Home » The Art of Distillation: A Visit to the World-Renowned Penzance Distillery

The Art of Distillation: A Visit to the World-Renowned Penzance Distillery

by Yasir Asif
Penzance Distillery

A boutique owner run distillery situated in Long Rock just outside Penzance. It presently produces gins and a summer cup but is aiming to become a whisky and possibly a brandy producer.

Based in a modern industrial setting with a surf-shack feel, the distillery is designed to create a relaxed atmosphere and a fun vibe. Their range of gins are inspired by the local landscape, wildlife, folklore and history.

Dr Squid Gin

Dr Squid Gin is a unique addition to the Penzance Distillery, created using real squid ink from a secret recipe. It is served from a copper flask engraved with the scenery, wildlife and folklore of the distillery’s surroundings.

It’s a savoury expression that has a coastal feeling to it, with vibrant citrus and earthy juniper at points. Vanilla is added to the base of the recipe, along with sea buckthorn for a tart and fresh fruit finish.

Unlike most gins, which utilise a traditional botanical blend to produce their flavours, this gin derives its unique colour from squid ink, meaning it pours black before changing to a gorgeous pink colour when mixed with tonic! It also makes a great Gin Mule when poured over crushed ice and ginger beer.

Founded by friends and experienced bar tenders from central London, Pocketful of Stones Distillery has pushed the boat out with this one-of-a-kind addition. This savoury expression has a coastal feeling to it, with bright citrus and earthy juniper at times, subtle floral at others, and vanilla has been added to the base of the recipe, alongwith sea buckthorn for a tart fresh fruit finish.

Cornish Gin

Cornish gin has become increasingly popular over the past decade. It’s a trend that is set to continue, with more and more distilleries popping up across the county.

Tarquin Leadbetter founded Southwestern Distillery in 2012, a family-run business that champions going back to basics and using traditional techniques and old-fashioned equipment. He aims to produce the classic flavour of London dry gin, with 12 carefully selected botanicals.

He combines this with the clean taste of locally sourced spring water from Bodmin Moor, and a triple-distilled spirit to create a unique range of gins and pastis. His signature gin is Elemental, which uses twelve of the finest botanicals and is hand-distilled in a copper still. It is bottled in small batches and is available to buy online and in local alcohol and farm shops. He also distributes to the NHS, Devon and Cornwall Police, food banks, and local bars and restaurants. This means that Tarquin’s Gin is a significant employer in a region of the county that has little industry of its own.

Cornish Vodka

Vodka is one of the simplest spirits to distill and can be made with a variety of ingredients including wheat, barley, rye or corn. Typically, vodka is made from a spirit base (typically distilled ethanol), and then flavoured with ingredients such as botanicals.

Vodka made from wheat is generally lighter and crisper than other styles, with a softer texture and hints of lemon zest, pepper and anise. It tends to be more subtle than rye or barley and is often used by brands such as Ketel One and Grey Goose.

Colwith Farm Distillery is Cornwall’s first gin and vodka distillery – and one of only two in the country to claim to produce everything from scratch on their single estate (plough to bottle). They grow their own potatoes, grains and fruit for use in their high specification equipment to create a plethora of premium spirits.

Cornish Rum

Rum is a spirit made from sugarcane products, and it can be light or heavy in flavour. It’s traditionally distilled with a molasses base, but can also be spiced. It’s a popular spirit, and can be found in many countries around the world.

Cornish Rum is a rare spirit in that it comes from Cornwall, in England. It has a rich history, particularly in the 17th century when smugglers hid barrels of rum in stormy waters to avoid capture by Customs men.

Often this would have resulted in some salt water getting into the barrel, which smugglers could mask with fruit and sugar to disguise it. This led to the creation of Cornish Shrub, a fruity cordial that was used to make the Rum and Shrub cocktail, a well-loved drink in the UK.

In recent years, a geothermal rum distillery is being developed in Cornwall. It will use deep geothermal energy to produce rum with sustainability at the core. It will regenerate a former mining site and create up to 30 full-time jobs.

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