The History of Bombay Sapphire
The illustrious history of Laverstoke Mill dates back to as early as the 1086 Doomsday Book, which recorded the presence of a mill on this very site. Throughout its storied past, Laverstoke Mill has been under the ownership of notable figures such as William the Conqueror and Henry VIII, receiving the honor of four royal visits, the most recent one being by Queen Elizabeth in 1962.
In 1719, Henry Portal, a printer who had acquired the lease for Laverstoke Mill, embarked on an expansion project that would pave the way for the manufacturing of banknotes for the British Empire, commencing in 1724.
During the mid-18th century, Laverstoke Mill enjoyed a period of increasing prosperity, playing a pivotal role in the production of banknotes throughout Queen Victoria’s lengthy reign. The Portal family, stewards of the mill, oversaw expansions in 1842 and 1881, introducing elegant architectural enhancements to accommodate growing production needs.
The origins of Bombay Sapphire’s legacy trace back to 1761 when Thomas Dakin acquired a site in Warrington, England, with the ambitious goal of distilling gin. In 1831, the Dakin family acquired a still and ingeniously adapted it to separate the exotic botanicals from the neutral grain spirit. This innovative distillation method, now known as Vapour Infusion, captured the essence of the botanicals in the vapor, imparting a unique flavor profile. This artisanal process, developed by the Dakins, continues to be faithfully employed by Bombay Sapphire to this day.