To the sea: Salcombe Distilling Co

With their heart and soul in one of Britain’s prettiest coastal towns, Salcombe Distilling Co has always been associated with the sea. But now the innovative company is taking their commitment to the oceans one step further with a series of sustainability initiatives and a partnership with the Marine Conservation Society

Food and Drink 29 Sep 2021

Salcombe Distilling Co. founders Angus Lugsdin and Howard Davies are committed to supporting ocean charities

Salcombe Distilling Co founders Angus Lugsdin and Howard Davies are committed to supporting ocean charities

For a brand just five years old, Salcombe Distilling Co has a reputation and presence that many brands would covet after decades in the industry. The quality and drinkability of their spirits and deserved following of Salcombe Gin are largely what has driven the brand’s impressive brand following. But it is also the brand’s restless innovation and pursuit of new, exciting projects that has led to its success. The Voyager series of limited-edition Salcombe Gins has seen the brand collaborate with leading chefs including Naill Keating, Monica Galetti and Paul Ainsworth as well as Chateau Climens, the producer of the world’s finest Sauternes. And the distiller has also turned its hand to producing hand sanitiser during the pandemic, and a highly regarded non-alcoholic spirit, New London Light.

Salcombe Distillery Co's store in Salcombe
Salcombe Distillery Co’s store in Salcombe

In June, Salcombe Distilling Co announced an initiative with the Marine Conservation Society to help protect the oceans and natural environment. One per cent of every bottle of the brand’s award-winning gins, Start Point and Rosé Sainte Marie, and New London Light will go towards helping the Marine Conservation Society’s work to rewild seagrass meadows, which are crucial in the absorption of carbon to help fight climate change and harbour a vital diversity of sea life. For every bottle of Start Point or Rosé Saint Marie 2m sq of seagrass will be regenerated and an additional 1m sq for every bottle of New London Light sold.

Now Salcombe Distilling Co has also started working with zero-waste restaurant Silo in Hackney to create an ocean-inspired cocktail for October, which is London Cocktail Month, fittingly called Setting Seagrass, the sales of which will also go to protect seagrass fields. The cocktail combines Starting Point gin with red dulse, skin-contact vermouth, toasted sea lettuce and apple-skin tea – the result is a refreshing, crisp and dry concoction that is reminiscent of a strong sea breeze. For every 100 cocktails sold during London Cocktail Month, the Marine Conservation Society will protect and regenerate 50m sq of seagrass.

Every sale of Setting Seagrass will support the protection of vital sea grasses
Every sale of Setting Seagrass will support the protection of vital seagrass fields

Principle specialist in marine protected areas at the Marine Conservation Society, Dr Jean-Luc Solandt said: ‘Our ocean is vital in the fight against the climate crisis. But we must do more to protect and recover the incredible underwater ecosystems which not only absorb carbon at a greater rate than forests on land but are also home to an amazing diversity of marine life.’ He continued: ‘With the support of Salcombe Distilling Co we’re able to protect vital seagrass meadows on the UK’s coastline which are a valuable carbon store and also help to protect our coastal ecosystems.’

The distiller’s work with the Marine Conservation Society is just the start of a number of industry-leading and innovative sustainability measures that include using renewable energy, running a gin refill scheme, committing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, carbon neutral shipping and using as little plastic as possible and removing it from packaging altogether.

As Howard Davies, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Co says, ‘Having launched our 1% for the Oceans initiative with Marine Conservation Society back in June this year, it’s really exciting to be building on this with the support of Silo at our side. With their ground-breaking approach to zero waste dining combined with our commitment to making fine spirits whilst benefiting the health and wellbeing of our oceans; I like to think that we’re creating a ripple effect for positive change in the hospitality and spirits industry. The “Setting Seagrass” cocktail we’ve collaborated on with Silo and the Marine Conservation Society tastes outstanding, and to know that every sip is supporting our oceans is worth raising a glass to.’