Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru

Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru

I recently enjoyed an incredible chat with Anne Brock, Master Distiller at Bombay Sapphire, as we discussed the distillery’s newest creation, Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru.

Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru

Bombay Sapphire is one of the world’s most popular gin brands, known for its distinctive blue bottle and iconic design. What sets Bombay Sapphire apart from other gins is not just its striking appearance but also its unique recipe and production process.

The Bombay Sapphire recipe

Unlike many gins, which use a limited number of botanicals in their recipe, Bombay Sapphire uses a unique blend of botanicals from around the world. These botanicals include almond, lemon peel, licorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica, coriander, cassia, cubeb, and grains of paradise. Each of these botanicals is carefully selected for its distinct flavor profile, which contributes to the complex and balanced flavor of Bombay Sapphire gin.

The production process

Traditional gin production involves steeping botanicals in a neutral spirit and then distilling the mixture. However, Bombay Sapphire uses a unique process called vapor infusion. In this method, the botanicals are placed in a basket above the still, and the vapor from the boiling spirit passes through the botanicals, extracting their flavors and aromas. This process results in a more delicate and nuanced flavor profile, with the botanicals imparting their distinct flavors without overpowering the juniper flavor characteristic of gin.

Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru

If you are a connoisseur of gin, you’ll enjoy Bombay Sapphire’s newest addition, Premier Cru, Murcian Lemon. If you are new to gin altogether, this is a wonderful choice for your introduction. Lemon is always refreshing mixed with gin, and of course, Bombay Sapphire does it right. They chose Spanish Fino lemons, mandarins, and sweet Navel oranges from Murcia to create a vibrant, citrus gin.

When enjoying Premier Cru, you’ll recognize Bombay Sapphire’s classic London Dry Gin flavor, full of bright juniper notes, especially on the nose. Next, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the addition of lemony botanicals on the palate and a lovely, sweet finish of orange and subtle lemon peel. This gin is absolutely refreshing and perfect for cocktails.

The inspiration for Premier Cru, Murcian Lemon

When I asked Brock where the inspiration for the citrusy gin came from, she said, “We wanted to use the liquid to tell the story of the people behind the brand. And when I say the people behind the brand, I don’t mean myself; I mean the growers and harvesters of our botanicals.”

Within the gin industry, there is much discussion about what botanicals go into a spirit but little discussion about where those botanicals come from. Bombay Sapphire had a different idea. Brock explains, “At Bombay, we’ve got these unique, direct relationships with our growers. We’ve built these relationships over the last 20 – 25 years. They’re more like friendships than business relationships. So, we wanted to tell the story of our growers and hero the regions we’ve chosen for our botanicals. For the Murcian Lemon, it’s this region of Spain.”

A balancing act

Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru is unique, yet not over the top. The citrus is delicate and not overpowering. I have found that often when a flavor is added to a spirit, the result is something that tastes nothing like gin, whiskey, or vodka. In the case of Premier Cru, it’s just the opposite. Although you can taste the lemon, you are still aware you are drinking a gin. Brock explains, “It’s easy to make gin. It’s not easy to make a balanced and consistent gin.”

One of the ways Bombay maintains that balance is through the vapor infusion process mentioned above. The lemon peels sit in a basket, not directly in the gin, and as the alcohol heats up, the steam extracts the flavor. “All our lemon peels are sat on the top of those baskets,” explains Brock, so that it’s the last thing the spirit comes in contact with before it goes over and hits the condenser. Because of that, we can keep what we think is a true and bright expression of some of the more delicate flavors in gin, particularly lemon.”

In conclusion, Bombay Sapphire is a trusted name in the gin industry, and for a good reason…they care. After speaking with Anne Brock, I was well aware that Bombay Sapphire is more than a distillery. It’s where the delicate art of making a balanced and consistent gin takes place, and quality is of utmost importance. What I wasn’t expecting to learn was how much they care for their customers and for those who are a part of Bombay Sapphire, from the Master distiller to the lemon grower in Spain. Everyone matters, and Bombay Sapphire doesn’t take that for granted.

Just for fun, I asked Brock what her favorite cocktail is to make with Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru. Her answer is, “It makes an absolutely outstanding martini because of the brightness, smoothness, and balance.” She also mentions a French 75, which is a delightful drink that mixes Champagne and gin. You deserve Champagne tonight.

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Bourbon stole my heart a few years ago when I had several opportunities to write about it. Food stole my heart when I was lucky enough to be raised by a mom who managed to make nearly everything from scratch when we were growing up.