How to Host a (Bombay Sapphire) Speakeasy Party

dress the part

merlin griffiths

The media event of Bombay Sapphire is my overall favorite media event. Every year, I always looked for it. One reason might be that the global ambassador of Bombay Sapphire Merlin Griffiths is an amazing storyteller. Plus, I always left the event with three more drinks to add to my cocktail recipe book.

speakeasy props

The theme was speakeasy, which led to great tales. Take notes since it is a theme that would be awesome for a birthday party. In case that you do not know, a speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is a secret establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. They gained popularity during the prohibition era. They were often members-only establishments. One famous speakeasy in Chicago used a personalized gold key to identify their members. The gold key attached to my invitation told me that we would get a treat. We did!

speakeasy invites

How to Host a Speakeasy Party at Home

dress the part

Keep to an invitation-only guest list. Speakeasy were about a selected few. Therefore, invite a small number of close friends. Ask your guests to dress the part by either wearing 1920s-style clothes or their favorite stylish clothes. Display a few props and serve a few classic cocktails.

Chunks of Ice in Your Drinks

ice block

Good quality ice plays a role in making outstanding cocktails. Make yours with boiled water for a clear, pure taste. If you wish to stay true to the era, serve your drinks on ice chunks, that you smash from an ice block. Merlin explained to us how to make your own ice block. Pour the boiled water in an Eskimo cooler and put it on the freezer for 3 or 4 days. This is the amount of time it takes to freeze.

ice block

One last details are the glasses. Your grandma treasures would be perfect for this occasion. Otherwise, shop at a dollar store or visit the flea markets to find your set of old-style tumblers and highball glasses.

Have a look at this video for all the insights on how to make your own Sapphire and Sin (recipe below).

Sapphire and Sin Recipe

sapphire and sin recipe


  • 1.5 oz. of Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 oz. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 0.5 oz. fresh ginger syrup (recipe below)
  • Ginger slices and cilantro leaves for garnish

You can make it ahead and filter the juice in a fine strainer.

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, starting with the gin, follow by the juices and the ginger syrup. Add big pieces of ice that you just smashed from your ice block. Then, shake vigorously. Serve on the rocks in a tumbler. Garnish with ginger slices and cilantro leaves.

Ginger Syrup Recipe

Put in a saucepan 1 cup of powdered white sugar, 3/4 cup of boiling water and 5 thick slices of peeled ginger root. Or you could use ginger root juice to infuse your simple syrup with flavor. Cook the mixture for 10 minutes over medium heat. Let it cool for 30 minutes and strain into a clean bottle. Refrigerate. You can keep it for several weeks in the fridge.

I will share more drink recipes in the coming days. In the meantime, you can see more photos on my Facebook page.

bombay sapphire media event 2011