Tanqueray Gin vs Bombay Sapphire

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 20, 2023

Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire are two of the most popular classics when it comes to London Dry Gin. Here's our in-depth guide about how those two compare.
Tanqueray Gin vs Bombay Sapphire Guide

If you're new to Gin, you might have a hard time finding the best Gin for your Gin & Tonic. Most people recommend starting with the classics, and so do we. But even when concentrating on the more classic bottles, there are plenty of options; -and Tanqueray and Bombay are two that immediately come to mind.

Others include Beefeater, Gordon's, plus many others like Hayman's, Hendrick's, and so on. Here, we want to make a side-by-side comparison of Tanqueray Gin and Bombay Sapphire - both among the top 5 choices for classic Gin.

Comparison Table

Bombay Sapphire Tanqueray
ABV 40% (47% in US) 40% (AU, NZ, and CA), 43.1% (UK & EU), 47.3%(US)
Proof 80 (94 in US) 80 (AU, NZ, and CA), 86.2 (UK & EU), 94.6%(US)
Country England Scotland
Price $15 - $20 $15 - $20
# of Botanicals 10 4
Dominant flavors Juniper, herbs, citrus, and floral notes Piney juniper and lemon zest
Introduced 1986 1830
Owned by Bacardi Diageo

Tanqueray Gin 

Tanqueray London Dry Gin bottle
  • ABV: 47.3%
  • Distilled at: Cameron Bridge Distillery near Edinburgh, Scotland 
  • Price Band: $15 - $20
  • Taste: Juniper, pine, lemon zest

First launched in 1830 by Charles Tanqueray, this classic London Dry Gin recipe is produced in the same distillery as Gordon's Gin; -at Cameron Bridge distillery near Edinburgh.

Tanqueray includes just four botanicals to produce a juniper-heavy Gin with a fresh nose and dry palate full of juniper and citrus. It is among the highest-ABV options and makes an excellent Gin and Tonic. 


No other Gin has such a distinct juniper aroma as Tanqueray Gin. The palate is also juniper-forward, with spicy notes in the background.

Nose: Strong and piney notes of juniper like no other Gin, intriguing hints of lemon zest, and angelica.

Palate: Dominant notes of juniper complemented by cinnamon, coriander, and angelica root.

Finish: Long and warm finish with hints of juniper and spicy notes.

Botanicals & Production process

Tanqueray London Dry Gin is flavored with only four different botanicals. However, they still create a quite complex flavor profile with just those four ingredients.

The production process is quite unique as the botanicals are added to neutral grain spirit and distilled straightaway. Other brands and products typically let the ingredients steep in alcohol for a few hours or days.

The four botanicals used to make Tanqueray Gin are:

  • Juniper
  • Angelica root
  • Licorice
  • Coriander

Use on cocktails

Tanqueray's strong juniper notes make it an ideal base for Gin cocktails with a classic profile. Our preferred drinks to make with it are a Dry Martini, Gin Sour, and, naturally, a Tanqueray and Tonic.

The best way to garnish a Gin Tonic made with Tanqueray is simple and classic - a wedge of lime. That perfectly highlights the lime and lemon flavors in the Gin and goes beautifully with the pronounced juniper notes.

Bombay Sapphire Gin

  • ABV: 47%
  • Distilled at: Laverstoke Mill in Laverstoke, England 
  • Price Band: $15 - $20
  • Taste: Juniper, floral, citrus, herbs

Bombay Sapphire is best known for its striking blue bottle design. The brand is owned by Bacardi and is one of the youngest competitors when it comes to classic Gin brands. 

Their Sapphire Gin features ten different botanicals, making it more aromatic on the nose and delivering spiced, peppery, and citric notes to the nose and palate. It's a worthy alternative to other classic brands should you be looking for something less juniper-heavy.


The overall taste of Bombay Sapphire is well-balanced, with distinct acidic notes from the lemon peels that go along with coriander and juniper. 

Nose: Peppery with notes of coriander and citrus.

Palate: Mild with a gentle heat; spicy, earthy, and floral notes pair with hints of citrus and juniper.

Finish: Quite a long finish with dominant notes of juniper, coriander, and lemon.

Botanicals & Production process

Bombay uses a total of ten different botanicals to flavor their iconic Sapphire Gin. Instead of steeping them in neutral grain spirit, Bombay Sapphire infused flavors with a technique called vapor infusion extraction

That means that the Gin is flavored during the distillation. The botanicals are placed in a basket, and once the alcohol evaporates, it passes these baskets and is infused with the flavors before it turns liquid again.

The botanicals used in Bombay Sapphire Gin are:

  • Almonds
  • Angelica root
  • Cassia bark
  • Coriander
  • Cubeb pepper
  • Grains of paradise
  • Juniper berries
  • Lemon peel
  • Licorice root
  • Orris root. 

Use on cocktails

Its balanced flavor profile with prominent yet not overpowering juniper notes make Bombay excellent in many classic Gin drink recipes. We preferably use it in a Dry Martini, Gin Gin Mule, and in a classic Gin and Tonic

Served in a G&T, Bombay Sapphire is best garnished with a slice of lemon and fresh mint. 


The battle of Tanqueray vs Bombay Sapphire is mainly decided by the consumer. If you like a Gin with dominant juniper notes, Tanqueray is your best option. It turns the classic juniper-forward flavor profile of London Dry Gins into a high-class Gin.

If you're new to Gin or aren't a fan of overly juniper-dominant spirits, Bombay Sapphire is the better choice. The flavor profile is more balanced with more pronounced citrus and spice notes. 

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