Last Thursday Sophie Caldecott and I went to the press preview of the second in the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series – events that those makers of the blue bottled gin are putting on in collaboration with cutting-edge creative types. We were already pretty excited about the gin aspect, having been introduced to ‘mother’s ruin’ long ago by our own mums, but we didn’t realise the night would also involve lemon bubbles, fizzy flowers and an edible cinema ticket. Here’s a photo montage of how it went down.
On arrival we were presented with cutesy little gold pouches that contained a variety of props that we were told would come in useful later, plus a little passport. We grabbed a couple of gin-based cocktails and made a bee-line for the canapes.
We had our passports checked and started our journey, with the aim of getting each page stamped by completing five experiences. First up, we fished a gold leaf out of the gold pouch and fed it through a slot so that individual peepholes were opened and we watched a ballerina dance.
No, sadly, it wasn’t that kind of peepshow, she didn’t take any clothes off.
At the end of the dance she whispered ‘taste it’ and handed us each a small flower. We cautiously licked them and experienced a strong fizzy sensation on our tongues. It was strangely pleasant.
Soothing the spicy fizz, we were told to take the cinema ticket (golden of course) our of our pouches and not hand it in but eat it.
Chomping on the ticket allowed us entry to a tiny six seater cinema where a girl dressed as a phoenix showed us a short animated film about the rebirth of a phoenix. She was a bit of a minx – she was rather handsy with one of the men in our group.
Next up, our group of six squeezed into a hot air balloon-type contraption. By pouring that vial of blue liquid into the jars the balloonist gave us, lemon flavoured bubbles came spilling out. Our mouths and hands got ridiculously sticky as we attempted to eat them.
For the fourth stamp in our passports a white powder was sprinkled into our hands and we were told to taste it. No, it wasn’t anything Colombian, it was ‘imagination dust’, juniper-flavoured obviously, and a peacock lady told us all about the origins of juniper berries and Bombay Sapphire gin.
Finally we were taken on an imaginary aeroplane ride where we sampled sweetly flavoured clouds. Our pilot provided that all-important stamp.
With a stamp on every page we were permitted entry to the mezzanine bar where we got to sample bespoke Bombay Sapphire cocktails. It might sound a bit weird, but Sophie loved the beetroot-based one, and she’s blogged the recipe here too.
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