It is a paint. It is flavored. It will make your gin and tonic pretty. And unless you are in London, Edinburgh, or Manchester, U.K., you cannot have it. Cruel, cruel world.
You can’t have it yet, anyway—a girl can dream. The Bombay Sapphire Paint Collection was developed by the gin brand in partnership with Rich Woods, an award-winning bartender and the Head Of Cocktail Development (cool-ass title) at London watering hole/restaurant Duck & Waffle. The paints allow bars to add a bit of mad-scientist playfulness to their gin and tonics. It works like this: A stripe of paint is applied to the inside of a glass. Then, when the gin, tonic, and ice are added, the paint infuses both flavor and color into the cocktail.
The collection launched on October 19. Each of the five locations currently using the paints has their own “bespoke” flavor:
Duck & Waffle – Stretching 230 meters into the city’s skyline, guests can enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of London while sipping on floral Geranium-flavoured G&Ts, developed by Rich Woods himself
Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals – Guests can be transported back to the Victorian era across this collection of London bars while experimenting with the adventurous Calamansi-flavoured G&T
Scout – Simplicity underpins the menu at this sustainable cocktail bar, which will be offering fragrant Bergamot-flavoured G&Ts
Tariff & Dale – Gin lovers in Manchester can expect a tropical Pineapple-flavoured twist on the classic G&T at this cosy bar in the Northern Quarter
Panda and Sons – Gin enthusiasts in Scotland can find vibrant Grapefruit-flavoured G&Ts at this hidden speakeasy-style spot in the heart of Edinburgh
Right now, the only color available is that Bombay Sapphire blue (“an iconic ‘Blue Edition’ paint colour, created by Smith & Sinclair,” as it’s described in a press release), but the development of more colors is already in the works.
Color- and flavor-changing cocktails are having a bit of a moment, it seems. I’ve seen activated charcoal ice cubes that darken the drink as it melts, popsicles dropped in wine or cocktails to add vibrant color and popsicle-y flavor, and liqueurs poured into little floating things so that they gradually tip out as you drink them. This shit, however, is next level.
The Paint Collection will roll out to more than 150 bars in the U.K. in the next few months, and will hopefully land in the really cute bar that’s like three blocks from my apartment sometime soon.