true taste of Cornwall in a bottle.
George continues: “Finally, for now anyway (because we are always brainstorming and creating!) we have Rock Lemon Verbena gin. Once again, the lemon verbena is grown locally on the Roseland peninsula,” and this, he explains, produces a fabulously tangy citrus gin.
Now, with your thirst well and truly sharpened, we move onto the rums which are forming a new branch in Cornish Rock Gin’s distillery. “Initially we made Cornish Spiced Rum with cinnamon, vanilla, orange peel, allspice and cubeb pepper,” explains Angie, “resulting in a spicy, peppery rum that we are incredibly proud of. Then we made White Espresso Cornish Rum with the coffee being flown direct from our nephew’s farm in Kenya – where we support and buy from locals just as we do with our locally sourced ingredients for our gins. Next, we made Cornish Red Rum which is a light spiced rum enriched with plump red cherries.”
The next rum to come from the Rock distillery – the first of three – is an incredibly special Cornish Saffron Rum with extra cinnamon, which offers a smooth, full-bodied flavour that is as unique as it is tasty. “We then felt like we needed a dark spiced rum to add to our ever-growing collection,” says George, “so we devised our Cornish Pineapple Dark Spiced Rum, which – to no surprise – has a rich pineapple flavour. Finally, for now anyway, we made our Cornish Vanilla Rum, a light spiced rum with a strong vanilla flavour in every sip.”
All Cornish Rock Gin is sugar free and made from the freshest and purest natural ingredients, sourced from the best vendors that Angie and George can find, whether that’s local or on the other side of the world. The Rock Distillery rums, meanwhile, are developed from sugar cane – as all rums are – but as Angie says: “When we add to the recipe, everything we add is natural, to keep it as pure as possible.”
Cornish Rock Gin and Rum is made and handcrafted by a small team of passionate local artisans in a picturesque and dramatic landscape in the Allen Valley. Each new product is tasted by the locals and then meticulously tested before being hand bottled and receiving the stamp of approval. By following this process for every bottle that leaves the distillery, Angie, George and their team are able to ensure that by the time it reaches you, it is as close to perfect as a drink could possibly be.
Cornish Rock Gin