Trevethan Distillery - New Cornish Gin

Cornish gin has become a ‘thing’ with the likes of Tarquins, Curio and Elemental becoming very popular in a short space of time. You may well have tried all of these but Trevethan Cornish Distillery has thrown a spanner in the works by releasing Trevethan Gin. Now it will be even harder to decide which one is your favourite! Trevethan Gin is a quality handmade gin distilled using an old traditional family recipe perfected in the 1920s by Norman Trevethan. The gin is produced in small batches in the distillery a short drive away from Saltash so it's Cornish, but only just! The small quantities that are produced helps to give every batch its own signature character; complex, with subtle hints of citrus and floral notes. Trevethan gin is made using botanicals sourced from Cornish hedgerows for a true taste of Cornwall. It was traditional in Cornwall to celebrate the changing of the seasons with home brewed alcohol as this was normally only readily available in big cities, of which Cornwall had none. People from rural communities would forage in the the hedgerows, fields and woodland; what was available to pick would change from season to season and the recipes used reflected this. Parsnip wine, blackberry and elderberry wine, marrow rum, plum brandy, blackthorn plum and sloe gin were all popular and many families had their own secret recipes which had been passed down through the generations. Norman Trevethan was an archetypal rural personality being both inventive and resourceful. Born in 1906 in Tideford and hailing from a traditional Cornish family, the Trevethan’s had their own recipe for a range of the Counties best loved food and drinks. Norman was a chauffeur to Earl and Lady St Germans and regularly took them to society events in what was then 1920’s London. It was during this heavily influential time, when gin cocktails were the height of fashion that Norman decided that the Trevethan family recipe for Gin needed to be perfected! The original Trevethan Gin recipe was the essence of the Cornish hedgerows. Norman gained a plethora of skills and knowledge that had grown out of his experience of country brewing crafts and the influence of his time in ‘Roaring Twenties London’ as a high society chauffeur. Many years later in 2015, Norman’s grandson Robert Cuffe, an engineer, and his friend and business partner John Hall, a chemist, decided to resurrect the old family tradition and Trevethan Distillery was born. Rob is an engineer with over 30 years’ experience in designing and building food and drink production facilities. In his early career Rob was an engineer in a factory making Cornish Pasties and then moved into business for himself, building a company that went on to design and build production facilities for some of Europe’s leading food and drink manufacturers. Rob is Cornish through and through and very proud of his family history; it was his enthusiasm for process engineering that essentially lead him full circle and he’s now set his sights on producing some of the best spirits Cornwall has to offer. John is a chemist with a love of all things distilled with gin and whisky being his particular favourites. John worked in chemical research and moved later into technical sales where he teamed up with Rob to help build their food & drink engineering business. John has always had a passion for distillation ever since his university days. When the opportunity arose to bring this old family recipe back to life, John couldn’t resist breaking out the lab coat again to try and recreate a recipe that had been lost to the world for over 70 years. Trevethan Gin’s botanical line-up includes the usual suspects of Juniper, Coriander, Cassia and Angelica along with some less familiar botanicals like cardamom, orange peel, lemon peel and vanilla. Finally, it’s finished off with the finest Cornish Elderflower and Gorse flower, handpicked from the hedgerows of Trewonnard Dairy Farm in Treneglos. The water that’s used in the distillation comes from a natural spring on nearby farmland; the water is so soft that no mineral treatment is necessary which helps to create a truly natural flavour. Trevethan Distillery insist on keeping their operation small so that each each bottle has its own unique character. Each batch is expertly hand-crafted in a traditional Copper-Alembic still by John ; this is exactly as it was first crafted by Norman Trevethan back in the late 1920s. This reverence for the original methods of distillation extends to the charging of the still, the measuring of the botanicals, right the way through to the filling and labelling of the bottles. John uses a one-shot process which means the proportions of each botanical have been carefully calculated in order to achieve the complex flavours and smooth texture in one distillation. There is no blending or tweaking of the product after distillation so that whoever purchases the bottle are getting the true taste of the product as it was on the day it was made.

Trevethan Cornish Gin

Trevethan is first and foremost a big hit of juniper both on the nose and the palate but underneath the initial juniper burst you get liquorice from the angelica and spicy cinnamon. Citrus notes from the lemon, orange and elderflower round this off followed by a final spicy kick from the cardamom. The mouth feel is smooth and slightly oily thanks to the gorse and vanilla elements.