Let’s hear it for the only lady in the competition, Sian Ferguson from Heads & Tales in sunny Edinburgh. Sian’s reimagined gin and tonic, Officers Only caught the attention of our judges and earns her a place in the semi-finals taking place a week today. Here are her answers to our set questions…

What was it about the brief that appealed to you?

The ability to re-jig a classic drink as much or as little as we liked but to still show off the Bombay Sapphire sounded like an interesting and challenging one and really got me thinking about everything to do with Bombay Sapphire.

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

I think it was when I was working in the Student Union in Aberdeen and I’m 99% sure it was made with Bombay Sapphire! A great wee way to start my journey.

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

For me, a class G&T would be served in a balloon glass with plenty of ice and a couple of squeezes of fresh lime.

And how do you describe your reimagined recipe?

My recipe is a mix between a G&T and a Martini but with an added element of earthy notes with a colourful bit of fun!

What was the inspiration behind your drink?

My inspiration was simply to enhance the notes of Bombay Bombay Sapphire with a small amount of the Blue Bottle whilst keeping things as natural as possible.

Who would you like to see drinking it?

I would love to see someone like Audrey Hepburn drinking my cocktail – someone who can come across as being quite serious but likes an element of fun! I can imagine it would suit a candle lit, basement bar with some light jazz music playing in the background.

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 really made me think about the colour, clarity and garnish of the drink really working together.

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

C, B, A. For me, the recipe for this cocktail was the most important thing and everything else worked around this.

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

My blue, red cabbage reduction.

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

It means always searching for excellence, always wanting to journey – whether literal or metaphorical.

Complete the following: Bombay Sapphire is…

…integrity, excellence, fun and beautiful.

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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