Tarquin Leadbetter has just released the latest in his series of brilliant limited edition gins just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Cornish Crocus Gin!
Tarquin has established himself as one of the leading craft distillers in the UK, distilling gins (and a superbly named Cornish pastis!) in his micro-distillery in the village of St. Ervan in North Cornwall. Tarquin uses an eclectic selection of botanicals for his spirits, including violets grown in his back garden and gorse flowers hand foraged from the Cornish coast, and fires his two traditional copper pot stills by flame.
Tarquin has really pushed the boundaries of experimentation with the Cornish Crocus Gin, working with local Cornish saffron Brian and Margaret Eyers to create an unusual and deliciously fragrant gin.
Saffron is thought to have first reached Cornwall from trade with Phoenician traders as early as 400 BC and became a local delicacy, used by local bakers in their famous Cornish saffron cakes. Harvesting the saffron from the stigmas of the crocus flower is extremely labour intensive, making saffron one of the most expensive and sought after spices in the world. These high production costs resulted in the decline of Cornish saffron in the nineteenth century. Recently, modern ‘Crocurs’ like Brian and Margaret have been growing crocus flowers in Cornwall again and carefully harvesting the precious saffron by hand. This extraordinarily hard work comes at a handsome price of £40 for a single gram, around twice the price of 24 carat gold!
With the Cornish Crocus Gin, Tarquin has connected with Cornwall’s rich heritage of saffron cultivation. The addition of saffron, rose petals and pistachio nuts to more traditional gin botanicals has resulted in a wonderfully unique and intensely flavoured gin, with rich notes of honeyed flowers. A perfect gift for Valentine’s Day!
Click here to find out more about Tarquin’s Cornish Crocus Gin.