Bombay Gin, the world’s leading premium gin, is not afraid to experiment with exotic botanicals and unique flavor profiles.
This London dry-style gin uses the traditional juniper berries and has botanicals from all over the world, including Vietnam, Morocco, and even Ecuador.
Bombay Gin – An Introduction
The Bombay Gin can be dated back to the 1700s from an Englishman named Thomas Dakin. This recipe was passed down for years and was a small family business until the 1980s when Diageo picked it up for mass production.
A few years later, the brand was sold to Bacardi.
How It’s Made
Traditionally, gins are made by boiling the botanicals along with the spirit. The Gin Bombay uses a vapor infusion style, where instead of boiling, this unique vapor infusion process steams the bouquet in copper Carter head stills. The Carter head stills have funny names like Tom, Mary, Henry, and Victoria.
This gentle steaming process ensures that flavors remain delicate in each bottle of this London dry gin.
Ivano Tonutti, the Bombay Sapphire brand’s master of botanicals, has been all over the world. He sources exotic botanicals from all over and performs diligent quality checks to ensure that only the finest ingredients make it to each blue bottle of the Bombay Sapphire.
The list of botanicals used in the Bombay Sapphire is: almond, lemon peel, liquorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica root, coriander, cassia bark, cubeb, and grains of paradise.
Is It Made in India?
People would assume that the Bombay Gin is made in Bombay, India, but the liquor actually began in Hampshire, England.
The name was derived from the popularity of gins in India during the British Raj  — a time when the British Crown ruled over the Indian subcontinent.
What are the Different Types?
The Bombay Dry Gin is infused with eight botanicals, including liquorice, angelica and orris root, coriander, cassia bark, and the traditional juniper.
The Bombay Sapphire Gin is the most popular variant of the gins and is infused with ten botanicals. It uses all the botanicals from the Bombay Dry and is infused with two more: cubeb berries from Java and grains of paradise from West Africa.
Bombay Sapphire East
The premium line called the Bombay Sapphire East includes two additional botanicals from the Bombay Sapphire Gin lineup: lemongrass and black peppercorns.
The Bombay Sapphire English Estate is a limited edition gin.
How to Drink It
The Bombay Gin is a sophisticated liquor with flavors that tease instead of hitting full on. It’s best to pair this delicate gin with mixers that don’t overpower its subtle flavor.
Bombay Gin encourages consumers to experiment with flavors and has even developed an app that allows you to custom-make your tonic water to pair with this gin.
It’s also a great idea to drink the Bombay Gin neat so you can fully appreciate all of the flavor nuances present in this gin.
Bombay Gin Price Guide
|Bombay Dry Gin||750ml||86||$16.99 – $19.99|
|Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin||750ml||94||$16.99 – $22.99|
|Bombay Bramble Gin||750ml||86||Starts at around $23|
|Bombay Sapphire East Gin||750ml||94||$22.99 – $26.99|
|Star of Bombay||750ml||95||$26.99 – $32.99|
|Bombay Sapphire English Estate||1L||82||Starts at around $27|
Comparable Brands Gin Prices
Gin prices remain similar across different brands. Factors such as sizes, aging, spice, and the type of botanicals infused can impact the final price of the product. We’ll only be using the Bombay Dry Gin 750ml bottles for this gin prices comparison.
The classic Beefeater London Dry Gin dates back to the 1860s and delivers citrus notes. A bottle of the Beefeater at about $17 is within the same price range. Its ABV is at 40 percent, similar to Bombay’s ABV.
Citrus flavors will dominate your palate when you take a sip of the New Amsterdam. A bottle of this brand of gin, roughly at $14, sells at slightly lower prices. Just like the brands mentioned above, this also has an ABV of 40 percent.
The original Tanqueray Gin recipe from 200 years ago continues to be used today. This London dry gin is heavy on the juniper and sells at the highest prices at about $22. It also has the highest ABV among the brands at 43 percent.
Popular Bombay-based Cocktails
The subtle flavors of the Bombay Dry Gins make them a great base for any cocktail drink, but bartenders and mixologists should take note to only use gentle mixers that would complement the spirits. Here are a few gin recipes you can try:
The Negroni is a well-loved Italian cocktail that is traditionally served after meals. It is slightly bitter stuff, but the orange peel gives it a nice balance.
- 1 ounce Bombay Gin
- 1 ounce vermouth
- 1 ounce bitters
- Orange or lemon peel
Combine everything in a lowball glass with ice and stir with a bar spoon. Add the orange or lemon peel for garnish.
The Moscow Mule’s popularity paved the way for many other cocktails in the line — in this case, the Gin Mule.
- 2 ounces Bombay Gin
- ½ ounce lime juice
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- 2 mint sprigs
- 2 lime wedges
Squeeze some fresh lime juice in a copper mug with ice and pour in the other liquids. Stir gently with a bar spoon, and garnish with a eucalyptus mint sprig.
The Gin Spritz is a cocktail recipe with sophisticated flavors. It’s a great drink for a fancy dinner party and surprisingly easy to make.
- 1 ounce Bombay Gin
- ½ ounce Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce honey syrup
- 4 ounces tonic water
- Orange wheels
Honey syrup is a mixture of three parts honey to one part water. Mix well until the consistency is semi-thick.
Pour the alcohol, bitters, and lemon juice into an iced wine glass and mix. You can adjust the honey syrup according to your preference. Top off with tonic water and stir gently. Mix in the orange wheel for color.
Bombay Sunset & Tonic
The Bombay Sunset and Tonic is the perfect accompaniment as you watch, well, the sunset.
- 1 ½ ounces Bombay Sapphire
- 3 ounces tonic water
- Orange wheel
- Star anise
Fill a tall glass with ice and squeeze in one orange slice. Pour in the gin, followed by the tonic. Add the fruit for color and the star anise for aroma. Stir gently and enjoy this cocktail.
1. What kind of gin is Bombay?
Bombay Gin is a London dry gin, meaning no artificial products are added in the distillation process. Only water, sugar, and the traditional juniper are used.
2. What’s the difference between Bombay gin & Bombay Sapphire gin?
The difference between the Dry and the Sapphire Gins is the number of botanicals. Bombay Dry Gin uses eight botanicals, while Bombay Sapphire Gin has ten.
3. Is Bombay a good gin?
Yes, this brand makes good gins. It is one of the highly popular premium gins out on the market, yet fairly affordable and accessible. The recipe uses only superior botanicals during the flavoring process for a sophisticated taste the patrons adore.
The iconic blue bottle of the Bombay Sapphire Gin is the favorite of many. Bartenders swear by this spirit and say that this pairs well with plenty of mixers and works in classic and modern cocktails.
The Bombay Sapphire Gin’s subtle flavors can also be a great starting point for those just beginning to experiment with gins.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!