The Bombay gin is also the Bombay Sapphire. It is a living alcoholic relic from the days of British Raj and is flavoured with ten plants.
Bacardi introduced Bombay Gin in 1987. The gin is sold in distinctive sapphire coloured bottles, which are flat sided. The label is impressed with an image of Queen Victoria.The flavouring consists of a heady admixture of ten types of ingredients. The stuff is distilled thrice over and the alcohol fumes are made to absorb bundles of these ten kinds of aroma.
The Bombay Sapphire prize is awarded each year to artists and designers of glassware involving sponsored events in various locations. The finalists consisting of one competitor from each country are invited to a design fair in Milano where the final winner is chosen.
During the time of the British rule the scourge was malaria. In those days Bombay gin was used as an intoxicant as well as tonic cum medicine and was mixed with quinine. The inventor of gin, Sylvius who was a Dutch professor of medicine prescribed it as diuretic to allow for increase in flow of urine. It was basically pure alcohol and hence to make it more classy and palatable, spices were added. The first to be selected were juniper berries. The French name these berries as genievre. When it hit English shores the locals did not delay in coming up with the abbreviated name of ‘gin’
Gin took England by storm and in 1736 each person guzzled four gallons annually. Sugar came to be added initially but later it was eliminated. There are two types of gin – Dutch and London Dry. The latter is made by fermenting a mishmash of various grains – corn, rye and malt. The distiller adds flavouring to this mixture. Water is used to dilute it. The Dutch add the flavouring during the distillation process and hence the Dutch variety of gin is not dry but more aromatic.
Bombay gin or Bombay Sapphire is London dry gin bottled in eye catching blue containers. The bottle seems more valuable than the contents! Many novices think that the gin itself is coloured blue – but actually that is not so. The liquid is sparkling clear. As soon as the bottle is uncorked a heavenly smell of ten types of aroma hit the nostrils. These ingredients have been collected from around the world.
Angelic root is from Saxony, Coriander seeds from Mexico, Cassia Bark from Indo-China, Cubeb berries from Java, Grains of Paradise from West Africa, Almonds and lemon peel from Spain, liquorices from China and from Italy are got Iris root and juniper berries.
In the first sip of Bombay gin the juniper taste is predominant but soon the other flavours overwhelm the drinker without the bite of alcohol. The affair with Bombay Gin is smooth and eclectic.