Blood Brothers –
Not to be confused with the Thom(p)son Twins of Tintin fame, the lookalike Thompson brothers behind the St Ives Liquor Co. actually number three in total, and rather than sleuthing after international crooks they spend their time hunting for the Cornish botanicals which help give their acclaimed trio distinctive flavours.
And although the Peaky Blinder Spiced Gin reviewed last week leans to the other side of the law, we again got our first clue as to the St Ives “MO” on an outing to Bovey Tracey Town Hall. As you’ll see in our photo our hosts at the Dartmoor Whisky Distillery lined up all three varieties on the bar for us to choose from, with my first selection being the Blood Orange.
The Thompson brothers’ dry gin boasts a baker’s dozen of botanicals – including rosehips, blossom and some commonly used spices; while they have also chosen to harvest Safflower: an herbaceous thistle-like plant. This was apparently grown in the early Spanish colonies as a substitute for Saffron, so has the potential to punch above its weight.
In my opinion the orange flavour is nowhere near as strong as with the Aber Falls Marmalade Gin we reviewed early on in this blog, but the flavour is very pleasant and definitely offers a citrus bouquet. This was aided by what Greg behind the bar at the Town Hall calls his five a day: with juniper berries joining the pink grapefruit and other wedges in their elegant glasses.
Safflower was apparently grown in the early Spanish colonies as a substitute for Saffron, so has the potential to punch above its weight
Compared to the gins themselves, sadly, the St Ives Liquor Co website is a bit lightweight, with more to say about the branded clothing and cuisine on offer in its restaurant than concerning the gins themselves. The family links continue, however, with gift boxes produced in the father’s own workshop, while you can also find a list of stockists: I think most gin lovers will consider sourcing a bottle well worth the investment.