Saint Ives Liquor Co.
Like most good ideas, the seeds of St Ives Liquor Co. were sewn around a kitchen table. In 2016, the three Thompson brothers, Tim, Greg and Bertie set to work on a plan; to create a liquor company that would capture the spirit of St Ives and marry it with flavour and quality.
The first creation to hit the shelves of bars, restaurants and specialist stores was the brothers’ St Ives Original Gin. Using a cold-compound gin making process, the boys meticulously infuse 13 different botanicals with a blend of fresh herbs, such as basil and coriander, alongside locally-foraged ingredients including vanilla-scented gorse buds and briney bladderwrack seaweed from Cornish coves. A traditional London Dry this is not. Think vibrant, complex and fragrant – a world away from the gin Granny used to drink.
Carrying on from the success of their first spirit, St Ives Super Berry gin was next to hit glasses, greeted with enthusiasm from gin lovers far and wide. Its subtle balance of hibiscus, kaffir lime leaves and do-good berries, including strawberry, blackcurrant and the anti-oxidant rich, honey flavoured goji; makes for an altogether more interesting tipple, winning over berry and non-berry lovers alike.
The newest addition to the St Ives Liquor Co. stable is the punchy Blood Orange gin, with warming orange undertones and complex saffron flavours from infusions of ancient safflower blossom, creating a full-bodied, spicy and ultimately drinkable gin.
The boys’ love of flavour alchemy has been cultivated from decades of experience working in the food and drink industry. Together the whole Thompson family have earned their connoisseurs’ stripes, establishing the much-loved St Ives harbour-front bar and restaurant SILCO Searooms.
Working in harmony with the restaurant means if the boys can give their botanicals a second life, they will. So whether it’s the rind from squeezed blood oranges that become delicious cocktail garnishes, or zested lemons that become homemade lemonade served to parched customers on warm summer days, nothing’s thrown away. And if they can’t reuse it, then all organic waste is composted and put to work in the garden helping grow the next round of fresh botanicals.
This way of working has inspired the boys to create a new range of cellos, Limoncello and Pompelmocello. These liqueurs breathe new life in to the fruit zested in the gin making process, meaning less waste and more taste.
What’s more, you’ll never find any fake preservatives of additives in any of their bottles. Every flavour you taste comes from real botanicals that have been carefully infused, and real fruit juiced by hand.
Keep an eye out for the next chapter in St Ives Liquor Co.’s story.