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A Tour Around Bombay Sapphire's Distillery

Friday 14 July 2017

I just adore summer time. Everyone is in great spirits, people want to hang out more, and it feels like a time people are more carefree and happy. I’m definitely one of those people, and I definitely say yes more to after work drinks this time of year. And what is my go to drink? Gin. Yes, good old, beautiful gin. 

A gin and tonic is my go to summer drink at a bar or pub. It’s a classic. Now though, I have to admit, before last week, I new very little of actually how gin was made, or what was in it. I know, guilty as charged, I was one of those people who just drank it. 

Well all is changing, as I was invited down to Bombay Sapphire’s distillery; Laverstoke Mill, to learn all about how their gin is made, as I’m working with them on a very cool project, which I’ll tell you all about in a minute.

Laverstoke Mill is open to the public and about an hour our of London by train. I’d never been to a distillery before, so didn’t really know what to expect, but on arrival I was pleasantly suprised. A gorgeous old mill, kept to original design, set in beautiful grounds. They have a bar and terrace, which apparently locals actually come and use as their local bar! Can I move down here?

First on my gin journey was into their vault for a brief history of Bombay Sapphire. Started in 1987, it’s a British made gin, but the original founder was American and so the unusual naming convention came from the fact that at the time the most famous thing about Britain was it’s occupation of India- something Americans found fascinating- so Bombay came to be. Also it went well because the owner was also fascinated with the story of the Star of Bombay which is a Sapphire and so a gin name was born.

Bombay Sapphire’s recipe is made up of 10 botanicals which include juniper berries, orris root, coriander and liquorice. Whilst it is a dry gin, it is actually on the sweeter side than most gins, making a large segment of their buyers women. The process to which the gin is made is through triple distilling it in copper vats. In these vats, the heat causes the oils of the botanicals to be released.

Starting as I mean to go on, I sampled a cocktail before the tour- The Lavestoke cocktail. Wow. Honestly with 100000% conviction, this cocktail is delicious. You have to try it.

Now you may have seen the iconic greenhouses in photos before as they are an architectural marvel. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick who is the man behind the Routemaster buses, the greenhouses are actually where some botanicals grow (Of course they import the vast quantities needed for production as the distillery produces at least 25 million litres of gin a year). 

But they grow some so you can come and see that actually all the produce as completely natural. 

On the tour we headed for the heritage room, so as I like to call it, the tasting room. Here they have all the different flavours where you can taste and smell each one, plus what is actually really cool, is you can pick up a card, and punch wholes by the number of the smell you like. Then you take this to the bar later an they'll make a cocktail based on your chosen flavours. 

Now why was I here at the distillery and why are these botanicals so important. Well Bombay Sapphire are doing something very cool in London next week. They are hosting a week long event called The Grand Journey which is actually a "train ride" to all the countries where to botanicals grow to discover their origins. I saw train journey as whilst you do board a train, it's a stationary train, although looks like the orient express which is so cool. It'll be stationed at the Banking Hall in Bank, London, between 17 and 23 July. But thats not all, The Grand Journey is also a culinary delight with Tom Sellers of Restaurant Story fame serving food pairing along with gin cocktails. 

For each batch of gin, this is all the ingredients that go into the vat to distill. This then breaks down and releases it's oils to make the unique flavour we know of Bombay Sapphire. 

But of course the real deal is actually the finished product. Luckily as I said earlier, they have a bar at the distillery where you can order cocktails at the bargain price of £5! 

Lavestock Mill is such a great day out to go learn about gin, but also just have a relaxing fun time too. Plus any tour where I'm actively encouraged to drink, I'm all for. 

Make sure you check out Lavestock Mill and also The Grand Journey if you are in London. 

This post was sponsored by Bombay Sapphire

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such an interesting and fun day! And what a beautiful place to visit too, I love all the plants and the greenery everywhere. I'm so happy it's Friday - definitely going to treat myself for something similar to the drink in that last picture too - it looks so good and refreshing! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure