Flavors have long been the rage for rum and vodka, but now Bombay Sapphire is bringing a new twist to the gin category.
The new spirit infuses Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorns, along with Bombay’s existing mix of 10 botanicals.
Coral Gables-based Bacardi U.S.A. is rolling out Bombay Sapphire East in South Florida and across the country, after a successful test last year in New York and Las Vegas. The original Bombay Sapphire is already the fastest-growing premium gin in the world.
“We didn’t set out to develop an Asian blend or innovate just for the sake of innovation,” said Giles Woodyer, vice president and brand managing director of the House of Bombay. “It seemed a natural fit for the brand. Some of the best spices are from the Asian spice trail. There’s a national awareness of the growth in the Asian flavors and taste profile.”
Bombay Sapphire East will be showcased in Miami Beach on Friday night at LUCKYRICE, an Epicurean Cocktail Feast at the SoHo Beach House.
The event will include chef Todd English and Susur Lee of Top Chef, plus local chefs Douglas Rodriguez and Norman Van Aken and top Asian restaurants Hakkasan and Katsuya.
Bacardi helped bring the festival to Miami for the first time, following successful events in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
“The people who go to LUCKYRICE want to try new things,” Woodyer said. “They’re looking for exciting new food and cocktails.”
This is the first new product launch for Bombay since the introduction of Bombay Sapphire 25 years ago. Sapphire added cubeb berries and grains of paradise to the original Bombay, whose history dates back to 1761.
The test launch of Bombay Sapphire East last year in New York and Las Vegas sold about 4,000 cases, yet the core Bombay Sapphire brand continued to post double-digit growth, selling close to 800,000 cases, Woodyer said. Bombay Sapphire East sales are expected to grow by more than 700 percent during the next two years.
“We believe East is bringing new drinkers into the gin category,” Woodyer said.