13th December 2022
A spiced cocktail from Curio, Christmas in a cup from Country Cordials and mulling nectar with the Cornish Mead Co, raise a glass to klys…
Diving deeper into klys, we sought out drinks with the potential to enhance the snug sensation captured by the Cornish relation to Denmark’s hygge. As we batten down the hatches on long dark evenings, these local producers create drinks that are both liquid warmth and fuel for festive spirit.
Image credit: Lily Egbers
On stormy days, crowds gather at Porthleven to watch in awe as waves crash into the old harbour. This is an appropriate birthplace for Curio, a spirits company that endeavours to capture the sensory experiences of life by the sea: the wild, the moody, the calm.
Launched in 2012 by husband and wife duo, Rubina and William, Curio experiments with a range of flavours from harvested seaweed to hand-foraged samphire. This winter, Rubina recommends their cardamom vodka cocktail and sea salt caramel rum to ignite an internal glow that contrasts to the tumultuous weather outside.
“The cardamom vodka cocktail is made with cranberry juice and tonic water, garnished with cinnamon and star anise. It makes me think of an evening sitting by an open fire, listening to the crackle, savouring the drink’s zesty taste and being completely absorbed in that special moment.
Image credit: Lily Egbers
“Whereas I also love adding the salted caramel rum to a flask of hot chocolate for a walk along the beach. It’s the perfect, sweet touch that compliments the fresh air on a wintery morning. It just makes you appreciate your surroundings, what life brings you and all there is to be grateful for.”
In a converted outhouse deep in the Tamar Valley, Sally at Country Cordials uses a gentle heat treatment to pasteurise her fruit, flower and herb-based cordials. On clear nights, the ceiling windows reveal a dazzling starry sky. Sally recommends both her traditional apple flavour as well as the honey, lemon and ginger – also available with a kick of chilli for an invigorating klys feeling.
“The apple cordial is soft, smooth and soothing – it’s like Christmas in a cup. But our honey, lemon and ginger puts things right. It feels healing with an explosion of rich nutrients and vitamins. People often drink it in dry January and say it’s well worth giving up alcohol for.
“One of the best things about our cordials is that they’re really versatile. You can play with them; they are amazing as a sauce on ice cream, in cocktails or even in stir fries.
“Making cordials is a warm process too. It’s wonderful coming into the unit the next morning with those warm fruity aromas still filling the air. Friends often just stand there, breathing it all in.”
Founded in the fishing village of Newlyn, Cornish Mead Co. is run by Sophia and her brother, Matthew. The company was the brainchild of their great grandfather in the 1950s. The medieval drink – with its appearance of golden nectar – is at the heart of their recommendation for conjuring cosiness.
Image credit: Cornish Mead Co.
“We recommend mulling our mead with some juice, or even cider and wintery spices like cinnamon and oranges. It really works because it’s sweet, which surprises people; there’s a warmth and depth to it.
“If I was going to describe mulled mead as a colour, it would be a dark oak or velvety ochre. With one sip, it’s like a big fleecy comfort blanket being thrown around you and it goes brilliantly with dark chocolate or a cheese board.
“But the company is also about family heritage and celebrating Newlyn’s history where mead has always been the people’s favourite. The drink is all about warmth, love and community; it’s about being part of something and celebrating friendships. Community is where people keep an eye on each other and that’s a hug in itself really.”
Get klys and cosy in a winter retreat by the coast, where you can sip seasonal drinks with a sea view. Browse our selection below.