The Gin To My Tonic Club August 2021
Meet-the-Makers Virtually on Saturday 28th August 6.00pm-8.10pm
This month we are delighted to be welcoming Silent Pool. This iconic Surrey based distillery burst on to the gin scene with their eye capturing bottle design and mouth-watering liquid. They have since gone from strength to strength, and in recent years have launched new editions that have been equally as captivating. This month we are sharing a sample of Silent Pool Original, but also the fabulous new Rare Citrus Edition as we take an exclusive look behind the scenes of this gin powerhouse. Not only do we love championing small batch producers, but we also love celebrating success stories and Silent Pool is most definitely that.
Completing this month’s line up is Oyster Gin from Isle of Bute, Fynoderee Summer Gin from Isle of Man and Marrakech Gin inspired by warm spices of a Marrakech souk.
Last month’s line-up was one of our best yet. Do you can top it? We think so!
Em & Paul – Co-Founders, Best Friends & Fellow Gin Enthusiasts
ON THE NIGHT - MIX WITH THE BEST
SILENT POOL ORIGINAL – Fever-Tree Indian Tonic & either Orange Garnish, or Sprig of Lavender
SILENT POOL RARE CITRUS– Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic & Orange Garnish
ISLE OF BUTE OYSTER GIN – Fever-Tree Naturally Light Tonic & either Lemon Garnish, or Cucumber and a touch of cracked Black Pepper
FYNODEREE SUMMER GIN – Fever-Tree Naturally Light Tonic & Strawberry Garnish
MARRACKECH GIN – Fever-Tree Indian Tonic & Lemon Garnish
These are recommendations of The Gin To My Tonic and Fever-Tree.
Set in the scenic Surrey Hills: Silent Pool - 6:00pm - 6:40pm
You wouldn’t be alone in wondering how a distillery nestled deep in the woodlands of the Surrey Hills came into existence. It’s a story of two Surrey locals coming together to create a distillery where things are done properly.
In 2014, founders Ian McCulloch and James Shelbourne met in their local pub (where else?) and discussed the idea of setting up small, local distillery. Taking their inspiration from Scottish Whisky distilleries, the two friends started out with a grand vision of making a truly sustainable distillery next to a fresh water source, producing handcrafted, artisan spirits using locally sourced ingredients. But first they needed the perfect location.
Ian and James wanted somewhere filled with history, a good story and plenty of provenance. After scouting many locations in the south of England, one day Ian happened upon Sherbourne Farm (a former cow barn and petting zoo) on the banks of the magical Silent Pool in the Surrey Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Excited by the find, Ian and James contacted the landowner, The Duke of Northumberland, and got the go ahead to restore the dilapidated farm buildings into the Silent Pool Distillery.
Can you tell us about how you got your name, Silent Pool?
In the early 20th century Agatha Christie was said to have faked her own death here. But centuries before that, in the 1200’s another intriguing female was said to have come to an untimely end here.
Legend has it that a Woodcutter’s Daughter, Emma, used to bathe in the Silent Pool regularly. One evening, a knight on horseback spied her. Taking a liking to what he saw, he drew nearer to the bank. Scared by his lecherous advances, Emma retreated and fell into a deep part of the pool where she drowned. The knight fled in haste and fear. The Woodcutter, on searching for his missing daughter, found her floating dead in the water. He also found something else: there, on the bank of the pool was the royal crest of Prince John, who later became King John the First of England. Look closely at the pattern on your Silent Pool Gin bottle and you’ll spot Emma, Prince John and a crown representing his royal crest intertwined amongst the botanicals.
Can you tell us something you are proud of at Silent Pool?
We operate in a stunning location which we help protect and preserve. Our rural location is a constant reminder of our need to work sustainably to minimise our impact on both the local and wider environment by reducing our carbon footprint and waste.
Our 1800 litre still, Ophelia, is powered by HVO boiler with oil made from 100% renewable waste and foodstock, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 90%.
The 16.5kW of solar panels on our south-facing distillery roof produce electricity which is fed into the National Grid. In the first two years since its installation in March 2018 we produced 31.6 MWh of energy.
