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8 May, 2017

Exceptional Handcrafted Gin: Smooth, Distinct, Complex 

Tucked away on Island Street in the affluent coastal town of Salcombe in Devon is Salcombe Distilling, overlooking the Salcombe estuary and the traditional crabbing vessels as they unload their catch at Crab quay.
Before it became a playground for affluent sailors and second home owners, Salcombe played a pivotal role in the historical fruit trade with the Azores, Mediterranean and West Indies. Responsible for importing eighty percent of citrus fruits into England during the 19th Century, together with pineapples and spices from further afield, ‘Salcombe Fruiters’ were the fastest sailing vessels of their era, regularly setting records for their passage from the Azores back to London, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull and Southampton. 
These copper hulled sailing vessels were built in Salcombe and neighbouring Kingsbridge and crewed by local men. With a rich history of craftsmanship, it seemed fitting that the latest handmade luxury product to come out of Salcombe is distilled on the site of a former boat building yard.

With an uncompromising approach to quality, Salcombe Gin is produced by hand on a bespoke 450l traditional copper still and distilled using the one-shot distillation method according to the ‘London Dry’ standard, although with the addition of local sunshine, Devon Dry may be more apt.

Taking inspiration from the historical trading routes, Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’ is distilled from the finest English wheat spirit and pure soft Dartmoor water with a precise blend of thirteen botanicals including fresh ruby grapefruit, lemon and lime peels sourced from the historical trading routes. These are combined with Macedonian juniper which provides the traditional heady, earthy and resinous pine notes in gin, together with English coriander seeds that provide a lemon brightness. Liquorice provides a touch of sweetness and green cardamom helps lengthen the finish without ever being overly dominant, whilst chamomile and bay leaf provide a balanced floral note. Cubeb berries from Java are used to provide a fruity, almost peppery heat, balanced with warming spice from cinnamon bark. Finally, angelica and orris root help bring all the flavours together providing an earthy base note. The result is a smooth, complex and perfectly balanced gin, strong enough to stand up well in a gin & tonic and fragrant and delicate enough for the ultimate martini.

In addition to the distillery, catching the evening sun, on the first floor, is a gin tasting and cocktail bar where visitors can enjoy the ultimate Salcombe & Tonic after enjoying a hard day on the water whilst admiring the beautiful copper still housed behind a floor to ceiling glass wall.
With an unprecedented level of interest in this liquid spirit, Salcombe Distilling also provide the opportunity for the curious gin lover to develop and distil their own gin recipe on a mini copper still in their new gin school. Essentially a chemistry lesson for grown-ups with mini copper stills instead of Bunsen burners and conical flasks, pupils are tutored in the art of distillation and create their own bottle of gin to take away with them in a wooden presentation case with enough spirit left over for a celebratory G&T in the tasting bar.

Gaining an enviable reputation since its launch in 2016, Salcombe Gin is truly raising the bar for luxury hand crafted spirits.

Entry to the Land Displays is free at London On-Water 2017 and £5 to visit the Marina Pontoons, a proportion of which is given to support the Show charities.

London On-Water 2017
8th – 11th June 2017
St Katharine Docks 
London E1

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