Bombay Sapphire ups the game with the introduction of 'Star of Bombay', now available in shops across the UK.
They're the creators of the world's number one gin, so you could understand if Bombay Sapphire were just to sit back and rest on their laurels for a few years. However, that's not how the team behind the famous blue bottle operate.
Last month they launched a brand-spanking new premium gin to the market, showing all the new boutique producers that they can produce a slow craft, artisan product too (and a very pretty new bottle).
Star of Bombay is a small-batch super premium gin created at the recently opened Bombay Sapphire Distillery
at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire. Designed to elevate the original balance and flavour of Bombay Sapphire gin, Star of Bombay uses two additional exotic botanicals and a slow distillation method for that extra level of intensity.
Dedicated as ever, Bombay Sapphire Master Distiller Nik Fordham and Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti searched the world for new botanicals that could work in harmony with Bombay Sapphire gin. Starting with the botanicals that lie at the heart of all Bombay gins (Juniper, Coriander, Lemon Peel, Orris, Angelica, Almonds, Liquorice and Cassia Bark) they introduced Bergamot Orange Peel and Ambrette Seeds to Star of Bombay.
The gently dried Bergamot Orange peel, sourced from the mountains of Calabria, Southern Italy, provides a fragrant, rich citrus note; while the floral-musk of the Ambrette Seeds, from the tropical yellow hibiscus flower grown in Ecuador, supplies a singular graceful elegance.
Speaking about the new gin, Master of Botanicals of Bombay Sapphire, Ivano Tonutti, explains: “It is possible to simply add new botanicals to a gin and bring a ‘note' of their character over the spirit, but this is not the style of Bombay. We vapour infuse our botanicals. Painstaking trials had to be made to achieve the precise quantities and qualities that could integrate into the heart of the gin. It is this perfect balance that we aim for.”
In addition to the new composition of botanicals, the brand's unique Vapour Infusion distillation method was slowed down to increase the level of extraction from the botanical oils, building rich aromas and intense flavours. The Master Distiller personally noses the spirit throughout the process to ensure consistent expressions of the highest quality.
“The entire method designed around Star of Bombay is very much like a craft process,” explains Master Distiller Nik Fordham. “It requires more hands-on control and monitoring to create a gin of extraordinary complexity and character similar to an aged spirit. So much so, that it can be drunk neat or over ice which is a truly unusual way for a gin to be enjoyed.”
Check out our Bombay Sapphire Cocktail recipes for the best ways to enjoy the new Star of Bombay Gin, whether its an Intense Gin and Tonic
, Star of Bombay Martini
, or even a few Christmas Cocktails
Star of Bombay is now available from Waitrose and selected retailers, RRP £32 for 75cl bottle.