Bombay Bramble – 100% natural fruit with no added sugar, the “healthy” Pink Gin for summer 2020!

The best selling, Double gold award winning Bombay Sapphire Gin has recently launched Bombay Bramble, infused with raspberries and blackberries.  For the purist who might assume that tinkering with the clear fresh taste of classic Dry London gin, is a modern fad, in fact, flavoured, fruit-based gins are nothing new.

Foraging Berries from the Blackthorn bush to make home-made Sloe Gin was a country custom from the 17th century, and this ruby-red, sweet liqueur was soon served in London taverns as a poor man’s Port.

Charlie Chaplin cocktail – invented at Waldorf Astoria, 1920

The “Charlie Chaplin” cocktail featuring sloe gin and apricot brandy was invented at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York a century ago. In recent years, Sloe Gin has enjoyed a revival through many quality brands.

Angostura Bitters was developed in 1824 by Dr. Johann Siegert, of Angostura, Venezuela, as a remedy for tropical stomach ailments. Its unpleasant bitter taste was palatable when mixed with gin by Royal Navy seamen who, by happy accident, first created Pink Gin which then became a popular cocktail from the mid 1880s.  A very simple recipe – 60ml Dry Gin with a few dashes of Angostura Bitters.

1959 Angostura Bitters, Pink Gin advertisement

During the Prohibition era in the USA, creative concoctions – Asparagus and Carrot gins!?-  were distilled undercover, and by the 1930s, a plethora of lemon, orange and pineapple gins were produced as pre-bottled cocktails.

More recently, a range of fruit gins have been produced with sparkling success, especially the original Andalucian strawberry gin from Puerto de Indias, Seville, inspiring a new category.  Other refreshing summer drinks include Sicilian Lemon, Rhubarb & ginger and Elderflower.

Now, launched for summer 2020 is the colourful, fruit flavoured, Bombay Bramble Gin.

Bombay Sapphire, with its famous, classic blue label featuring a portrait of Queen Victoria, Empress of India, is credited with single-handedly leading the modern Gin Craze over the past decade.  The recipe of this top class premium gin dates as far back as 1761 with an innovative distillation process. The botanicals – angelica root harvested in Saxony, cubeb berries from Java, liquorice from China –  are vapourised individually then mixed and finally re-condensed, giving the gin a unique, balanced and harmonious character.

So what is distinctive about Bombay Sapphire?  On the nose, bright, piney juniper, earthy notes, a gentle, well rounded flavour of juicy citrus with touch of sweet violet, leading to a lingering taste of lime, lemon and grassy herbs. Perfect with a Mediterranean tonic and a sprig of rosemary, or in a classic dry Martini. A cool, classy, sophisticated gin.

Bombay Sapphire was awarded Double Gold at the 17th San Francisco World Spirits Competition.   It’s part of the portfolio of Bacardi Ltd, one of the founding companies of the Gin Guild to promote excellence in the production and promotion of gin worldwide.

Bombay Bramble is therefore an exciting new venture, combining the classic dry London gin infused with fresh blackberries and raspberries, and most importantly, there is no added sugar.

How to serve: 50 ml  Bombay Bramble over ice, 100 ml Premium tonic water,  a squeeze and garnish of Lemon.  With a vibrant, vivacious shade of ripe plum-soft cerise, this is a modern Pink Gin.

Bombay Bramble Gin

“The colour and flavour of Bombay Bramble comes only from botanicals and 100% natural fruit ingredients,  infusing the gin with an exclusive maceration of berries that have been harvested at their ripest moment, resulting in a unique, bold flavour.”

Ivano Tonutti, Bombay Sapphire Master of Botanicals & Dr. Anne Brock, Master Distiller.

The inspiration for this new style of fruit gin is the Bramble cocktail. It was created by the  legendary Dick Bradsell in the 1980s at Fred’s Club, Soho, a concoction of dry gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur), which gives it a deep, fruity and sweet taste. One of the most iconic gin drinks of the modern age.

Bramble cocktail – created by Dick Bradsell in Fred’s Club, Soho

Flavoured gin is a category that can’t be ignored, accounting for over a third of total gin value. Our refusal to add refined sugar ensures a less sweet and cloying taste, allowing the true nature of our gin to shine through by using a rich fruit infusion (in) Bombay Bramble”.

Natasha Curtin, global vice president of Bombay Sapphire

The aroma is like home made jam with underlying earthy juniper notes. Sampled neat over ice there’s a bitterness on first sip, but diluted with a splash of tonic, the blend of juicy sweet, tangy, tart ripe berry flavour shines through, with the underlying rich spicy, herbal depth of Bombay Sapphire gin.

There is a real hint of Campari too, the bittersweet Italian liqueur, so let’s see how they compare.

The Campari story begins in the early 1860s, when a bartender named Gaspare Campari started inventing bottled cocktails, with neutral alcohol, raspberry juice, citrus fruits, herbs, vanilla. Today, Campari is a blend of equal parts of alcohol, sugar syrup, distilled water and an infusion of oranges, berries, rhubarb, ginseng and herbs.

So perhaps Bombay Bramble Gin could be used in a classic Negroni?

Negroni cocktail – try with Bombay Bramble Gin

Crème de cassis, the blackcurrent liqueur from Dijon is famously used in the aperitif Kir, added to a flute of white wine, or with champagne, for a Kir Royale.

Likewise, a few dashes of Bombay Bramble to ice cold Prosecco would make a refreshing aperitif.

Bombay Bramble Royale (instead of Kir)

Life’s a Picnic with a feast of juicy berries this summer says The Sunday Times (2nd August).

Bombay Bramble time!

Life’s a Picnic – Sunday Times, a feast of Berries – with Bombay Bramble Gin

Bombay Bramble is widely available, at all leading supermarkets and off licences, with an RRP, £23 a bottle.

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery, located at an award winning heritage site, Laverstoke Mill, Hampshire, is now open again for visitors. Book the Discovery Experience for a guided tour of the Botancial Glasshouses and Dakin Still Room to learn all about the creative vapour infusion process, or take part in a Gin Cocktail masterclass. Gift shop to purchase Bombay Sapphire gins, gifts and personalised bespoke bottles.   A great day out or a weekend away with fine restaurants and accommodation nearby.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke Mill, Hampshire

Check the website for all information on Bombay Sapphire Gins, Bombay Bramble and Distillery visits.

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About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

One response to “Bombay Bramble – 100% natural fruit with no added sugar, the “healthy” Pink Gin for summer 2020!”

  1. Ervin S. Duggan says :

    Can’t wait to try Bramble! Thanks for being creative and open to innovations like this.

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