Last week, High Point Drinks invited me along on a press trip to celebrate their new non-alcoholic aperitif and digestif drinks, brewed/fermented here in Cornwall.
I was so excited to be joining them in Rock on the North coast of Cornwall for a couple of days of activities, great food, and – of course – non-alcoholic drink mixes and mocktails with their two drink options.
About High Point Drinks
This new brand is run by the team behind the Cornwall-based Harbour Brewing Co, who make a large range of craft beers from their brewery just outside of Bodmin. Meanwhile High Point Drinks themselves are a premium collection of non-alcoholic aperitifs and digestifs made from natural ingredients.
What’s really unique about these drinks is the fermentation process they go through which has helped to create the deep, complex flavours in the two products – Ruby (a zesty aperitif with a citrus taste and coloured by hibiscus), and Amber (a smoky, spiced digestif). When served with your favourite mixers or made up into cocktails, they really taste like a layered drink in their own right, rather than a replacement for a spirit.
Non-alcoholic drinks like this are certainly gaining in popularity for people looking for a way to enjoy their evenings without the hangovers, and I think there’s a great market for this type of drink in Cornwall especially, because – thanks to different areas being quite remote from each other – you always need to drive to-and-from places, which usually means requiring a ‘designated driver’ for the night!
Here’s a little bit about what we got up to on this trip and some of the ways you can mix up these delicious drinks:
High Point Drinks Paired with Delicious Food at St. Tudy Inn
On the first evening, we visited the St. Tudy Inn – a gastro-pub and restaurant between Bodmin and Wadebridge – for a welcome dinner paired with some High Point Drinks creations.
We had a delicious meal, including tender pork belly, a mozzarella & tomato salad, roast chicken with truffle mash, and panfried hake.
High Point Drinks Serves to Try:
- Ruby Rhubarb and Mint Cooler
(Ruby Aperitif mixed with Cawston Press Rhubarb and Apple Juice, Mint Leaves & Cucumber)
- Amber Margarita
(Amber Digestif mixed with Lime Juice, Agave, Salt & Lime)
Staying at St. Moritz Hotel in Rock with High Point Drinks Goodies
After our meal, we all headed back to the St. Moritz Hotel, a Miami-inspired hotel & spa in Rock. Here we found an amazing stash of goodies in our room, including the High Point Drinks range, plus a goodie bag containing a hat & dry robe from Finisterre, quick-dry camping towl from Slow Tide, and much more.
Here, was also found our itinerary for the next day, packed full of fun activities and eating!
Exploring the Camel Estuary on a Wavehunters Boat Tour
First up on our jam-packed day was a boat tour along the Camel Estuary with Wavehunters. They picked us up from Rock and we had no idea what to expect apart from that we’d all been told we would probably need our new dry robes!
After a tour down the Camel Estuary (named ‘Camel’ because Kammel in Cornish means ‘crooked’), the boat took us to the mouth of the estuary and out into Padstow Bay. This I’m sure would usually be a very chilled experience but on this particular day, the swells were between 8 to 12 foot. Some pretty big waves out on the coast!
These little rigs were super powerful and sturdy out on the waves though, and it was the perfect amount of exhilaration for me. We all got VERY wet but it was super fun and I’d definitely do it again.
A Wander Around Padstow
The boats then dropped us into the harbour town of Padstow for a wander around. Padstow is such a pretty, quaint Cornish town, but in Summer it usually gets incredibly busy, so it was nice to be able to have a walk around with less crowds in the shoulder month of May.
Visiting the High Point Drinks ‘Fermentorium’ Brewery, plus Mocktails
We then got picked up by a mini-bus and taken to the High Point Drinks / Harbour Brewing Co brewery just outside of Bodmin. It’s a huge site, housing huge barrels and ‘fermenters’ for these non-alcoholic beverages, and the team have dubbed it the ‘fermentorium’ for lack of a better, existing word for their unique product process!
Onsite they have a cool reception area with a bar and tables where you can come and hang out and buy some bottles or taste the drinks, and they’ve opened it up for events with food vans here occasionally too.
We had a tour of the brewery and the process for making ‘Ruby’ and ‘Amber’, (including all the crazy herbs and ingredients soaking in these jars – see below), complimented with some delicious mocktails made with the Ruby aperitif.
High Point Drinks Serves To Try:
- South Coast Spritz
(Ruby Aperitif mixed with Lychee Cordial, Fever Tree Blood Orange Soda & Orange)
An Incredible Lunch Cooked by Hoppers Chef Karan
While we were at the brewery, the amazing chef Karan Gokani from London restaurant, Hoppers, was busy preparing us an incredible spread for lunch, using the Gozney pizza ovens (who were also along on this press trip).
Karan put together a selection of Sri Lankan / South Indian inspired dishes, such as this roasted cauliflower flatbread, and these fresh Porthilly oysters with a zesty, spicy twist.
And I couldn’t not mention the pizzas of course!
These were amazing, as Karan uses a naan bread style dough for the pizza base, and completed this one with a butter chicken curry topping. Totally delicious!
A Surf Lesson at Polzeath Beach with Wavehunters
Next up, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a surf lesson down at Polzeath beach.
We met the team from Wavehunters, who also run surf lessons and hire from the beach, who sat us around and gave a beginner’s guide to getting started with surfing. Our group was a mixture of those who had surfed plenty before and total surfing beginners, so half of them went off to do their own thing.
I’ve surfed plenty before (I’ve even gone on a couple of surf retreats / camps!) but I’m still very much beginner level because I don’t go regularly enough… and I’m also really scared of going out of my depth – which definitely holds me back and makes me nervous to go. However this lesson was exactly the kick I needed to remind me how to do it and how fun it is, so I’m excited to finally start going out again more this summer.
High Point Drinks Serves To Try:
- Amber Hot Toddy
(Amber Digestif mixed with Lemon Juice, Honey or Agave, Ginger cordial, Hot Water, Angostura Bitters & Lemon)
Dinner at the Atlantic Bar & Kitchen in Polzeath, Paired with High Point Drinks Mocktails
The sun came out for us in the evening, and we all headed over to the Atlantic Bar & Kitchen for a 3 course dinner paired with some High Point mocktails. This restaurant has an amazing view over the coast, and a great place to catch the sunset!
The food was once again, incredible and super fresh, including a mix of seafood and succulent meat dishes for us all to share. Plus the creamiest, tastiest panna cotta I think I’ve ever had for dessert!
We were treated to a range of different ways to drink the ‘Ruby’ and ‘Amber’ High Point Drinks, giving us loads of inspiration for how to use ours when we get home.
High Point Drinks Serves To Try:
- Ruby Royale
(Ruby Aperitif mixed with Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine)
- Ocean Breeze
(Ruby Aperitif mixed with Watermelon Cordial, Fever Tree Soda Water & Pickled Watermelon Skin)
- Amber Ricky
(Amber Digestif mixed with Fever Tree Lime Soda, Agave Syrup & Lime)
- Old Fashioned
(Amber Digestif mixed with a Dash of Bitters, Sugar Syrup & Orange)
Thanks so much to High Point Drinks for having us along on this trip; we had the best time and everyone was so lovely! Really excited to try making our own creations with these awesome non-alcoholic bevs :)
Would you give these non-alcoholic mixers and mocktails a try?
*This experience was a complimentary press trip but all opinions are my own.