Magazine article Marketing

Bombay Sapphire

Magazine article Marketing

Bombay Sapphire

Article excerpt

The premium London dry gin with a difference has used its distinctive blue packaging to memorable effect.

Michel Roux of Carillon Importers developed Bombay Sapphire from Bombay Dry Gin in the 80s. The drink was based on a recipe from 1761, created by the English distiller Thomas Dakin; the product is still made using a Carterhead Still purchased by the Dakin family in 1831.

This recipe provided a sophisticated taste that was intended to entice 'a whole new generation to explore the delights of gin'.

Bombay Sapphire was the first premium gin to showcase the array of exotic ingredients that it used in its product.

The gin is made using 10 botanicals, with such flavours as juniper berry, citrus, angelica and orris root; these are said to make a beautifully aromatic gin.

Bombay Sapphire is a London dry gin, but made by a different method from other drinks in its category.

The difference is comparable to that between boiling vegetables and steaming them, with Bombay Sapphire using the latter, more delicate, approach.

The aim is to extract more of the flavours from the botanicals during distillation, aiming to give it a more 'volatile, delicate, floral' flavour.

Bombay Sapphire is particularly popular as a cocktail ingredient. Back in the 90s, acclaimed bartender and mixologist Dick Bradsell created an array of gin-based drinks, including the Bombay Sapphire Bramble, which helped to break perceptions that gin was a boring, old-fashioned drink.

The brand's signature bottle is made of a striking blue glass, which, when the bottle is illuminated in the appropriate manner, can give the impression that the liquid within is glowing.

The name of the product, and the subsequent choice of colour for the glass bottle was inspired by the 182-carat gemstone Star of Bombay, which was discovered in Sri Lanka and given to Mary Pickford, the silent movie star, by her then-husband, Douglas Fairbanks.

The brand has also produced a balloon glass that is intended to provide an extra dimension to the more traditional gin-and-tonic drinking experience. The theory is that the glass will trap the drink's aromas for longer. Given that 95% of one's sense of flavour comes from what one can smell, the glass, it is claimed, will offer 'a more intense, fuller-flavoured experience, while the stemmed design keeps the liquid cooler for longer'.

Bombay Sapphire is enjoyed in more than 120 countries and regarded as a high-quality, but not prohibitively expensive, gin. With a retail price of about pounds 20 a bottle, it remains one of distributor Bacardi's bestselling lines. …

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