A unique bespoke gin distilled with cloudy apple juice has been created for chef Tom Brown’s new London restaurant, Cornerstone.
The Wrecking Coast Distillery in Cornwall worked with the chef to develop the juniper-forward Cornerstone Rare Cornish Gin for his new 46-cover restaurant in Hackney Wick.
The botanicals include coriander, fresh Seville orange, Sicilian lemon, lime and pink grapefruit peel, balanced with hedgerow rosehip and rowan berry from Cornwall.
To add an extra layer of flavour, it is distilled with cloudy apple juice from Penzance-based Polgoon Vineyard & Orchard. The spirit is diluted with Cornish spring water and rested for at least 30 days before being bottled at 45% ABV.
Opened this month and named after Tom’s favourite Arctic Monkeys track, Cornerstone is the debut restaurant from the protégé of leading chef Nathan Outlaw. It offers a flexible and regularly changing menu dependent on what ingredients are available, ensuring only the best of British produce is used.
The drinks include cocktails such as One For The Road, made with Dewar’s 12 Year Old scotch, blood oranges, red vermouth and cherry, and Fireside, combining QuiQuiRiQui Mezcal with a vine leaf syrup, egg whites and lemon.
The Wrecking Coast Distillery in Tintagel is best known for The Wrecking Coast Cornish Clotted Cream Gin which is made by blending gin with a distillate made from neutral spirit and fresh clotted cream.
Tom, who is originally from Cornwall, worked at Rick Stein’s Fish in Falmouth and at Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock before moving to London for Nathan’s restaurant at The Capital hotel in Knightsbridge.
Looking for a unique gin that would match his approach to ingredients and flavours at Cornerstone, he turned to The Wrecking Coast Distillery. Its head distiller and partner, Avian Sandercock, said: “After meeting Tom and getting to know his approach to produce and ingredients it helped us focus on the type of flavour that would work for him.
“Fresh fish and seafood featuring predominantly on the menu provided a direction but we had to balance that with the seasonal meats and vegetables too.
“Following some taste testing the target was to deliver fruity freshness and bountiful harvest flavours, but it needed to have a layered taste profile to really hit the spot.
“As it’s a gin you have to start with a juniper-forward approach, which is then accompanied by generous coriander notes. We take a strong citrus route using fresh Seville orange, Sicilian lemon, lime and pink grapefruit peel and balance with hedgerow rosehip and rowan berry providing a true taste of Cornwall.
“It was working well but that didn’t quite bring the fruity freshness and bountiful harvest flavours we were after.”
Avian’s business partner, Craig Penn, adds: “It needed a rethink and an approach that was outside of the norm. Gins are usually distilled with varying qualities of water but we decided on trialling a different approach.
“Instead of water we ran Polgoon orchard’s best cloudy apple juice in the still to deliver autumnal apple brightness to the back of the palate and a hint of sweetness in the finish.
“It worked – totally hit the spot by providing the layered taste profile we were looking for while delivering a unique gin that Tom was after.”