Bombay Sapphire is a vapor-infused gin that is used for many different cocktails. For a complete overview of the liquor, read more in our complete guide to gin.
In this review of Bombay Sapphire, you’ll learn all about this spirit and what makes it unique, including the following topics:
- Tasting notes and botanicals
- A brief history of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery
- Is Bombay Sapphire Gin Blue?
- How to drink Bombay Sapphire
Bombay Sapphire Vapor Infused Gin
- Distillery: Bombay Sapphire Distillery – Laverstoke Mill
- Variety: Vapor Infused
- Region: Hampshire, England
- Alcohol by volume:
- 47% ABV / 94 proof in the United States and Duty-Free
- 40% ABV / 80 proof Elsewhere
- Parent: Bacardi Brands
- Juniper Berries
- Lemon Peel
- Angelica (root)
- Orris (Iris root)
- Grains of Paradise
- Cubeb Berries
- Cassia Bark
It’s not easy to create the perfect balance of flavor, especially when the gin is designed to complement a variety of mixed drinks. As you can see by the variety of botanicals used to infuse the liquor, there are a few that stand out more than others.
Starting off the botanicals is juniper; this is one of the more robust flavors which most people taste first. While it opens early, you’ll notice that citrus and spice begin to take over. They open one by one, ending on a bolder note of liquorice.
Is Bombay Sapphire strong? At 47% ABV in the United States, this is on the stronger side, and you will want to take note when mixing with other forms of alcohol.
Where To Buy Bombay Sapphire Gin
Bombay Sapphire gin is relatively easy to find and readily available in most liquor stores. Furthermore, it can be purchased from a number of our favourite online liquor retailers.
For instance, prices start on Drizly.com at just $27. An advantage of ordering through Drizly is that the retailer works in partnership with local shops. Therefore, it can be delivered to your door in just one hour!
Meanwhile, Reserve Bar can be a little bit more expensive depending on where you live. Nevertheless, it only retails $32 through their website. As Reserve Bar is a classic online retailer, it can guarantee a delivery whereas Drizly only serves locations with nearby liquor stores.
A Brief History of Bombay Sapphire
The brand name first launched in 1986, but the current recipe dates back to an original recipe from 1761, and they use their original stills from the 1830s. In the mid-199o’s the brand sold to the Bacardi family.
The alcohol is evaporated three times, with the vapor passing through each of the botanicals suspended in perforated copper baskets to gain its distinct flavor. It has a distinct gin flavor, but the infusion process keeps it more mellow not to overwhelm you with taste.
After moving to an old paper mill in 2012 and undergoing renovations, in 2014, Bombay opened up Laverstoke Mill for distillery tours.
Is Bombay Sapphire Blue in color?
The gin itself is not blue like the name and bottle color may imply. Like most spirts and gins, there is no color; this is a clear liquid.
This London Gin gets its “Bombay” name from the popularity of gin in India rather than being distilled there. Often causing confusion, the Sapphire in the name comes from the famous violet-blue Star of Bombay a 182-carat sapphire stone, rather than the color of the liquid.
Is Bombay Sapphire Gluten-Free?
Yes, this is technically a gluten-free gin. During the distillation process, as with many spirits, the gluten protein is removed from the wheat and rye. Bombay is typically going to be safe to drink for people with celiac disease, but there is always a risk for cross-contamination or added ingredients after distillation.
Drinking Bombay Sapphire in Cocktails
Thanks to the myriad of flavors within the vapor process, the gin is balanced and crisp. This lightness also makes this an ideal intro gin. The palate is not overpoweringly “pine,” which can dissuade many from trying this popular liquor. A bonus that makes this a great gin is that it is both readily available and affordable in price.
A favorite cocktail by many gin lovers, and myself, is the classic Gin and Tonic, which blends with Bombay Sapphire perfectly. Since identifying this as an easy starter gin with a smooth taste that is also affordable, this makes it great to use as a mixer. If you’re ready to step up your gin cocktail game, I also recommend trying it as a martini or on the rocks to taste the botanicals.
Final Review Thoughts & Pairings
I find gin to be a year-round spirit. While many people think of it as a winter beverage because of the juniper flavor, it blends nicely into many of my favorite summer cocktails. It pairs with lemon, lime and lavendar quite easily.
The flavor profile easily allows cocktails to be mixed with food or enjoyed solo. In true Bespoke Unit fashion, I also tried pairing a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic with a mild cigar (like the Davidoff Special R seen above, which is included in our Top 10 first cigars to try). I found that together they enhanced the botanicals in every sip and the flavors of the cigar within my mouth.
Bombay Sapphire is not overpowering; there is a touch of each of the botanical flavors distinctly engaging the palate throughout the experience. It mixes easily but still finishes bold, making it one of my go-to gins.
Ready to learn more about gin? Continue reading: