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Gin and Tonic Challenge – Bombay Sapphire Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 18, 2014

Bombay Sapphire & Tonic SAM_1253Bombay Sapphire is a brand of gin owned and distributed by Bacardi. It was launched in 1987 and draws its unusual name from a competition where several marketing agencies were asked to submit possible names and bottle designs for the new Gin. Bombay Sapphire, the chosen name, refers to the British Empire and the heritage for the spirit in India as gin was an extremely popular spirit during the time of the British Raj. The Star of Bombay (featured on the label) is a famous Indian Sapphire now on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

Bombay Sapphire is produced through a double distillation of a neutral grain spirit with botanicals added during the second distillation. The botanicals used in its production are, Spanish almonds and lemon peel, West African grains of paradise, Chinese licorice, juniper berries from Tuscany, orris root from Italy, angelica root from Saxony, coriander seed from Morocco, cassia bark from Indo China, and cubeb berries from Java.

When I reviewed this spirit I commented upon how well-balanced its flavours were which made it hard for me to distinguish individual botanicals. However, one aspect of the flavour which did stand out (with the juniper of course) was the vibrant citrus. When I mixed my Gin and Tonic cocktails for this challenge, I found that the push of fruit worked particularly well when I replaced the hit of lime in my mixed drink with a hit of lemon instead (see recipe here).

Based upon how nice the resulting Gin and Tonic cocktail tasted with that hit of lemon, my G&T Score for the Bombay Sapphire Gin was 87/100 points.

I am keeping track of all of these scores here:

Rum Howler 2014 Gin and Tonic Challenge

As well you may read my published review of Bombay Sapphire here:

Review: Bombay Sapphire Gin

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2 Responses to “Gin and Tonic Challenge – Bombay Sapphire Gin”

  1. Scott said

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombay_Sapphire

    says here that is is triple distilled…

    • It was hard to get information from Bacardi so a lengthy discussion of the distillation of Blue Sapphire is frought with peril. However, the best information (from my research) is that the the gin is produced from a neutral spirit which is double distilled with the second distillation being the time when the botanicals are introduced.

      I think the key here is that the process described begins with an already neutral spirit (which obviously has been distilled at least once already). I could not confirm either the type of grains used nor the number of distillations required to produce this neutral spirit, and therefore it is difficult to discuss it with any precision. It could be that the producer of the gin (J & G Distillers) manufactures this neutral spirit to specification for each gin they produce; or it could be that a generic neutral spirit is produced by J&G and this same neutral spirit is used for all of their gin production. It is significant that this neutral spirit is additionally distilled prior to the introduction of the botanicals which indicates an increased refinement of the Blue Sapphire spirit.

      (Wikipedia may or may not have got it right)

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