Bombay Sapphire was first released in 1987 but was inspired by a recipe from 1761. Like most gin, it is a neutral grain spirit that is triple distilled and infused with...
Bombay Sapphire was first released in 1987 but was inspired by a recipe from 1761. Like most gin, it is a neutral grain spirit that is triple distilled and infused with botanicals. How Bombay uses the botanicals is unique. Instead of steeping the flavouring ingredients in the alcohol, the distillery uses a vapor infusion extraction.
The distillery originally employed two Carterhead stills from the 1830s and added two copper pot stills when production increased. Above the distillate, copper baskets hold the proprietary blend of botanicals. As the alcohol heats up and evaporates, the steam hits the botanicals, infusing it with flavor before it condenses back into a liquid that is cut to bottling strength. This approach is designed to give the gin a more delicate flavour.
Bombay was one of the first gin brands to celebrate their botanicals with full disclosure. Though the actual recipe is a well-kept secret entrusted to their "master of botanicals," Ivano Tonutti, they do reveal what the ingredient list includes. It is an international affair that includes Italian juniper berries and orris root, Spanish almonds and lemon peels, grains of paradise from West Africa, Chinese licorice, cassia bark from Indo-China, angelica from Saxony, Moroccan coriander, and cubeb berries from Java. The botanicals are nicely balanced and add a crispness to the spirit.