Muddy Meets: Sarah, Sarah and Stevie, Penzance Gin
Ever thought you'd like to try distilling your own gin? Friends Sarah, Sarah and Stevie did just that - we had to find out why, how easy it is, and the best things to do in Penzance.
We all love a gin but what prompted you all to start making it?
A hankering to work with friends and to start a new adventure. A long winter and hilarious Wednesday nights at our local pub quiz drinking gin and tonic and the seed was sown. The months that followed flew by with blind taste testing and more laughter. Working with the Penzance Gin team is good for the soul!
Did you have any gin making experience already (or other spirits?)
No, only drinking it!!
Talk us through the flavour profile?
Penzance Gin has a smooth, earthy flavour with an exquisite aftertaste. There is a hint of citrus that runs alongside this amber nectar. It has just the right number of botanicals to give it a unique flavour and depth all of its own.
What should it be drunk with?
Keep it simple! A plain tonic or soda water. Just over ice. Perhaps add a slice of orange. Sarah FL likes to freeze her orange slices first so no need to use ice or to have her drink watered down too much!
What keeps you busy when you’re not distilling?
Sarah Fowles Laity runs a two bedroom holiday house called Ocean Colour Blue which is in the village where we all live, Gulval Churchtown. The views are spectacular from the balcony, looking across to St Michaels Mount. We often use it for our gin sunset photoshoots.
Stevie McCrindle’s other passion is painting. She loves interpreting Gyotaku, which is the ancient Japanese fish printing technique, into modern contemporary art and designs from the seas off Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.
Sarah Shaw runs The Cornish Hen Deli in the middle of Penzance. It is a teeny tiny deli, selling the best of Cornish produce with a healthy dose of Spanish and Italian as well. All the food is handmade on the premises, pasties, tarts, cakes and much, much more…oh and it definitely sells Penzance Gin!
So who does what – do you split out tasks?
We all like to do a bit of everything. We tend to work in twos and just naturally move round so we have a turn at all the tasks. Stevie likes the sales best, chatting up the customers is certainly her speciality. Stevie is brilliant at the markets. Sarah FL is our quality control, nothing gets past her. Sarah’s husband Treve, is our chief taster. A hard job but someone’s got to do it! Sarah S likes the measuring and weighing and then the filtering and filling best! We’re pretty sure most of it goes in the bottles!
Do you spend a lot of time drinking other gins for inspo?
When we were developing the flavour of Penzance Gin we blind taste tested as many as we could get our hands on. It’s amazing how different things taste blindfold.
Now we tend to try and taste any new comer onto the market to see how ours matches up. We like to think that our gin has its own unique taste. A gin that stands up for itself.
We are very proud that Cornwall has managed to produce so many fine Artisan Gins and we definitely count ourselves within that.
Do you have any plans to branch out into other spirits or different gins?
We are currently having so much fun with Penzance Gin, we want to give that our undivided attention. We are all busy people with other businesses so right now it wouldn’t seem the right thing to do. But then if there’s another cold winter and we’re back in the pub, you never know.
Tell us more about the art on the front?
Our inspiration for this Gin is taken from The Art Deco Period when both this style of gin and Penzance’s own Jubilee Pool were created. It seemed too good a gift not to link Penzance Gin and The Jubilee Pool together for ever. We love that we even managed to get St Michaels Mount and The Scillonion on the label as well.
Can we (in non covid lock down) drink it in a bar anywhere?
Yes – and quite the choice!
- Gurnards Head, Zennor
- The Juniper Club, Falmouth
- The Coldstreamer Inn, Gulval Churchtown, where it all began
- The Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn
- The Turks Head, Penzance
- Scarlet Wines, Hayle
- Little Bo Café, Sennen
- Hotel Penzance
- Mermaid Alley, Penzance
- The Dolphin Tavern, Penzance
- Blacks, Penzance
- Swordfish, Newlyn
- Farmers Arms, Penzance
- The Lugger, Penzance
- Bosun’s Locker, Penzance
- The Tinners Arms, Zennor
- The Shore, Penzance
- The Front Room, Penzance
- The Dock Inn, Penzance
- King William, Madron
- The Longboat, Penzance
- Jubilee Pool, Penzance
We ask everyone this as we all like discovering new places – what’s your favourite beach?
Sarah FL’s not really a beach person. Find her at The Jubilee Pool and a Penzance Gin and tonic while sunbathing. Stevie likes Green Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly, meanwhile Sarah S favours Gwenver, traditionally a locals secret beach but the internet put paid to that!
What about a favourite view?
Sarah FL says the view from her window overlooking green fields and onto St Michaels Mount, taking in most of the beautiful Mounts Bay. Stevie reckons overlooking Porthcurno Beach from Logan’s Rock at Treen and Sarah S votes for Lamorna Cove, as you turn the last corner and the cove comes into view. Surely the best view in the world.
What does your best Penzance day involve? What do you do/eat etc?
After much discussion we all love Penzance Mazey Day and Quay Fair Day. The whole town turns out for it, the sun nearly always shines and the children all parade through the streets with their schools, holding up gigantic models and puppets they have made. Everyone is always is such a good mood. The evening before you go out and see friends, bumping into people you haven’t seen since last Mazey eve. On the day itself there are stalls throughout the town selling arts, craft, clothing, lots of food stalls. The crepes are always a favourite with us all. The pubs all spill out onto the street. It’s just the best weekend. Stevie particularly loves Quay Fair Day. A slightly quieter day to promanade on the lovely Penzance Prom! We always love a coffee at The Jubilee Pool Café on Quay Fair Day.
Anything else to add?
We didn’t know quite what to expect on our gin journey. There have of course been ups and downs. It’s mostly laughter though. Quite often giggling, perhaps verging on the hysterical laughter. But any laughter is good for soul. We have loved the journey so far and can’t wait to continue with it to see where it takes us.
Don’t forget to head over to our Reader Treat page where you can win a bottle of Penzance Gin!