Bacardi-owned Bombay Sapphire has launched a Premier Cru Murcian Lemon gin to honour its long-standing relationships with suppliers and farmers.Murcian Fino lemons are used in the creation of Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, which is said to offer bright, elegant citrus notes complemented by mandarins and sweet navel oranges. Speaking to The Spirits Business, master distiller Dr Anne Brock explained: “For Bombay Sapphire, we'll always start with that core Bombay Sapphire DNA. And then how do we turn this beautifully balanced gin into something different, but keep it balanced? It's always a bit of a bit of a challenge, but it's fun. “As a gin distillery, you start to think, 'well, what am I going for here? Is it a style? Is it a particular cocktail I'm going for?' Well, we didn't take that approach with Premier Cru, we went for a completely different approach – we wanted to tell a story. “When we talk about the people behind the brand, people always think master of botanicals, master distiller, but actually the most important people behind the brand are the guys that are actually growing and harvesting the botanicals. "Ivano [Tonutti, master of botanicals] has spent such a long time building relationships up, and that's such an important and unique relationship that we wanted to be able to tell that story, of this region and the people who work there." Produced from a single late harvest, the ‘perfectly ripened’ Murcian Fino lemons were matured in the Mediterranean sun and left to ripen in the winter months. The lemons are hand-picked and hand-peeled when at their ripest to ensure the most intense citrus aromas and flavours are harnessed. Tonutti, master of botanicals, Bombay Sapphire, has known the brand’s suppliers and farmers in Murcia for more than 20 years. Tonutti explained how picking each lemon by hand makes for “a very well balanced situation”. “It's very important for the quality of the lemon,” he said. “This is really to obtain the best quality level – keeping the brightness of the lemons perfect for the Premier Cru.” Tonotti added: “Murcian citrus is particularly special due to the exact region where it is grown. Sitting in a basin between mountain and sea, it is the perfect micro-climate for growing citrus that slowly ripens in the winter months for the best tasting fruit and impactful flavour." Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru is now available to purchase on bombaysapphire.com and Reserve Bar for RRP US$34.99. Bombay Sapphire released a citrus-flavoured gin in 2022.