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Rock Stars

An evolving journey: the wonderful world of Cornish Rock Gin. Words by Hannah Tapping.

Rock Distillery is a testament to the serendipitous nature of life’s adventures. It all started with a simple stroll on Rock Beach by Angie and George alongside their loyal dog, Blue. Inspired by the beauty and tranquillity of their surroundings, a distillery was born. Their inaugural still was affectionately named Bonanza Boy, paying homage to their favourite racehorse. Since then, Rock Distillery’s journey has been one of continuous growth and expansion.

From their first creation, Classic Rock gin, a remarkably smooth London Dry gin, Rock Distillery has built a family of 11 extraordinary gins and 13 rums. Each gin radiates with its own distinctive character, derived from a base rooted in the timeless Classic Rock gin. Sugar-free and crafted with the freshest and purest natural ingredients, sourced from both local vendors and across the globe, these gins are a testament to the distillery’s commitment to quality. Some ingredients even come from their very own Rock Gin Garden, adding a touch of local authenticity. The smoothness of their gins is further enhanced by the addition of pure Cornish spring water.

Their rums, too, are carefully crafted with an array of tastes and textures. From incredibly smooth sipping rums that capture the hearts of all who taste them, to dryer and slightly stronger blends, Rock Distillery offers a diverse collection for every palate. For the adventurous, their unique Navy-strength rum, aptly named a True Taste of Cornwall, stands out with an ABV of 57%.

In addition to their impressive gin and rum offerings, Rock Distillery is branching out into new ventures. They have recently introduced Single Malt Whiskey, Apple Brandy, and a range of exquisite liqueurs to their portfolio. Among them, the Lemongino, made with whole lemons, is an unbelievable concoction that provides the perfect post-meal indulgence.

The Peanut Whiskey Liqueur, paired with salted peanuts, offers a delightful combination of flavours. Additionally, the team are soon to launch Whiskey Sour and Whiskey Warmer liqueurs, catering to those seeking a naturally sweetened libation with an ABV of 22%. With every new endeavour, Rock Distillery continues to evolve and captivate the senses, showcasing a passion for innovation and commitment to crafting exceptional spirits.

All of the distinctive gins at Cornish Rock are based on their original London Dry, setting a high standard for the rest of the creations. The process involves an exacting procedure – their White Espresso Coffee Rum is distilled a total of five times, ensuring that its purity and flavour are unparalleled. The Bonanza Boy still plays a huge part in the creation of the Cornish Rock Gin stable of spirits. It’s an illustrious piece of equipment and stands as a symbol of victory, both the horse and the still embodying the essence of success. It’s no surprise, then, that the gin shares in this winning spirit.

Innovation at Cornish Rock Gin is deeply rooted in the Cornish landscape. A selection of botanicals, such as lemon verbena and Cornish saffron, are sourced from the Roseland Peninsula, while rosemary and mint are harvested from Cornish Rock Gin’s very own garden, infusing each bottle with a sense of place and a touch of local allure. Through this technical process of infusion, flavours are meticulously compounded, resulting in a harmonious fusion of botanicals that are unique and tantalising. This commitment to local authenticity also extends to the water used in the distilling process. Sourced locally, the Cornish spring water lends a softness to their products, ensuring a pure and light finish that is truly distinctive. Other exciting ingredients elevate their spirits from good to great; The Pink Rock Gin, for example, is distinguished by its use of pink Champagne from Hautvillers, the only pink gin of its kind to do so, offering a rare and exquisitely dry experience, setting it apart as a jewel in the collection.

All of the spirits lend themselves perfectly to creating delicious cocktails. The Dark Spiced Pineapple Rum mixes well with a good quality ginger beer to be enjoyed as a Cornish take on a classic Dark and Stormy. Or why not mix Cherry Kiss Rock Gin with a good splash of tonic water for a classic cherry coctail? In keeping with the fruity flavours, Tropics Mango and Passionfruit Rum elevates a Porn Star Martini to new heights. 

As well as being available to order online, Cornish Rock Gin’s storefronts are a reflection of their success and commitment to their community. The first shop in Tintagel, along with the Wadebridge Distillery and shop, opened in May 2023 followed by the Bude shop in June the same year. With their Padstow shop opening in February 2024, this stands as a testament to their expanding presence across north Cornwall. Though distillery tours aren’t currently available, visitors can still witness the magic of the distillery in action, observing the meticulous processes that are carried out daily. Witness the art of infusing the gin, and the precise hand-labelling and batch numbering that goes into every bottle.

The ethos at Cornish Rock Gin is possibly best encapsulated in their commitment to using only natural ingredients. A resolute dedication to avoiding artificial ingredients and syrups makes their gin and liqueurs not only unique but a cut above the rest. For example, the Caribbean rum base, coupled with the exclusive use of natural products, elevates the drink to an exceptional level of quality. There is no doubt that Cornish Rock Gin spirits stand out distinctly within the industry.

The Rock Distillery story continues to develop, with Angie and George pioneering new and inventive flavours. While Blue is sadly no longer with them, Blue Too now accompanies Angie and George on their beach strolls as they dream up new and delicious rums and gins to add to the incredible Cornish Rock Gin selection.


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