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Cape Cornwall white rum

Thinking about buying a bottle of white rum? Read our expert review of a spirit that blends the best Caribbean rum with fresh Cornish water.

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Cape Cornwall white rum (40% ABV) summary

This spirit takes its inspiration from the smugglers of old and pays tribute to such a heritage by mixing Caribbean rum with Cornish water, making it as unique as it is delicious. Cape Cornwall white rum delivers on everything you’re looking for, with tropical fruits met by burnt brown sugar and fresh earthy flavours. Ideal for the base of daiquiri, or equally delicious served with ginger beer.

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What’s the story behind Cape Cornwall rum?

Cape Cornwall is a parcel of land with an ancient history. A headland jutting out of the west coast of Cornwall, the cape was once thought to be the most westerly point of England until the very first Ordnance Survey robbed the area of its title.

The first evidence of life on the cape dates back centuries, with bronze-age pottery found in the nooks and crannies of the headland. More recently, a tin mine was operated there in the 19th century. Eventually shut, the chimney was retained as a useful navigation tool for sailors.

The story goes that in centuries gone by the cape was used as a smuggler’s paradise. Harsh government taxes led to thrifty booze bandits using a farmhouse on the cape as a hideout for their precious cargo. In the early 18th century smuggling was done out in the open in Cornwall. There weren’t enough officials to monitor the rocky, uninhabited coast and as a result ships would simply land ashore. Brandy, gin, rum and tea were all picked up from the sands, with some of the goods costing a sixth of the price to buy in France.

The legend has been revived today by Harvey Thomas and Jack Shannon. Rum has been in the Thomas family for generations – in 1925, Harvey’s great-great-grandfather found a cache of alcohol hidden in the fireplace of a cottage on the family farm. After some research, it was discovered that a farmhouse (known as ‘The Wink’) on the estate had been used to stash booze during the smuggling era. Today the spirit is kept alive by the Cape Cornwall rum company. Fine Caribbean rum base is imported and mixed with local ingredients to create a unique product, the influence of the Cornish water imbuing an inimitable freshness.

What does Cape Cornwall white rum taste like?

Cape Cornwall white rum is all about classic Caribbean rum flavours, packed with coconut, banana and dark brown sugar. There is also a grassy freshness that’s chased out by punches of white pepper towards the finish.

We love it in a classic daiquiri, but there’s also no beating how refreshing it is mixed with ginger beer. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best – some Old Jamaica ginger beer has the perfect amount of fire to play against the soft coconut and banana. No need for any fancy equipment, just a tall glass, some ice and good company.

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This review was last updated in February 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.