The stunning coastal town of Salcombe, South Devon, in addition to being our home, is a brand in its own right with a rich maritime history which has provided the inspiration for our gin recipe. Famed for its crystal clear waters, sailors, crabbing industry, second home owners and visitors who appreciate the finer things in life, Salcombe provides the perfect backdrop for our distillery.
Based on the site of a boat repair workshop belonging to the Island Cruising Club (ICC), whom Angus and Howard taught sailing for, we have built a purpose built waterside distillery. In a beautiful spot that backs onto the creek, visitors are able to enjoy the freshest Gin & Tonic in Devon, whilst watching the world go by on the balcony overlooking the water.
An integral part of our spirit and a little known but important part of Britain’s maritime history, the Salcombe Fruiters were responsible for importing over eighty percent of fresh citrus fruits to England during the 19th Century. Serving the great ports of London, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull and Southampton, these fast sailing vessels imported fresh oranges from the Azores and Spain, lemons from Sicily and Italy, pineapples and shaddocks (pomelos) from the Bahamas and spices from Barbados, Nevis, Sri Lanka and further afield.
These copper bottomed Salcombe Fruiters, all of which were built in Salcombe and the neighbouring town of Kingsbridge and crewed by local men, were at the time the fastest cargo carrying sailing vessels in England. They possessed the optimum cargo-carrying capacity so that the fruit neither spoiled in transit nor glutted the market on arrival – the perfect balance between supply and demand.
Working with local historians we have traced their old trading routes and are sourcing the finest citrus fruits and spices from some of the same routes in our gin, bringing this fantastic little piece of history back to life, capturing the spirit of their global adventures in our gin.