What is your perfect Summer Cocktail Recipe?
“British summertime in a glass”
50ml Silent Pool Gin
25ml Lime Juice
15ml Rhubarb Syrup
75ml Sparkling Apple Juice
15ml Merlet Strawberry??
Add all of the above to a high ball with plenty of ice and enjoy!
Isle of Bute(iful) Gin - 6:40pm - 7:40pm
Welcome to the beautiful Isle of Bute. This quaint Scottish island provides the inspiration for their small batch gin. It is crafted with care in the heart of Rothesay using a traditional copper still.
Isle of Bute Gin was founded in 2018 following a chance encounter at an industry event, when Simon Tardivel (now Head Distiller) was introduced to the team from Glasgow Beer Works craft brewery, including Rhona Madigan-Wheatley. Simon and Rhona shared an appreciation for craft drinks and a desire to explore the gin market. That partnership took a leap in late 2018 with the purchase of a 200L copper still, named Audrey, which now resides at their Rothesay distillery. For 18 months Simon and Rhona pushed the brand forward, selling gin online and in a small number of shops – and then in July 2020 they landed a new premises in the heart of Rothesay and opened their distillery doors and gin garden to the public.
What do you love about gin / distilling?
Simon appreciates the freedom in distilling gin, in particular that he can truly experiment and mess around with flavours. When working as a brewer and trying new recipes, it took a about a month after the fermentation process to know if he had brewed something decent, whereas with gin he loves being able to know only a few hours later if it was a success. We’re willing to try anything in the still at least once – and we’ve certainly had a few non-starters! As for gin itself, Simon finds the variety and innovation of the craft gin market inspiring and a pleasure to take part in. Plus, he really loves a Negroni!
What is your perfect serve?
Our perfect serves vary by gin type, but our recommendation always include a dash of premium tonic water. Our garnish recommendations are as follows:
Oyster Gin – Lemon, but also try Chilli, Ginger and Coriander
Gorse Gin – Pineapple and Coconut
Heather Gin – Strawberry and Pink Peppercorn
Island Gin – Lime and Basil
Oaked Gin – Orange and a Cinnamon Stick
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Working in temporary accommodation on Bute has thrown up several challenges, as we’ve now reached our production and storage space limits in our current premises. The logistics of running a growing gin business are underappreciated at times – but the great news is that we’re moving into a larger, purpose-built premises at the end of this year, check out ButeYard online! Our new distillery space will provide the room we need to expand production in response to our growing demand.
It’s a huge opportunity for us to share our gin with more and more people every day – within eyesight of the still where every single drop is made. We want to attract tourists and visitors to come and stay in Rothesay and enjoy the craft produce that our business, and others like it on the island, have to offer.
A magnificent ode to summer with Fynoderee Manx Gin - 7:10pm - 7:40pm
Based on the stunning Isle of Man, a world UNESCO biosphere at the heart of the British Isles, The Fynoderee Distillery is dedicated to the production of premium spirits with genuine Manx roots and heritage.
The idea of starting up a Manx gin distillery had been with local Isle of Man couple, Paul and Tiffany Kerruish) for a number of years. As enthusiastic and knowledgeable gin drinkers, they had become increasingly frustrated that there was no small-batch gin producer on the Island when the botanical landscape and “Biosphere” was so well suited to producing an original and high quality product using locally foraged ingredients.
Deciding to take matters in to their own hands, a confluence of events in their lives gradually turned a pipe-dream into a reality when they Gerard who worked for a successful small batch distiller in England (Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin). A resulting friendship and working relationship with Gerard has now brought together the team that is ‘Fynoderee’.
What inspired the name ‘Fynoderee’?
The name Fynoderee is from an ancient Manx folklore tale, based in the north of the Isle of Man in a region where the last Manx juniper tree was reputed to grow and where juniper is now being re-introduced.
