Bombay Sapphire, that recognizable blue bottle with the face of Queen Victoria, is one of the top selling gins worldwide. Bombay Sapphire East looks similar to the original, but inside it houses a key difference.
In a bold culinary update, Sapphire East adds two botanicals from the East, Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorn, that punch up the Sapphire mix of juniper, citrus, angelica, orris root, coriander, liquorice, cassia bark, almonds, cubeb berries, and West African grains of paradise.
Utilizing vapor infusion, East is made in the same award-winning fashion as its older sister, but the new spices result in a distinctively different gin while still maintaining the family character of Bombay Sapphire. Whereas the original is characterized by soft juniper, spice, and a more floral taste, the nose of Sapphire East is full of lemon, juniper, and black pepper with some floral undertones.
There are no fearful mysteries of the Orient here. The lemongrass is subtle, helping to bring out more of the original’s lemon flavor. The black pepper is however, notable, and persistent through to the gin’s warm, dry finish.
Much of the original thinking behind this variant was to improve gin and tonic use, especially in the United States, where many tonic brands are considered overly sweet compared to their European counterparts.
As intended, it truly brightens up a gin and tonic. It also stand out in the simplicity of a martini, allowing the new flavors to have more play. Bombay East also gains a softer pepper balance when mixed in recipes with fresh ginger.
Bombay Sapphire East is a tad stronger than original at 42% ABV. Wyatt’s carries Bombay’s homage to Asia as well as a large selection of other gins and spirits.