Inspiring days out
With St Ives Blood Orange Gin setting the glass ablaze; rum infused with Heligan-grown pineapples; and a whisky distilled “in the shadow of St Michael’s Mount”, this year’s 12 Drinks of Christmas menu balances our favourite flavours with a broad geographical mix to inspire days out when you’re here.
Will you shop for antique treasures in Lostwithiel? Explore the illuminated sculptures of Heligan’s Night Garden? Glide around The Eden Project’s winter ice skating rink?
“So many of these cocktails just scream Christmas in Cornwall to me, and all the traditions that go with it,” says our mixologist, Meg Clark. “The twinkling lights, the markets – these recipes stir a sense of joyful nostalgia.”
From Aval Dor Cornish Vodka to Tamar Valley Apple & Rhubarb Cordial, the Duchy’s impressive spread of artisan producers is showcased in imaginative ways.
The menu is a mix of seasoned favourites with a Watergate Bay twist. Full of fresh ideas and playful details, it’s a testament to our drinks team’s experimental, curious approach.
Take the Padstow Black Forest Gateau. Made using a double-filtered ‘clarified milk punch’ cocktail technique, what starts as a cloudy, creamy concoction, transforms into a glass of transparent, ruby-red, cherry and chocolate-flavoured deliciousness – cocktail alchemy in action. “You get all the rich texture from the cream, but none of the heaviness,” explains Meg.
The list also represents the symbiotic relationship between the hotel’s food and drink teams. Executive chef Neil Haydock tells our mixologists which ingredients will be leftover, and suggests how to use them.
For example, the cinnamon apple crisps that garnish the Charlestown Santa’s Moonshine are actually kitchen leftovers from Zacry’s. “They peel tons of apples for desserts and have lots of skins we can use,” says Meg. “Little things like that help us to minimise waste and maximise flavour.”
Explore Cornwall with our 12 drinks of Christmas
1. Porthleven: Affogato Espresso Martini
"I love affogato, and I love martini – so I thought why not combine the two to create the ultimate espresso martini?"
2. The Eden Project: Mediterranean G&T
“Inspired by the scents of the Mediterranean biome at The Eden Project. Perfect for getting you in the mood for a spin around the Eden Project Christmas ice rink.”
3 Lost Gardens of Heligan: Pineapple Rum Punch
“Trevethan Gin released just 120 bottles a few years ago, and we’ve got our hands on the last few, so it’s a really unique opportunity for people to try this local delicacy.”
4. Lostwithiel: Chai White Russian
“This is a delicious drink to power you round Lostwithiel’s amazing antique shops for some last-minute Christmas shopping.”
5. Padstow: Black Forest Gateau
“Meg developed this deliciously indulgent recipe herself using a clarified milk punch technique, where a cloudy liquid comes out clear – it’s cocktail wizardry!”
6. Bude: Jack Frost
“A dash of Blue Curacao evokes the beautiful tones of the Bude sea pool on a cold December morning. This drink would be the perfect post-sea swim treat.”
7. Fowey: Figgy Pudding Martini
“Mixed with vanilla, vermouth and Tarquin’s Figgy Budding Gin, this is our take on the flavours of a classic Christmas dinner dessert.”
8. St Michael's Mount: Manhatten
“A Manhattan is one of those retro cocktails that still holds its own – but this one has a subtle change; a whiskey distilled in oak barrels by St Michael’s Mount here in Cornwall.”
9. Tamar Valley: Apple & Rhubarb Sour
“Country Cordials’ entire menu is incredible. Their award-winning natural fruit cordials are made in small batches in Cornwall’s Tamar Valley."
10. Tintagel: Porth
“Porth means port in Cornish. This isn’t port as you know it. It’s smoother, fruitier, easier to drink and more appealing to a wider range of palettes. We’re serving it with a wedge of Cornish cheese.”
11. Charlestown: Santa's Moonshine
“A short drink with a real kick – Cornish Moonshine is 50% alcohol! It feels like a fitting tipple to enjoy ahead of a trip to Charlestown’s atmospheric Georgian harbour.”
12. St Ives: Blood Orange and Cranberry Fizz
“Blood orange has just come into season too. All the oils from the orange peel garnish really add to the experience when you drink this. And orange as a scent is just Christmas distilled.”