One of the extra surprises in our Members' Limited Edition Tarquin's Rosemary & Thyme Gin boxes was some very special Cornish Sea Salt. While it may not be the first gin accompaniment you might think of, trust us - once you #sealssalttherim of your cocktail glass (as in the recipe below), there'll be no going back!
A stone’s throw from the water’s edge, on the Atlantic coastline of Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, sits the salt house where this special condiment was created.
The idea for Cornish Sea Salt was born in 2004, when founder Tony Fraser came across fragments of the clay pots traditionally used by the Cornish people to boil seawater and make salt on the Lizard peninsula.
Cornish Sea Salt is harvested from within the pure waters of a protected marine zone. Fresh sea water is taken from the ocean and pioneering technology is used to carefully filter out all the impurities, leaving just pure salt, along with the minerals it contains, in the form of a saturated brine.
Traditional methods dating back to the Iron Age are then used, with the brine being gently heated in huge vats to form salt crystals on the surface. As the crystals grow, they sink to the bottom and are hand-harvested at exactly the right point to produce the special crunchy texture and intense flavour of Cornish Sea Salt.
The result is a pure seasoning with a fresh taste and a sweetness on the palate, which delivers more flavour with less salt. Because it is unrefined, unlike processed table salts, it also retains more than 60 naturally occurring trace elements – like potassium, calcium and magnesium. It also contains 5 to 10% less sodium than processed table salt.
The company works in a sustainable manner and is proud to be the only British sea salt producer that returns sea water, rather than distilled water, back to the ocean. Once the salt is harvested from the brine, the remaining water flows back into the sea through a natural fault in the rock face.
While the company’s founder Tony sadly passed away in 2012, the business he created continues to go from strength to strength. Cornish Sea Salt can now be found in supermarkets up and down the country and it is a favourite with chefs and food producers, who use its unique flavour in all kinds of creations – including the Buttermilk fudge that's also in our Members' boxes this month!
The Cornish Sea Salt team are also pretty creative with their own wares – including (most excitingly for us) developing a delicious selection of cocktails. It’s not just margaritas that taste great with a touch of salt!
“We wanted to show how versatile our Cornish Sea Salt products are and that they are not limited to food,” the team tell us. “Salt is a flavour enhancer, therefore just as with food, salt can heighten certain flavour combinations in drinks.”
“Table salt is bleached, stripped of its mineral content and has anti-caking agents added,” the team explain “so the taste is very harsh and bitter. If you're spending money on quality ingredients in your drink, then it should be finished with the best tasting and quality salt.”
The recipe below not only makes delicious use of Cornish Sea Salt but also of April's Limited Edition Tarquin’s Rosemary & Thyme Gin. Don’t forget to #seasalttherim!
50ml Tarquin's Rosemary & Thyme Gin
50ml Grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)
5ml Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters (optional)
Cornish Sea Salt
Lightly wet the rim of a Martini glass with a little of the grapefruit juice and dip it in the Cornish Sea Salt to #seasalttherim.
Shake the rest of the ingredients with ice and strain into the glass.