Princess Cruises has partnered with the Bombay Sapphire Distillery to create a bespoke gin-based cocktail, inspired by the 2,670-guest ship Sapphire Princess and her Mediterranean ports of call.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to be one of the first to taste the new cocktail onboard the Sapphire Princess and visit the home of Bombay Gin and what a pleasure it was!
Influenced by the dazzling blue hues of the Mediterranean sea and sky, the ‘Sapphire Princess’ is the newest addition to the vessel’s cocktail menu. The drink includes a generous measure of Bombay Sapphire gin, which is itself made with botanical ingredients sourced from several of the countries and destinations Sapphire Princess sails to.
The cocktail’s mixers include Blue Curacao to evoke the sea, and a splash of Prosecco to signify the fizz and bubbles created by waves in the water.
Intended to appeal to Brits who have a long-standing love affair with gin, the ‘Sapphire Princess’ will be available on sailings departing from Southampton between April and October 2019. The cocktail launch marks the vessel’s return to the UK after sailing around Asia and the Indian Ocean.
Latest figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s (WSTA) Market Report, show that in the 12 months prior to June this year, gin sales in the UK were worth over £1.6 billion and up 38% on the same period last year. Brits bought almost 60 million bottles in the UK, worth an extra £516 million.
In the last 12 months guests onboard Princess Cruises ships have consumed approximately 1.6 million gin and tonics based on a 35ml serving, the equivalent to 28 hot tubs filled with gin.
The Bar Manager on Sapphire Princess has even introduced Gin Tasting Masterclasses onboard the ship to offer passengers an insight into a range of gins available on the ship. The masterclasses are offered to guests for $20 and are limited to ten guests per sessions to sample a range of gins, including Bombay Sapphire, in the Skywalkers Nightclub.
Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK and Europe, said: “We’re excited to offer this brand new cocktail which is bursting with flavours. Guests can enjoy a glass or two in one of the many bars onboard Sapphire Princess, or sitting in the sun on the top deck watching the world sail by.”
Sam Carter, Senior Brand Ambassador for the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, said: “The Sapphire Princess cocktail is a silky smooth, well-balanced libation that takes its inspiration partially from the deep bright blue colour of the Mediterranean Sea and also the countries that the Sapphire Princess sails around. A little splash of Prosecco is added to finish off the cocktail to evoke the fizz and bubbles created by the waves in the sea.”
The new cocktail is available on sailings including:
- A 7-day Spain and France cruise, departing May 25, 2019 on Sapphire Princess. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, ports of call include La Coruna (Spain), Bilbao (Spain), Bordeaux (France) and St. Peter Port (Guernsey). Prices from £999 per person (free upgrade from Oceanview to Balcony stateroom).
- A 14-day Mediterranean Adventurer cruise, departing August 17, 2019 on Sapphire Princess. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, ports of call include Seville (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Marseille (Provence – France), Livorno (Florence/Pisa – Italy) Civitavecchia (Rome – Italy), Alghero (Sardinia), Ceuta (Spanish Morocco – Spain). Prices from £1,949 per person (free upgrade from Oceanview to Balcony stateroom).
To book visit www.princess.com, call 0344 338 8663 or contact your local travel agent.
For those of you who can’t wait until spring 2019 to taste the new Sapphire Princess cocktail, I can reveal the recipe!
Sapphire Princess Cocktail Recipe
45ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
15ml Blue Curacao
15ml MARTINI Bianco Vermouth
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Splash of Prosecco
Glassware: chilled martini cocktail glass
Method: Squeeze the lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and add all other ingredients (except the sparkling wine) including lots of cubed ice and shake well for 10 seconds. Using a fine tea strainer, strain the cocktail into a martini cocktail glass and add a splash of Prosecco. Garnish by squeezing and orange peel disc over the drink, allowing the oils from the orange skin to rest on the top of the drink. Then using a knife, make a cut 1/3rd of the way through the orange peel disc and then place on the rim edge of the glass.
About Bombay Sapphire
Based on a secret recipe from 1761, Bombay Sapphire is produced by passing spirit vapour through the botanicals, which are held separately from the spirit in a perforated copper basket. This process, known as vapour infusion, allows the gentle absorption of each of the aromatic flavours, resulting in a wonderfully balanced, crisp yet delicate finish; creating a versatility unmatched by other gins that can be savoured with tonic, in a classic martini cocktail, or in mixed cocktails. The ten botanicals that make Bombay Sapphire so special are carefully sourced from all around the world:
- Spain – Lemon Peel
- Spain – Almonds
- Italy, Tuscany – Juniper Berries
- Italy – Oris Root
- China – Liquorice
- Indo-China – Cassia Bark
- Morocco – Coriander Seeds
- Saxony – Angelica Root
- West Africa, Ghana – Grains of Paradise
- Java – Cubeb Berries
The Sapphire Princess cocktail is a deliciously sophisticated cocktail that I predict will be very popular with British passengers. It has a smooth taste that encapsulates the distinctive Bombay Sapphire flavours with citrus notes and the sweetness of Martini Bianco.
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