Earlier this week the team at Peg + Patriot celebrated Ally Martin being crowned this year’s Bacardi Legacy UK winner. Could his colleague Sam Kirk do the double with his reimagined gin and tonic, ‘Once upon a time in Bombay’ and win the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition? We’ll have to wait until Monday 30th March to find out but in the meantime, he takes his turn in the hot seat and answers our set questions. Over to you Sam…


What was it about the brief that appealed to you?

The thought of putting a spin on the classic gin and tonic using some new techniques and ideas, using a simple base and seeing where it can be taken.

When and where did you experience your first gin and tonic?

Not being a huge staple of the Australian drinking scene, my first real gin and tonic experience was when I moved to London about 18 months ago.

What’s your definition of the classic gin and tonic?

Cold, crisp and refreshing with that lovely botanical gin and sharp citrus.

And how do you describe your reimagined recipe?

I tried to stay true to the idea of a gin and tonic, keeping the freshness, slight bitterness and clean taste, but included some exotic vibes.

What was the inspiration behind your drink?

The drink was inspired by a trip to India taken a few years back. It’s a recreation of a mango lassi.

Who would you like to see drinking it?

I would like to see everyone drinking it, thinking of warmer weather and sunnier skies.

One of the entry requirements was to submit an aerial shot/illustration of your cocktail, how much of an impact did this have on your recipe?

It forced me to think outside the box in terms of presentation and garnish, the overall feel of the serve had to be aesthetically pleasing from every angle.

State which order the inspiration for your cocktail came to you: (a) name of cocktail; (b) image of your cocktail; (c) recipe.

The recipe is always the most important part, the look and feel of the cocktail is next and then the name.

What’s the one ingredient that makes your Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic unique?

Probably the yoghurt.

The theme of the competition is Find Sublime, what does this expression mean to you?

It’s about capturing the imagination and creating something beautiful.

Complete the following: Bombay Sapphire is…

A household name and an excellent gin, backed by a passionate team and created in a beautiful and sustainable distillery.

Photography: Sean Ware

To read the In the hot seat sessions with the other semi-finalists and keep up-to-date with the competition, see here.

Bombay Sapphire’s World’s Most Imaginative Bartender UK final takes place at the Mondrian hotel on 30th March. Follow the action @BSapphireGinUK #wmibUK #findsublime

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