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Spirited Away: The story behind our Jack Frost cocktail from Bude

Blending the inspiration of a refreshing sea pool dip with the evocative warmth of tropical flavours, our Cornish twist on a classic has a tale to tell…

Nestled up against the sheltering rocks of Summerleaze Beach, a wash of calm turquoise paints the sand. Miniature jade peaks crest and drop against a manmade wall, while navy shadows fall in still corners. Even in the height of winter, when the sun is bright and the air crisp with promise, the colourquake of Bude sea pool is hard to resist.

Bude tidal pool

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. 

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Even in the height of winter, when the sun is bright and the air crisp with promise, the colourquake of Bude sea pool is hard to resist.

Jack Frost cocktail

In pursuit of perfection

“We wanted to create a decadent treat that you might choose after the sort of exhilarating swim somewhere like the Bude sea pool offers,” explains Watergate Bay Hotel’s food and beverage manager, Christina Knight. “The cocktail uses the Cornish Distilling Co.’s Morvenna white rum as its base, matching its delicate clean flavour with coconut, toasted coconut and pineapple.” 

But the key was always going to be the colour. To capture that inviting sea pool hue, the team experimented with all sorts of measures. “It looked like a Slush Puppie at first,” laughs Meg Clark, Living Space manager and expert mixologist. “We knew we wanted something more sophisticated than that. Which is when we hit on the answer. An exact dash of citrussy Blue Curaçao and a splash of coconut milk, to make the perfect sea pool blue.”

Tom Read master distiller at Morvenna rum

Tom Read, master distiller at Morvenna rum

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.”

Founded in Bude in 2016, The Cornish Distilling Co. is one of the few companies in the UK to ferment, distil and bottle its rum from scratch.

Genuine Cornish

“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.”

It’s a spirit straight off the still so there’s nowhere to hide. That’s important for us because we can show our craft and care; how every little element informs the final flavour…

White rum

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.”

Flavour daydreams

…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.”

Bude Jack Frost

For Tom, it’s a drink that strikes the right balance between exotic daydreams and Cornwall at its best. “I’m Bude born and bred so a cocktail that celebrates the best of our community is a real treat,” he says. “What a wonderful way to follow a chilly dip – toasty coconut, invigorating pineapple and a clean, fresh, genuine Cornish white rum.”

Perhaps, Morvenna white rum was always destined for a sea pool-inspired libation? After all, the rum’s namesake is morvonen, the Cornish word for sea maiden, or mermaid. A spirit swimming with story and a cocktail full of colour. We think the sea folk would approve. 

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. 

To the shoreline (and then the bar)!

Explore Cornwall with our 12 drinks of Christmas

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