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The winner of the Surrey Life Food and Drink Innovation Award 2015, Silent Pool Distillers is named after the crystal-clear - and reputedly haunted - natural spring lake nearby, which also supplies the water for Silent Pool Gin. Produced entirely on site by master distiller Cory Mason and his team, Silent Pool Gin is hand-crafted with a unique process of extracting precise flavours from the botanicals, which include lavender, chamomile, citrus, kaffir lime and local honey, along with the all-important juniper.

The distillery is founded on principles of sustainability, which is why the team sourced and reclaimed an old English wood-fired steam boiler from the 1970s, previously used to power a crane on Liverpool docks, which now powers the still the traditional way. Sustainable hardwood is sourced from the local Albury forest and gives the whole operation a very low carbon footprint as well as truly local credentials.

Silent Pool near Guildford, home of Silent Pool Distillers | Local Food Surrey
Master Distiller Cory Mason of Silent Pool Distillers | Local Food Surrey

As well as its signature Silent Pool Gin, the distillery first produced a hand-labelled small batch gin, Albury Limited Release. And as if artisan gin wasn't enough, the team works with local farmers and growers to make the most of windfall fruits, such as the plum brandy distilled from 75 kilos of plums from Garsons Farm. Silent Pool's neighbour Albury Vineyard has also used their services to create their unique eau de vie de vin, Attila's Bite.

The mysteries of Silent Pool

Legend has it that Silent Pool is haunted by the ghost of a woodcutter's beautiful young daughter who was disturbed by an approaching rider on horseback as she was bathing in the pool one day. Desperate to protect her modesty, she moved to a deeper part of the lake, but when the stranger approached and tried to lure her out, she found herself unable to swim and drowned in its waters. It is said that the horseman was none other than Prince John, the unpopular regent of King Richard the Lionheart, and that the maiden can be seen at midnight floating above the water, or heard screaming for her father ...

Perhaps stranger still is the more recent tale of Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926. After informing police that her life was in danger, the famous mystery writer's car was found abandoned at nearby Newlands Corner. Silent Pool was dredged for her body and Christie's husband Archie placed under police guard as a suspect, only for Christie to be found a week later in Harrogate claiming she had amnesia. It is still not known what happened in that week!

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Local Food Surrey says

Silent Pool Gin is produced using so many local components that it really does offer a 'true taste of Surrey'!

Now available to buy from Priory Farm, South Nutfield and Godalming Food Company. If you'd like to collect yours directly from the distillery just outside Guildford, call first to make sure someone's there to meet you.