Bombay Sapphire teams up with Canberra’s iconic Lala Group to experiment and re-imagine the classic London Dry Gin

The Lala Group Team (from left): Lorenzo Focarile, Michael Nguyen, Jessica Arena, Zachary Guertin and Dean Brown. Photos: Christopher Pearce

One gin. Endless Possibilities.

Bombay Sapphire teams up with Canberra’s iconic Lala Group to experiment and re-imagine the classic London Dry Gin

We all love creating a new cocktail, whether it be a simple twist on a classic or a trail-blazing bold experiment. Bombay Sapphire and Canberra’s Lala group have achieved exactly that, creating new and exciting ways to enjoy the Classic London Dry Gin.

In all creative endeavours the first step is choosing the right ingredients to build upon. And that’s Bombay Sapphire. A well-balanced flavour profile enabling incredible versatility. It’s essentially a ‘blank canvas’ for cocktails. Then it’s up to the artist (Lala Group) to experiment and express themselves through the liquid. If you don’t know, Lala group boasts a collection of unique and award-winning venues including The Highball Express, Amici Wine Bar & Deli, Bleachers Sports Bar and 88mph.

“After that I let the ingredients do the talking as to what drink to make, continuously tasting and tweaking until perfection.” – Michael Nguyen

Since 2013, this group has been turning heads with their bold and eccentric venues and cementing their reputation as a living expression of flair and creativity. That’s why they were the perfect partner to bring Bombay Sapphire to life with four exquisite cocktails: The Queen’s Gambit, Butterbee, Casablanca and Mango Colada (see cocktails below).

Each cocktail accentuates Bombay’s secret recipe dating back to 1761 using a process called vapour infusion. The process starts with 10 hand-selected botanicals sustainably sourced from exotic places around the world. The botanicals are then gently vapour infused to capture their bright vibrant flavours. The final product is a well-balanced and versatile gin perfect for creating exceptional cocktails.

We sat down with Lala Group Bartender Michael Nguyen and the owner Lorenzo Focarile to learn a bit more about Lala group and uncover their creative process:

Talk us through your creative process on how you came up with the cocktails?

Michael: Many of my cocktail inspiration comes from the world around me. Visiting farmer markets and hand-picking seasonal produce is an important aspect in kickstarting the creativity process.
Up next is the brainstorming phase, where questions would get fired off rapidly.
• “What is the best way of extracting this flavour?”
• “Will I lose the fresh integrity of the produce?”
• “What are some complimenting / contrasting modifiers that can boost other flavours within the cocktail?”
• “How will this work with Bombay Sapphire as the core base?”
• “Can this ingredient be substituted for another in a classic cocktail?”
From here, I would start designing a core ingredient whether it be a syrup, ferment, infusion etc. and making subtle changes along the way to pair flavours together. After that I let the ingredients do the talking as to what drink to make, continuously tasting and tweaking until perfection.

Tell us a little bit about Lala Group and about your bars? (Lorenzo)

Lorenzo: Borne from a desire to offer world-class experiences in Canberra, Lala Hospitality Group quietly entered the scene with the launch of Molly in early 2013. The Group now boasts a collection of unique and award-winning Canberra venues including The Highball Express, Amici Wine Bar & Deli, Bleachers Sports Bar and 88mph.

Bringing a fresh and fun new vibe to Canberra’s nightlife, Lala’s exclusive range of unique and truly authentic venues offer a variety of hospitality experiences. With live music, masterclasses, tastings, events, private and corporate functions, parties and karaoke, Lala has something for everyone and every situation.

How did you get into Hospitality?

Lorenzo: I entered the hospitality/entertainment business at age twenty from the other side of the bar, as a DJ. Being able to view the business operations from a different viewpoint, I found a passion for bar culture and cocktails. Many years later I had an opportunity to open my first bar, this led me to attend a bar- training course overseas before diving headfirst into our first venue, Molly.
What’s your favourite Bombay Sapphire Cocktail?

Lorenzo: Ramos Gin Fizz
Michael: Boulevardier

 

The Butter Bee: Brown butter Bombay Sapphire Gin, lavender honey & lemon juice

 

The Queen’s Gambit: Pistachio washed Bombay Sapphire Gin, Crème De Cacao, Amontillado Sherry & burnt figs

 

The Casablanca: Bombay Sapphire Gin, Rhubi Mistelle, passionfruit verjus & sparkling wine

 

The Mango Colada: Bombay Sapphire Gin, Mango Puree, Pandan Coconut Cream & lemon juice

To find out how you can partner with Bombay Sapphire reach out to your BMA representative.

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