Built in the 1930s as a haven for swimmers to enjoy the ocean safe from the full brunt of the Atlantic, the sea pool is a popular year-round spot, topped up twice daily by the tide. In winter its sea-green waters welcome the hardy and the brave, who are rewarded with the invigorating afterglow a bracing dip brings.
“It really is special,” explains Tom Ready, chief distiller at the Bude-based Cornish Distilling Co. “It’s a treasured place for all the locals and families here. I was brought up swimming and playing in the sea pool. Bude wouldn’t be Bude without it.”
This palpable love and unique colour, reminiscent of the world’s favourite Marrs Green, felt worthy of celebration. And so it became the leaping off point for our sixth drink of Christmas, The Jack Frost.
Tom Read, master distiller at Morvenna rum
For Tom, it’s an ideal pairing. “Morvenna’s white rum really lends itself to cocktails, and works particularly well with exotic flavours,” he explains. “With a white rum there’s no added spices, so the character all comes from the fermentation process, tiny tweaks of temperature, yeast culture, and PH level. The end product is a perfectly balanced spirit with a unique character – a rum in its purest sense. This makes it an ideal building block for other flavours.”
“We’re proud of being a Cornish rum, for contemporary Cornwall, distilled here on Cornish soil,” says Tom – explaining that the company hopes to really give a name to genuine Cornish rum, starting with its Morvenna white and growing into its aged product, currently laid down in barrels on site. “Climate plays a huge part in rum making, and the flavour of an aged rum will take on the character of the place it was made. For us, fermenting and distilling here in Cornwall, the exciting thing will be seeing how our climate infuses into the flavour of our aged rum. But we’re a few years off that yet.”
So while we wait, what of the white rum heroed in The Jack Frost? How does that shout out Cornwall? “I think it’s in the craft,” says Tom. “Our passion for where we live and our attention to detail really plays out in the way we treat our product. It’s a spirit straight off the still so there’s nowhere to hide. That’s important for us because we can show how every little element of our considered process informs the final flavour. This summer I tweaked the recipe a little to make it even better – we’re constantly thinking about how we can improve to make our rums the very best they can be, for how people want to drink them.”
…Including coconut and pineapple. “It’s such a classic flavour combination,” says Tom. “Rum’s heritage and tropical connotations are something our palates are all familiar with and are naturally drawn to. Coconut and pineapple are joyful, exuberant flavours – great in the grip of winter, when we’re daydreaming of sunnier shores.”
Tasting notes: what to expect from our Jack Frost
Zingy pineapple, mellow coconut and a hint of bitter citrus, paired with the clean, fresh bite of Morvenna white rum. Toasted coconut adds a warming winter crunch.
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.”
Watergate Bay’s far north end promises rich rewards for those who make the mile trek.
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