What made you decide to create Caspyn Gin?
Having worked in hospitality for over a decade I was constantly surrounded by booze. It took a while but eventually I started to separate the good stuff from the bad; the quality beer and spirits from the poor. Once I started appreciating alcohol for what it was, one thing lead to another. From brewing beer in the kitchen, to making infusions, to eventually getting a little copper pot still and making gin.
My brother, Dale, has been and continues to be a huge inspiration. He's one of those cocktails boys and is at the top of his game. Whenever we're together it's an introduction of new spirits, flavours and ideas.
What is the story behind the Caspyn Gin name?
Ha! You had to go ask that didn't you!? It was a bit of a comedy of errors really. I had originally planned to call it something else but during the setup of the distillery the name wore thin. Near to where I live in Cornwall is a beautiful stone circle which I always thought was called Caspyn. I loved the name and it had been on the back burner but when push came to shove to decide I thought I'd better do a bit of research before committing.
Strangely I couldn't find anything on Google so I thought I'd head down to the stone circle to see if I could get any more info and just be a bit of a hippy and chill out with the stones and get a feel for the place. On arrival I was shocked that, firstly I'd got the spelling wrong! Caspn. Ok not the end of the world, then, ah crap! CASPN wasn't the name of the circle it was an acronym for Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network! I'd got the name wrong, the spelling wrong, but the name for the gin stuck!
The stone circle is called The 19 Merry Maidens. It's gorgeous. If you're ever in the area head on down there.
What's the distillery like and can you tell us about the distillation process?
The distillery is only small. Everything is centered around the stills; our two beautiful, handcrafted copper pot stills. The process is hands on. Nothing is automated and everything is done by taste and smell. I like it this way, it's a throw back to a centuries old tradition of distilling, the way it's always been done. Heads and tails are done by taste and smell, the gin is then rested and is only bottled after another taste test.
What's a normal day at the distillery like for you?
I wish I could say it was making gin and foraging for ingredients. Well that is a part of it, the exciting and enjoyable part. There is a lot of admin work that needs done as well as bottling, packaging, delivering. Not the most exciting stuff but it's still so rewarding creating a final product and getting it out there.
How would you describe Caspyn Gin in 3 words?
Refreshing, invigorating, captivating.
What makes Caspyn Gin different?
In the gin I have tried to capture the Cornish spring in a bottle. Not only by using fresh and local ingredients but also by using those flavours that remind me of my childhood. That excitement of Spring, when the mornings are crisp and fresh and the winter is fading. New flavours are coming into season, new smells fill the garden.
The Cornish Summer Cup is an embrace of summer. Each batch is slightly different as we are dictated by the local produce that is available to us. Think strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, foraged whortle berries and blackberries, all go into an infused gin which is then mixed with Polgoon Vineyards raspberry juice and fortified wine. A delicious take on the traditional British cup.
What's your favourite way to serve Caspyn Gin?
Negroni has been top of this list for a long time but the Marmalade cocktail is rapidly gaining pace!
What are your favourite gins (other than your own of course!)?
I had a Salcombe Gin the other day. That was incredible! Otherwise Brooklyn Gin, Herno Gin, Rock Rose Gin.
What's next / any exciting plans?
We've got an absinthe coming out shortly, using Cornish wormwood! Plus a few other bits and bobs up our sleeves. Some distillery exclusives and experimental distillates are definitely on the cards!