Gin benefits from cocktail boom

Interest in spirit growing, bartender says


GIN appears to be reaping the rewards of the ongoing cocktail boom.

Dean Evans, head bartender at The Finnieston in Glasgow, said consumers have taken more notice of the category since cocktails have become more fashionable.
And while the big brands remain most popular, he said consumers are increasingly asking for lesser-known brands, like Aviation, Sipsmith, Junipero and Death’s Door.
“People are definitely getting more involved with it [gin],” he told SLTN.
“I’m getting people coming into the bar and asking about gins that are really not that commonly available – gins you don’t see in shops or in bars unless it’s a specialist bar. It’s really encouraging.”
That there is a broad range of styles of gin now available is encouraging consumers to experiment, according to Dean.
“There are so many styles now,” he said. “You can use gins that aren’t juniper-heavy. That can be something that people don’t go for, because the juniper flavour is quite distinctive with a strong taste. But there are many [gins] out there now where juniper is not the first flavour that comes through.
“It’s quite easy nowadays to get people to drink gin because there’s so many different styles.”
Since opening its doors last year The Finnieston has set out its stall as a specialist gin bar, stocking around 45 different varieties and selling 15 bottles of the spirit each week, compared to three bottles of vodka.
Dean said the variety of flavours different gins offer make it a good base spirit for cocktails, with the Finnieston’s current list featuring five gin-based drinks.
While the specific gin used will depend on the cocktail, the bartender said Beefeater and Plymouth are used for classic-style drinks.
“Beefeater has good high citrus notes, good orange, which works well with things like Campari and vermouths,” he said.
“It holds its own and it’s quite robust.
“The Plymouth gin I use is quite heavy, oily, with a lot of lemon notes, so it works well with sour-style gin cocktails, like club cocktails.”