Meet the Distiller

Southwestern Distillery

“Gin is a mix of science and art, understanding the nuance and intricacies of distilling is what has helped me create not just a unique brand, but a unique recipe from my roots.”


Tarquin Leadbetter, Southwestern Distillery

Tarquin’s Gin rules the wild Cornish coast and is moving across the oceans with gale force

Tarquin’s Cornish Gin, crafted on the rugged North Cornwall coast, is following seven core principles to remain at the forefront of craft distillers in the UK and expand across the oceans.

Distiller Tarquin Leadbetter is a classically trained chef who experimented with over 100 different trial gin batches before hitting on his winning flavour profile. He values authenticity and believes that, by practising distilling himself, his understanding of the interplay of flavours, functions and purpose of botanicals creates the best tasting gin.

Tarquin said: “Gin is a mix of science and art, understanding the nuance and intricacies of distilling is what has helped me create not just a unique brand, but a unique recipe from my roots.”

Location is an essential ingredient of Tarquin’s Gin. Produced in the first Cornish distillery to be established for more than 100 years, its provenance and heritage has been an important influence. The surrounding coastline and rugged landscape is at its core and even helped the design of the sea glass style bottles, spurring creativity.

Tarquin’s Gin continuously links back to its seven core principles of craftmanship, authenticity, tactile, innovation, identity, tradition, and passion to keep the company anchored as it continues to develop and grow across the UK.

Tarquin said: “I believe any growing business needs to understand its key and cultural values, and that it is important to stay on track by remembering why we started and what we’re working towards.

“I’m on the quest for perfection and I believe the authenticity and integrity that comes from my practice in distilling provides the great taste of our gin.”

The industry clearly agrees as Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin won its first IWSC Gold medal in 2014, while the distillery’s SeaDog Navy Strength Gin was crowned the World’s Best Gin at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits competition.

During the struggles of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 16 months, Tarquin’s Gin worked to support local businesses by making hand sanitisers and distributing to the NHS, the local Devon and Cornwall Police, food banks, local bars, restaurants, and shops.

As a business, they also scrapped their minimum purchase fee and extended credit to small customers, they began diversifying their channels and increased direct sales online, resulting in a growth of 55% in 2020. Their aims were not only to strengthen the business but to also provide help to those on the frontline during the pandemic and smaller businesses that may otherwise have struggled.

Tarquin has ambitious growth plans to launch across the globe. Tarquin’s Cornish Gin is already exported to 30 countries and expanding to more, including the US, as well as becoming available in supermarkets very soon as part of their sustainable plan to grow the brand in all trades.

Tarquin Leadbetter from Southwestern Distillery

Southwestern Distillery Brands:

Tarquin’s British Blackberry Gin

A gin crafted in celebration of the great British blackberry. Tarquin's flagship Cornish Gin is first distilled in small batches then post distillation the gin is lovingly infused with the most brilliant berries around. Just before bottling a touch of…

Tarquin’s Cornish Gin

A contemporary Cornish take on a classic London dry. Using crisp, piney juniper, fragrant handpicked violet flowers and fresh orange zest Tarquin’s Cornish Gin brings a little bit of Cornish sunshine to every glass. Tarquin’s Cornish Gin was the first…

Tarquin’s “The SeaDog” Navy Gin

Inspired by the beautiful, wild coast of north Cornwall and the Atlantic Ocean beyond, Tarquin’s “The Seadog” Navy Gin is brimming with bold Cornish personality. Proud winner of “World’s Best Gin 2017” at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards.

Southwestern Distillery

Southwestern Distillery:

Southwestern Distillery was established in 2012 by Founder and Master Distiller, Tarquin Leadbetter, when he was only 23. As a fully-independent, family-run business Southwestern Distillery is Cornwall’s first distillery in over 100 years. Nestled on a windswept hilltop overlooking the Wild…