Glasshouses of Bombay Sapphire

All images taken by me or Joanne Haslam.

This Post is in collaboration with Bombay Sapphire.

I’m not sure if you know this but my go-to drink when out with friends or in a bar is a Gin and Tonic – so when Bombay Sapphire invited me to spend a day in their distillery I of course jumped at the chance and documented it all along the way.

Tucked away in the village of Laverstoke is the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, a tourist destination, a place where gin enthusiasts can learn a lot about the brand itself and last but certainly not least – where they create their Gin.

My friend Joanne and I got the train from Waterloo to Overton and there at Overton station is a shuttle bus with ‘Bombay Sapphire’ written on the front. The shuttle coincides with the train times so it’s perfect and incredibly easy to get to.

We were taken around for the day by their brand ambassador Sam Carter who has the most incredible knowledge of Gin and the distilling process of anyone that I’ve ever met – he’s a real asset to the brand itself. We started off in the Empire Bar (pictured below) which was full of the 4 main types of Bombay Sapphire Gin itself. The blue bottle really catches your eye and makes it stand out amongst the crowd.

We learned all about what exactly Gin is made of, what kind of botanicals they mix with the alcohol to produce the ‘Gin’ flavour and why Bombay Distill it the way that they do. We were able to try some of the raw ingredients, berries, seeds etc and taste how flavoursome such a small seed or dried berry could be.

When researching the distillery prior to going I’d noticed the ‘glass houses’ – intricately and beautifully designed by Thomas Heatherwick – which house samples of all the botanicals that Bombay infuse their gin with to create the perfect flavour.  If you’ve followed me or read my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m incredibly inspired by architecture and seeing this place in real life was breath-taking.

Housed inside the glass were a whole host of botanicals from bitter almonds to Liquorice. The glass house on the left supports more ‘tropical’ based plant life so it fills with steam every few seconds to keep the temperature correct for the plants.

We then proceeded to the Dry Room where we would breathe our way through everything collected in the glasshouses, you’re given a score sheet and each botanical is numbered – you hole punch the ones you like and show it to the Gin Expert at the end who will then produce a cocktail for you based on what scents you liked the most. A really nice personal touch in my opinion. 

We were then shown the stills where they actually distill the Gin, however in that room you’re not allowed cameras, phones or any electrical items because there’s a high risk of explosions within that vicinity. Tall copper tankers heat up and infuse the botanicals with the alcohol itself.

Then finally you’re taken back to the bar where you show your scent card from earlier and your perfect Gin concoction will be created for you. Like I said earlier Gin and Tonic is my go-to drink but learning a lot more about Bombay Sapphire has given me a deeper understand of just how these drinks are made and how much history is behind that beverage.

If you are interested in visiting the Bombay Sapphire Distillery then please visit their site here. The weekends can get extremely busy so remember to book ahead if you do plan on going.

Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Bombay Sapphire as much as I did!