Seasalt Friends: Tarquin’s Gin & Seasalt Shops

Cheers to this award-winning Cornish gin maker, who’s been supporting the local community and helped us safely reopen our shops


One of the great things to come out of this tricky time is the way communities and businesses have pulled together to support one another. Not only have Cornish gin makers Tarquin’s cheered us up with some great cocktail recipes for lockdown weekends, they’ve also been making hand sanitiser at their cliff-top distillery on the North Cornwall coast, to help protect the local community.

Launched in 2012 by self-taught Master Distiller, Tarquin Leadbetter, Southwestern Distillery uses traditional artisan methods to craft its tiny batch gins. Proudly Cornish, their internationally award-winning spirits celebrate the brand’s local heritage. In recent months, the Tarquin’s team have been lending their time and skills to making hand sanitiser for Cornwall’s NHS, police and food banks.

Scented with juniper and orange, and made to the World Health Organisation formula, it is available for all Seasalt customers to use in our shops. Just one of the measures we’ve put in place to ensure you can shop safely with us!

Q+A With Tarquin Leadbetter

How are you guys? It’s been a tough time for us all but how has lockdown been for Tarquin’s?

We are as good as can be expected! We have had to adapt quickly, which has been a challenge. And closure of the leisure and hospitality industry has been hard for our industry. But the crisis has brought us closer together as a team, and we’re feeling pretty upbeat about life after lockdown. Luckily, we have been able to continue to make gin.

Where did the idea come from to start your hand sanitiser and Bounceback initiatives?

It was in response to requests from local NHS and frontline workers, as dozens of queries began to flood in due to the global shortage. It was our opportunity to join the fight against Covid-19, and support our local community. Working to a WHO-approved recipe, we made a few tweaks to the distillery and began production. We then partnered with the NHS community hospitals, police force and local foodbanks to donate hand sanitiser, before making it available to the public.

Bounceback with Tarquin’s is our way of supporting the local community of independent stores who have always been supportive of us during our start-up journey. It’s our turn to help them out in any way we can, to emerge from this crisis stronger. We have scrapped our minimum order quantities and doubled credit terms. Combined with a steady supply of hand sanitiser, we hope they’ll be able to get back up and running as soon as possible.

How has it been working with the local community?

It has been a great experience of co-operation with the local community, whether it was working with key workers in the NHS or supporting other local brands and initiatives, like the Virtual Food Festival set up by Charlie Stein. We’ve felt the support and generosity of the Cornish community throughout lockdown and really look forward to working closely with other local brands and initiatives going forward.

How have you worked with Seasalt in this time?

We can’t wait for Seasalt stores to re-open and are really glad we can supply hand sanitiser to help out. They’ve also been great to work with in lockdown, while we’ve been getting our online store up and running by helping with drinks inspiration on their blog and chatting to their customers about our gin.

What is next for Tarquin’s?

We’re really excited for things to start getting back to normal, as much as they can, and are planning to help out our favourite venues across Cornwall as they re-open, whether it’s with hand sanitiser or shade for their outdoor areas.

We’re also launching two products at the moment, just in time to celebrate the Cornish summer! The first a summer spritz gin, Tarquin’s Cornish Sunshine – Blood Orange Gin, designed to be served with sparkling wine and elderflower pressé for a Cornish twist on your favourite aperitif. The other, Twin Fin, is our first rum. It’s really unique and tastes great with a simple mixer but also makes epic cocktails.