Bombay Sapphire Distillery tour: Here is where the fun be-gins

11 June 2019, 06:49 | Updated: 11 June 2019, 12:44

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is a fascinating excursion for lovers of the quintessential British spirit
The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is a fascinating excursion for lovers of the quintessential British spirit. Picture: Bombay Sapphire
Emma Gritt

By Emma Gritt

A trip to rural Hampshire is a glorious way to indulge the senses - and learn about your favourite tipple.

If you've ever had one of those mornings where you lie there, hungover and yelping "how did this happen?" I really feel for you.

But did you know it's possible to actually go directly to the source of your hangover - and it's not the shame-inducing recycling bin.

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire makes for a fascinating day out, and is even good fun if you're feeling a bit ropey, as we were when we visited at the weekend.

Read more: The best fruity gins for World Gin Day 2019

The glass houses were designed by Thomas Heatherwick, who also designed the London Olympics 2012 cauldron
The glass houses were designed by Thomas Heatherwick, who also designed the London Olympics 2012 cauldron. Picture: Bombay Sapphire

As it was International Gin Day, it seemed like the perfect place for a day trip, especially as you get to enjoy a bespoke Bombay Sapphire cocktail on your way out.

It was amazing to see where the world's supply of Bombay Sapphire - the world's second most popular gin - is made.

Last year the four copper stills on site produced a whopping 55 MILLION litres of Bombay Sapphire, which was shipped across the world.

The Botanical Dry Room lets visitors smell the ingredients that go in to making gin
The Botanical Dry Room lets visitors smell the ingredients that go in to making gin. Picture: Bombay Sapphire

Based in a former paper mill, the distillery sits on the River Test, which gives the site a glorious ambience typical to an English country garden, complete with a babbling stream, wild flowers, birds and even deers.

But there is more nature to be enjoyed inside, too.

Two giant glasshouses contain tropical and Mediterranean plants, which let visitors get up close and personal with the eight botanicals that go in to every bottle of Bombay Sapphire.

They're heated by two of the huge copper stills just meters away in the still house, which is manned 24/7 by brewers using centuries-old methods to steam in the secret combination of herbs and plants that make Bombay Sapphire such a flavoursome option.

The River Test brings wildlife and tranquility to the distillery
The River Test brings wildlife and tranquility to the distillery. Picture: Bombay Sapphire

On the way out, everyone gets a cocktail - and they're all adventurous enough to make you want to try and jazz up your own G&Ts when you get home.

Those wanting more one-on-one tuition might be keen to take part in one of the Distillery's Gin Cocktail Masterclasses.

The £45 experience includes three cocktails and one sample in total, plus an hour-long mixology class and a self-guided tour of the distillery.

If Hampshire is a bit of a trek from where you are, nearby hotel the DeVere Wokefield Estate offers a Gin Lovers mini break package for two, which includes dinner and breakfast for two.

Prices start from £154. Visit the DeVere website for details.