Gin & Tonic is my new favourite aperitif, refreshing and perfect for a summer evening. So I was excited to join a group visit to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in rural Hampshire. After a long coach journey getting lost in the countryside we arrived at the impressive historic Laverstoke Mill.
It was a unusually sunny day and the distillery shone magnificently. After a quick G&T we were off on a tour round the site, stopping by the exceptional Thomas Heatherwick greenhouses which are home to many of the botanicals used in the gin making process.
Then, it was time for the big reveal. With great anticipation we stepped inside a dark room which dramatically displayed six cocktails, gin and tonic reinventions from select bartenders from London’s top cocktail bars. The project, named the ‘Artistry of the Ultimate Gin & Tonic’, is a programme of discovery that celebrates the artistry behind the Ultimate Gin & Tonic serve.
The drinks were beautiful, each uniquely presented telling a different story. The mixologists, hailing from Chiltern Firehouse, Cocktail Trading Company, Gilbert Scott, Heddon Street Kitchen, Peg and Patriot and Sager & Wilde have worked tirelessly for weeks to create a delicious gin drink to be sold in their bars showcasing the important features of the Bombay Sapphire spirit. Inspired by the ten exotic botanicals found in every drop of the carefully crafted liquid and the unique vapour infusion process that allows for gentle absorption of these aromas, each avant-garde creation celebrates Bombay Sapphire’s artistry credentials and explores the future of this most-loved drink. Ensuring core elements of the recipe were maintained, each mixology artist created an expression that plays with the classic compounds of the gin & tonic using their trademark, innovative style.
Dean Shurry (Chiltern Firehouse) ‘Gateway to Bombay’
Andy Mill (Cocktail Trading Company) ‘Birth, Life and Death’
Dav Eames (Gilbert Scott) ‘G & Ice-T’
George Simmons (Heddon Street Kitchen) ‘Nature’s Yield’
Constanca Corderiro (Peg & Patriot) ‘Ariana’s Garden’
Marcis Dzelzainis (Sager & Wilde) ‘Nettle Beer Collins’
We tried each of the cocktails, learning about the techniques each mixologist had used, before heading back to the coach to sleep it off on the long journey home.
More information on Bombay Sapphire Distillery here. You can try the six special gin & tonic cocktails in the participating bars now until the end of the year.