Gin­gle all the way

For­get socks and per­fume - Sal­combe Gin is a gift with a twin­kle in its eye, writes Or­lando Mur­rin

Devon Life - - Promotion -

Devon is lucky enough to have on its doorstep one of the most ex­cit­ing gin pro­duc­ers in the world, which in two short years has rock­eted to in­ter­na­tional ac­claim. Part of the charm of Sal­combe Gin is the story be­hind it: two lo­cal sail­ing in­struc­tors, An­gus Lugs­din and Howard Davies, who 20 years ago had a dream. “We wanted to pro­duce the finest white spirit in the world, and do it right here in Sal­combe.”

And so the Sal­combe Dis­till­ing Co. was born. Based on Is­land Street, in the tra­di­tional boat­build­ing area of Sal­combe, the dis­tillery has rapidly be­come a des­ti­na­tion for gin en­thu­si­asts from all over the UK – and in­deed the world. In pride of place is Prov­i­dent, a 450ml be­spoke cop­per still named af­ter a Brix­ham sail­ing trawler, stand­ing proud be­hind glass doors. This is where each and ev­ery batch of Sal­combe Gin is dis­tilled. Prov­i­dent is ad­ja­cent to the Tast­ing Bar and vies for ad­mi­ra­tion with mar­vel­lous coastal views.

Tra­di­tional Christ­mas fare has in the past tended to­wards the heavy and sweet - think port and brandy - but tastes have changed, and now many peo­ple pre­fer brighter, lighter spir­its with a bit more up­lift.

Sal­combe’s flag­ship gin is ‘Start Point’ (44% ABV, £40 per 70cl bot­tle). It is el­e­gantly smooth and ver­sa­tile and “har­bours dis­tinct notes of red grape­fruit, along with the heady, earthy pine notes of Mace­do­nian ju­niper”. Au­tumn saw the launch of ‘Mis­chief’ (46% ABV, £65), a col­lab­o­ra­tion with restau­ra­teur Mark Hix MBE as part of Sal­combe’s Voy­ager Se­ries hav­ing re­leased ‘Ara­bella’ a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Michael Caines MBE in the sum­mer. These Spe­cial Edi­tion gins are lim­ited to 1200 bot­tles per re­lease and re­flect each chef’s culi­nary style and per­son­al­ity. An even more lux­u­ri­ous gift idea is the Fin­is­terre gift set (£95), which com­prises of a bot­tle of cask-aged ‘Fin­is­terre’ (46% ABV) and a bot­tle of 12-year-old Fino sherry, aged in the same cask from Bode­gas Tradi­ción in Jerez.

‘We had a dream - to pro­duce the finest white spirit in the world, right here in Sal­combe’

Or per­haps you may pre­fer to make your own! Gin en­thu­si­asts are in­vited to spend half a day in the R&D Lab­o­ra­tory learn­ing about dis­til­la­tion, and take charge of their own mini-still to cre­ate their own unique 70cl bot­tle of gin to take home (from £100). Af­ter a re­fresh­ing visit to the Tast­ing Bar, browse in the Vict­uallers Shop where you will find Sal­combe Gin’s beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of cu­rated gin prod­ucts and gifts. You can also or­der on­line (sal­combe­gin.com) and find Sal­combe Gin at Ex­eter’s vi­brant Christ­mas Mar­ket on Cathe­dral Green (15 - 16 Dec).

IN AS­SO­CI­A­TION WITH

BEST DEVON SUN­DAY ROAST

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BEST DRINKS PROD­UCT OF THE YEAR

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BEST FOOD PROD­UCT OF THE YEAR

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BEST LO­CAL PRO­DUCER OF THE YEAR FOR­EST FUNGI, JACKA BAK­ERY, TAW RIVER DAIRY,

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BEST TEA / COF­FEE SHOP OF THE YEAR COF­FEE CABIN, LYNMOUTH BAY CAFÉ, THE KIND GRIND,

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CHEF OF THE YEAR

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CUS­TOMER SER­VICE AWARD

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THE DU­RANT ARMS, THE FIVE BELLS, TOM COBLEY TAV­ERN,

Ash­pring­ton Cul­lomp­ton Sprey­ton

EXE VAL­LEY BREW­ERY, SAND­FORD OR­CHARDS, VOY­AGER COF­FEE,

ASH HAMIL­TON, DONNA BERRY, NI­CHOLAS HACK,

Sil­ver­ton Cred­i­ton Buck­fastleigh

BON GOUT DEL­I­CATESSEN, COUNTRYWOODSMOKE HIGHER HACKNELL OR­GANIC FARM,

CUS­TOM HOUSE, HELE CORN MILL & TEA ROOM, JUST LIKE MUMMA’S,

Barn­sta­ple Ex­eter Dawlish War­ren Ply­mouth Oke­hamp­ton Ap­ple­dore Lynmouth Torquay Um­ber­leigh The Cu­ri­ous Kitchen, Brix­ham The Swan, Bamp­ton The Cadleigh Arms, Tiver­ton Ply­mouth Hele

FAM­ILY DIN­ING AWARD

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HO­TEL RESTAU­RANT OF THE YEAR

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IN­DE­PEN­DENT RE­TAILER OF THE YEAR

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NEW­COMER OF THE YEAR

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PUB OF THE YEAR

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RESTAU­RANT OF THE YEAR

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2018 DEVON LIFE FOOD & DRINK HERO

DARTS FARM, FREM­ING­TON QUAY CAFÉ, THE KITCHEN @ THE DON­KEY SANC­TU­ARY,

Topsham

HO­TEL ENDSLEIGH, SAL­COMBE HAR­BOUR HO­TEL THE COACH HOUSE TWO BRIDGES HO­TEL,

River Exe Café, Ex­mouth Rusty Pig, Ot­tery St Mary The Sea­horse, Dart­mouth Barn­sta­ple Mil­ton Ab­bot Sid­mouth

by Michael Caines @ Ken­tis­bury Grange Dart­moor Johns of In­stow, Ap­ple­dore The Game Larder, Yelver­ton Vey­seys Butch­ers, Cul­lomp­ton Café 3 Sixty, Bovey Tracey Pe­ter Mundy @ The Gin­ger Peanut, Bamp­ton The Cup­cak­ery, Barn­sta­ple The Bear & Black­smith, Chilling­ton The Cadeleigh Arms, Cadeleigh Three Crowns Inn, Chag­ford To be an­nounced on the night

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