Cream or jam?
This is a long running conundrum between us Devonians and our Cornish neighbours – cream first, or jam on your scones? One that will never be settled, though The Wrecking Coast Clotted Cream gin we purchased recently very much suggests it’s the cream first, with the distillers recommending popping pieces of the fruit in the glass with the neat spirit … Okay, you win Cornwall.
In fact we tried it first as a traditional G&T – with Indian – and the result was not that special: a bit watery and slightly too sweet to our palates. Which is why when we had a friend come round early one warm evening, we all had a double measure of just the chilled spirit and were dazzled by the rich spiciness. It tasted like a different gin altogether, and one which might work well as an after dinner tipple, instead of a more traditional liqueur.
The 44% ABV spirit has the softness of the cream, which has been introduced by cold distillation under vacuum, along with a dozen botanicals. Not surprisingly, Vanilla is one of them, as is Angelica root.
The spiciness comes from the Coriander and Aniseed seeds, the zingyness from Cinnamon, while Lemon Peel, Cassia Bark, Chamomile flowers and Orris Root complete the recipe. Together they offer the drinker juniper and lemon on the lips, with floral hints and Vanilla underlying the warm spicy notes. And without a mixer, that dairy based finish works surprisingly well.
How on earth that lovely creamy after taste is achieved I don’t know; perhaps a bit of the Tintagel magic, which is where on the peninsula it is made. Meanwhile, other people’s views are as contradictory as the cross county jam and cream supremacy debate. Here’s just a few:
“I want MORE!”
“A Cornish Cream Tea gin.”
“Tastes more of a garden than clotted cream. Not a fan. Will stick with glittery unicorn.”
Tried this at The London Gin Club and it was my fave!
Yuk! Oily and cloying….
At around £36 a bottle, Clotted Cream gin can be purchased direct from The Wrecking Coast Distillery, and even Amazon, while we grabbed ours from Jaded Palates in Ashburton – a lovely independent retailer who delivers across the UK. It also sells some of the other gins we have reviewed, such as Black Dog and Papillon.
I learnt recently that Prince Charles’ Duchy is to start producing a hand-crafted gin, but commercial rivalry didn’t stop Camilla accepting a bottle of Wrecking Coast while on their visit to Cornwall last week. More use than another bunch of bloody flowers!