Padstow Mermaid Gin
Like all good ideas, it started over a drink…
The lovely Polly is standing in for the equally lovely Kate whilst she’s on maternity leave. When Polly brought her beer loving husband into our little wine shop for an anniversary drink, none of us could have anticipated that it would lead to new product idea.
A dedicated “man of the hops and barley”, I think Vinnie was quietly taking the mickey out of us wine lovers and our sometimes esoteric tasting notes. We had served him a wine that we described as having a delicious saline note to the finish. With a wry grin he remarked that it was “like the flick of a mermaid’s tail”. I knew immediately that we just had to do something with that phrase. Fast forward to our own anniversary and Mary and I visited the Gin School at Salcombe Distillery to make our own personalised gin. There could be only one inspiration for the recipe. What started as a bit of fun took on a more serious note when we tasted the finished product and a new BinTwo product idea was born.
Padstow Mermaid Gin
The legend of the Padstow Mermaid…
Sir John Betjeman wrote that the mermaid met a local man at Hawker’s Cove and fell in love. Unable to bear living without him, she tried to lure him beneath the waves. In desperation, he shot her to escape a watery grave. In her death throes, the vengeful mermaid cursed Padstow throwing a handful of sand towards the town. The Doom Bar sandbank grew and over 600 vessels have since been wrecked on her sands.
There are other versions of the legend… none end well for the mermaid.
In making Padstow Mermaid gin, we looked to the legend (and to Vinnie*) for inspiration. At gin school, we developed a fusion of fifteen botanicals offering a fresh citrus kick and a delicious saline finish. Careful use of Cornish seaweed and samphire from Padstow Kitchen Garden bring just a hint of the sea. You might almost say it’s like the flick of a mermaid’s tail.
We like to serve ours with one part gin to two parts tonic poured over plenty of ice with a slice of fresh lemon (or even preserved lemon if you’re feeling frisky), dried sea spaghetti from the Cornish Seaweed Company and a tiny pinch of Cornish Sea Salt.
Keen for our gin to be of Padstow origin but owning no still of our own, we found a Master Distiller who would come to us. The copper still “Prosperity” travels on the back of “Ginny” a 1973 VW camper. Together they are known as “Still on the Move”.
Padstow Mermaid Gin will be hand-crafted in batches of just 140 bottles. Created by us, with an awful lot of help from some friends.
*Polly would like us to make clear that Vinnie is *not* a legend…
Price per case (up to 12 bottles)
England and Wales £14
Scotland and Northern Ireland £20
Free delivery in Cornwall for orders over £80
Free delivery in England and Wales for case price over £250