On Tuesday night I went to a Bombay Sapphire blogger event – the fiancé tagged along as an extremely eager plus one (and the newly appointed booze / cocktail expert of the household). After a rather lively taxi ride where our driver gave us his deeply impassioned opinion on the Libyan situation, in the loudest voice I have ever heard, we were certainly ready for a cocktail!
The event was hosted in the Bombay Sapphire rooms at Vinnopolis – located under the arches near Borough market, the setting was a veritable temple to the iconic blue-bottled gin.
The evening started with a talk on the making of gin, distillation processes and botanicals,while we enjoyed a delicious combination of Bombay Sapphire, Martini Asti and fresh lemon juice. We also got to sample each of the botanicals that go into the creation of this mighty blend. The most interesting for me was the Cassia Bark which when chewed is sweet and incredibly cinnamony and strangely similar to Big Red chewing gum!
Then onto the master class – we were shown how to make classic cocktails including a Martini (apparently it should be stirred not shaken – James Bond take note), a Bramble, a classic Collins and the absolutely amazing Aviator (I am a full convert).
I won’t go into the details of how to make each one as I am sure they will be on the Bombay Sapphire website however the aforementioned Aviator is worth special attention. Apparently this cocktail used to be on menus everywhere but fell out of fashion – I feel like we should all campaign to bring it back! The barman mixed one part gin, one part Maraschino and one part lemon juice and strained into a martini glass with a cherry garnish – simple but superb!This was followed by the chance to work with the mixologists to come up with our own concoction. Inspired by an amazing array of fruits, herbs and veg from the neighbouring Borough market everybody got creative(no doubt aided by the recently sampled cocktails). My masterpiece was a classic martini with rosemary and a dash of honey – it was a triumph of a blend even if I do say so myself! We then tried a pink grapefruit and gin ‘muddle’ and a variety of Negroni mixes (I concluded, after much experimentation) that my ultimate mix is 1 part gin, 1 part Campari, ½ a part Martini Rosso and ½ a part Maraschino – perfection!). Needless to say we stumbled out feeling extremely merry! As a seasoned attendee of PR events, although thrilled with the goody bag we received, I had sort of expected it – however even my hardened heart was melted when we got home and realised the bottles we had been kindly given, had been personalised with our names and CosILickMyPlate engraved on the sides – what a great touch – the pride of our ever expanding drinks cabinet! Bombay Sapphire I salute you – thanks for a wonderful evening.