I was really looking forward to trying this gin, having absolutely adored the BA Baked Apple gin we’d tasted back in the depths of winter, which had so reminded me of the comfort a warming blackberry and apple crumble with custard can bring.
So, I whipped this £23 bottle of Bombay Bramble off the shelf at Waitrose in Sidmouth without a second thought, delighted at the promise of the treat to come, even though it was a hot day in July – for who doesn’t enjoy a crumble cold, with lashings of clotted cream and ice cream?
Opening the bottle that evening, I discovered that Bombay Bramble comes “with a blackberry & raspberry infusion,” which lacks a little subtlety. At just 37.5% ABV, its taste is strongly dominated by the berries which, although described on the label as “freshly harvested,” in fact seemed to be more redolent of the food lab than the fruit cage.
Hubby thought it tasted like an alcoholic Vimto while I was reminded of a cough syrup, but other bloggers have been more impressed. The Gin is In, for example, thinks there are hints of angelica and the spice botanicals while describing Bombay Bramble as “Elevating the concept of a pink gin”. Then while suggesting mixing a Negroni, the site’s expert says this fruity offering does its best work when left to shine on its own.
However, unlike the Baked Apple gin that I so enjoyed, Bombay Bramble is not one we’d choose to drink neat as a warmer in a hip flask – but with a citrus lemon or plain tonic, as a base for a cocktail it is quite acceptable. But my disappointment was, perhaps, sharpened by the fact that the original Bombay Sapphire is such a highly rated and superb gin, so my message to the makers is this: could do better.