Our mythical Manx spirits are produced on flame-fired copperpot stills using British Neutral Grain Spirit and our unique blends feature Manx grown and locally foraged botanicals
Can you tell us about your Figgins Reciprocator Dual Kettle Still System?
Of course! Our Master Distiller, Rusty, designed this innovative still system himself — the only one of its kind in Europe!
The still system is the gleaming centrepiece of our award-winning craft distillery and will be put to work on our aged spirits programme to produce our groundbreaking new Fynoderee Manx Malt Whiskey and other Manx grain to bottle products presently in development.
Just before Lockdown 3.0 we were lucky to be able to film the build at our distillery in Ramsey. You can watch here: Unlocked and Raring to Distil! – The Fynoderee Distillery
Do you have the perfect summer cocktail recipe?
Yes – we’ve named this one “Y Chree” (Manx for “My Sweetheart”)
50ml Fynoderee Manx Dry Gin – Summer
Juice of half a large lemon (freshly squeezed)
1tsp sugar syrup (make your own by mixing white sugar and hot water in 1:1 ratio)
3 whole strawberries chopped (green bits off!) plus 1 extra to garnish
1 whole egg white
Add everything to the shaker making sure there is enough room to shake vigorously (shaking chills everything down and makes the egg white fluffy).
Strain into glass(es) and garnish with a strawberry.
If you can't go in person, go in spirit with CBA Gin Co - 7:40pm - 8:10pm
CBA Gin brings you a combination of over 50 years’ experience from running global alcohol marketing campaigns and highly-successful bars.
Chris Stewart and Peter Barney, Co-Founders of CBA Gin Co had been running a bar together for over 10 years when Covid hit. Deciding to make something positive of the situation, they combined their experience over many years both running bars and also running global alcohol marketing campaigns and channelled everything from their pasts into the launch of their two destination Gins at a time when we were were unable to travel. As their strapline goes ‘If You Can’t Go in Person, Go In Spirit’.
CBA have created a range of elegant gins that conjure up flavours inspired by their international travels which we are sure you’ll agree, beautifully captures the tastes and aromas associated with these destinations.
What inspired your destination gin range?
We were inspired during lock down to develop our destination gins and we have worked incredibly hard over the last year to finally now be able to offer the tastes of Marrakech and California in our gins to UK consumers, at a time when we can’t travel there. We think you’ll agree that both of these gins evoke the essence of both of these wonderful places, in a glass.
Marrakech and California Gins are just the start, however. There will be other exciting gins capturing the flavours of other wonderful places around the world, the next of which is likely to be launched later in 2021.
What can we expect from your Marrakech Gin we are tasting this month?
Imagine warm spices wafting through the sultry air in the busy souk.
Infused with bright citrus and fragrant Moroccan spices, this gin is inspired by wonderful tastes and aromas of Marrakech.
But, if you can’t go in person, go in spirit – in this deep blue bottle, you’ll find a premium classic gin combining the flavours of 19 botanicals including fresh lemon peel, mint, coriander and turmeric.
Perhaps it’ll whisk you away to Marrakech faster than any magic carpet.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FEVER TREE
Fever-Tree began in 2003 with a meeting of minds and one simple premise: if three quarters of your G&T is the tonic, wouldn’t you want it to be the best?
It became apparent that Charles and Tim had both come to the same conclusion – namely that the growing prevalence and popularity of premium spirits had not been matched by what was on offer in the tonic category.
From the very beginning, Charles and Tim approached their business in a different way – there would be no compromise at Fever-Tree. Flavour and quality were of the utmost importance. This mindset led them on an 18-month adventure from the archives of the British Library to facing the wrong end of a Kalashnikov in the Democratic Republic of Congo and concluded with the launch of our Premium Indian Tonic Water in 2005, with the belief we still operate by today.. If 3/4 of your drink is a mixer, mix with the best. As well as quality, Charles and Tim wanted to put the choice back into the category.
The whole company has been built on innovation. Constantly developing new mixers, new flavours, new ideas, thus creating, an array of flavours to pair with the myriad of premium Gins, Vodkas, Whisky’s and Vermouths.