Gin evolves in colour

If you are looking for a real success story in the world of spirits, don’t search around in the beloved categories of bearded mixologists. What triumphs is not the mezcal but the good old gin.

Overall sales reached over 15 billion fl oz in 2018, compared to just over 7 billion in 2010. Crazy numbers. Some analysts warn that this growth will stop in the coming years, with market stabilization. Others even speak of a slight decrease.

Yet the gin market is dominated by cheap brands and the outlook is the bleakest for them. As a result, growth is expected in the premium segment. A real change of scenery for anyone interested in history. Indeed, when gin arrived in England, it was initially imposed on the poor classes. The madness of 17th and 18th century gin built up a bad reputation that only changed at the end of the 19th century, when it became an essential ingredient in cocktails. Nevertheless, in the post-war period, gin took on an old-fashioned image, with young people preferring vodka, without flavour, and their elders the more sophisticated aromas of spirits such as whisky or cognac. It took the return of the cocktail, first of all, and the fashion of Spanish gin and tonic to see the craft brands take off.

However, analysts are convinced that there is a threshold for gin: except in the United States, the consumption of cocktails remains quite discreet – at least in volume – and gin is therefore limited by its association with tonic, which, as past fashion has shown, is not to everyone’s taste. One way out comes from Spain, where pink gin (strawberry) has been the driving force behind the category’s growth for the past three years. Sweeter and served with a lemon / lime soda, it offers an alternative for consumers who do not appreciate the bitterness of a classic Gin & Tonic. Unfortunately, most of these strawberry gins only have gin by name and are closer to the liqueur. The risk of perverting the category and destroying the educational work of the last ten years is therefore very real.

François Monti

 

Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.