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Bombay Sapphire Gin
About Bombay Sapphire Gin
After recently reviewing Beefeater Gin, I was inspired to try out some other affordable London Dry style gins. And despite not loving the last product I tried from this brand, Bombay Bramble, I still couldn’t resist the bright blue bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin.
Although Bombay Sapphire Gin was first introduced in 1986, it takes inspiration from a 200 year old recipe. While developing Sapphire, head distiller Ian Hamilton was given strict instructions to stay close to a recipe first developed my Thomas Dakin in 1791. Hamilton only added two ingredients, grains of paradise and cubeb berries. The other eight botanicals used are: Licorice, cassia bark, coriander seeds, angelica root, juniper berries, oris root, lemon peel, and almonds.
The official Bombay website doesn’t offer much insight into the history of the brand, but I found a fascinating and in-depth article from the Dilford’s Guide if you are looking for more information.
❖ Spirit: London Dry gin
❖ Distillery: The Bombay Sapphire Distillery
❖ ABV: 47% (94 Proof)
❖ Low Price
❖ Color: Clear
❖ Nose: Juniper, Lemon
❖ Taste: Lemon, Juniper, Pine, Licorice, a bit of heat
❖ Finish: Long, Lemon, Pine
Apple and Thyme Twist
1 Part Gin
3 Parts Tonic
2 Large Green Apple Slices
2 Sprigs of Thyme or Lemon Thyme
❖ Add apple slices and thyme sprigs to a glass
❖ Add gin and swirl well to infuse
❖ Add large ice cubes, top with tonic and gently stir to combine
One of the main reasons I picked up Bombay Sapphire Gin was to try it in some refreshing cocktails in preparation for summer. And, what’s more refreshing than a Gin and Tonic? Luckily, Bombay had some suggestions for G&T variations, and I was especially interested in this Apple and Thyme Twist. I was surprised I’d never considered using apple in a G&T before.
While this was a solid variation on a Gin and Tonic, I felt a bit let down by the overall flavor. The green apple added a pleasant but subtle freshness and a bit of sweetness, but was overshadowed by the gin botanicals, especially licorice. It was hard to pick out the thyme, too. But even though I wish the garnishes added more to the overall flavor, this still has everything you’re looking for in a G&T.
With such an iconic bottle and an affordable price, it’s not hard to recommend Bombay Sapphire Gin as a cocktail gin. It has a nice blend of botanicals that work well in all the classic gin cocktails and has a surprisingly high proof.
But, while I was testing Bombay Sapphire, I kept thinking of it as just a good standard gin. It has everything you expect in a gin, but isn’t exceptional. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because this simplicity tends to work well in cocktails, I don’t think I’ll use it much outside of mixing drinks. But, I’m glad I have Bombay Sapphire as a reference when I try out other gins.
As always, drink responsibly.