Lost Garden's Pineapple Rum Punch
Spirit yourself away to an exotic enclave on Cornwall's south coast, where a once-forgotten garden is illuminated by much more than just moonlight.
Putting the partnership between Trevethan's distillers and The Lost Garden of Heligan's growers centre stage, we invite you to experience Lost Garden Rum. A Cornish spirit with a tropical yet sustainable twist, using Heligan's painstakingly propagated Cornish pineapples.
From an original batch of 120 bottles, just 12 of this remarkable rum remain. And we’re lucky enough to have this delicious dozen behind the bar in The Living Space at Watergate Bay.
Pining for pineapples
Along with turtle soup, architectural jellies and roasted swans, pineapples were considered a valuable delicacy in the Victorian era.
By far the most prestigious fruit in the bowl, devilishly hard to grow and rarer than the dodos that would soon meet their demise, pineapples became synonymous with status and style.
The upper echelons of society would fork out considerable sums to build these exotic pits on their grounds, giving them free rein to produce their very own pineapples at eye-watering expense.
Door to the past
In 1990, Sir Tim Smit and John Willis, a descendant of the Tremayne family who created the magnificent Heligan estate, prised open a long-forgotten door to the gardens. In doing so, they’d rewrite the future of Heligan – and its pineapple pits.
Nature had taken over Heligan's grounds when the First World War called its gardeners away to fight. After being buried in Heligan's walled garden for decades, the pineapple pits were sympathetically restored to their former 1800s glory.
"The restoration was never about bricks and mortar," Sir Tim said. "It was about respect for tradition and the actual products of horticulture."
Defying the odds
Heligan now enjoys what's believed to be the only remaining pineapple pit in the UK. It takes three whole trips around the sun to see the fruits of this particular labour. A colossal amount of time, effort, patience and manure is estimated to push each pineapple’s worth to several hundred pounds – although a figure of £10,000 was bandied around the press at one point, after one of Heligan’s team was misquoted.
On harvesting the first batch, Heligan's chief pineapple grower Dina Gallick admitted, “After years of hard work, it was almost sad to crop the fruit. However, we take the crown and replant it to let the pineapple live on to another harvest.”
With such a princely crop on its hands, it was only fitting that the team try to create something exceptional with it. Cue Trevethan’s distillers.
Lost Garden Rum
Together with the Trevethan team, Heligan set about devising a tropical drink that could capture the spirit of the gardens. Infusing it with heritage garden flavours and, of course, the all-important Heligan pineapples.
John Hall, Trevethan's head distiller, is pleased as punch with his flavour alchemy. “The key to this process was to create a rum that would marry perfectly with the subtle flavours of the Heligan Black Bee Honey and pineapples, while staying true to traditional methods,” he explains.
Meticulously mixed and gently mulled, our warming rum punch not only brings out Heligan rum's honeyed flavours, but also makes for the perfect post-cliff walk, sea-swim or Cornish squall settler.
It may also fire enough curiosity for you to set out and explore what Heligan has in store after the sun goes down.
Tasting notes: what to expect from our Lost Garden Pineapple Rum Punch
Embrace warming notes of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, paired with a clean white wine and pineapple finish.