Sailing in the West Country this summer? Look out for Nevek, Lust and Dream as well as some fine Cornish beers and wines.
When cruising in the southern extremity of the UK’s southwest coast, an enthusiastic member of my local sailing club discovered three Cornish cream liqueurs and passed them on to me as highly recommended.
‘Nevek’ is the Cornish word for ‘heavenly’ and Cornish Nevek is a delicious chocolate and cream liqueur, Cornish Lust is strawberry and cream and Cornish Dream features fudge and cream, all made from a wine base and a ‘little bit of Cornish magic’.
They are 15 per cent abv and on their own light refreshing drinks. Or they can be served chilled over ice or with ice cream, a neat twist on a Cornish cream tea with a bit of oomph. Good for cockpit sundowners or picnics on the beach.
They come from the Cornish Cream company of St Ives and Newquay, a family concern set up in 1968. Not a headliner in the local pubs but will be found in the company’s own shops, tearooms and cafés throughout the county or on www.cornishcream.com. Expect to pay £17 for a 70cle bottle or £9.99 for a pack of all three in elegant ship’s decanter-shaped 10cl miniatures.
The company also makes a range of other Cornish novelties including Haymakers Scrumpy, Smugglers Scrumpy Rumpy and Vintage Scrumpy as well as Cornish Sunset, an 8.3 per cent sparkling bubbly made with the juice of fresh strawberries.
TRIBUTE PALE ALE
St Austell Brewery was founded in 1851 by Cornishman Walter Hicks and remains an independent, family-owned business offering a wide range of award-winning beers and operating an estate of 170 pubs, inns and hotels.
Its Tribute Pale Ale started out as Daylight Robbery, brewed as a novelty for the 1999 eclipse of the sun. It proved so popular it was renamed Tribute and is now the company’s best-selling beer with sales and distribution steadily spreading outside its native Cornwall to supermarkets and on draught to pubs in the greater London area and all counties on the way.
It is a traditional pale ale, 4.5 per cent and, brewed with Cornish Marris Otter pale malt, a light amber colour with a hint of orange zest on the palate.
Excellent enough to be selected by British Airways as its exclusive ale on long haul and Club Europe flights and lounges around the world as part of BA’s plan to showcase a variety of authentic regional products drawn from the whole of the UK.
James Staughton, managing director of St Austell Brewery, said: “Tribute Cornish Pale Ale has experienced huge success over recent years. It is testament to the quality and flavour and Cornish identity of Tribute to be chosen as the only ale served on BA flights. This will introduce the brand to over 20 countries.”
St Austell’s Proper Job, a forerunner for ‘modern IPAs’ and sometimes referred to as ‘American-style’, is also gaining popularity and distribution in pubs where the tap is often fitted alongside the Tribute tap
Proper Job is an authentic IPA brewed with Cornish spring water, malt made from Cornish-grown Maris Otter Pale barley and imported American hops, packed full of pineapple and citrus fruit flavours giving it a fine crisp bitter finish.
Interestingly, the draught version is at 4.5 per cent and the bottled version in the shops a meaty 5.5 per cent.
As for wine, The Camel Valley winery, near Rock, Cornwall, produces excellent red, white and an especially good sparkling white that often wins prizes ahead of ‘real’ Champagnes. Not cheap, but it is fun to drink the local stuff when you are there.