One 23 year-old, a classically trained chef from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, somehow finds himself sat behind a grey desk in the city of London. He quickly realises this environment is at odds to what really makes him tick and he serves his notice. He starts to scheme. One idea surfaces, then another, then more. Each building in ambition and each driven by the same guiding principle - the passion to create.
He hones his thinking. One idea takes a hold and quickly becomes an all-encompassing vision. Tarquin, supported by the business acumen and drive of his sister Athene, sets his sights on establishing the first Cornish distillery for over 100 years. Armed with a 0.7 ltr copper pot still, a suitcase stuffed with botanicals weird and wonderful, and a prized surfboard, Tarquin makes his return to the West Country.
He starts with a completely blank canvas. He’s never distilled anything before in his life and so his first task is to begin self-teaching. He starts to collate and consume as much knowledge about distilling as he can lay his hands on. He becomes fixated with experimentation - making individual distillates of any and every botanical he can find. From the traditional to the bizarre. From the foraged to the foreign. Over time he builds an extensive library of flavours, each offering a different profile to the last. Many work. Many don’t. It’s all part of the process - trial and error.
Then comes the time to build, to blend, to balance and to sample. Over 100 different trial gin batches are developed. He plays around with combinations and proportions, tweaking ideas and tastes as he goes. They’re all rated, ranked and refined. A lot of gin is drunk. A lot of smiles had. Some grimaces. Some headaches. But then he hits upon the winner. From his bounty of botanicals, 12 are finally selected – a concoction of roots, spices, nuts, seeds, fruits and flowers sourced from the far corners of the world as well as from his back garden. The precise recipe is finalized and safely documented. It’s then put under lock and key and told to no one else. Tarquin’s gin is ready – now to time to start sharing it with the world.