Stocking a range which showcases the category’s diversity is key
FROM a host of small-batch products to the emergence of flavoured variants, gin has seen no shortage of activity in recent years.
It’s this growing diversity that’s said to have piqued the interest of bartenders – and it seems consumers are following suit.
Grant Murray, bar manager at Bar One in Inverness, told SLTN gin is going from strength to strength in the outlet – growth he reckons has been influenced by the emergence of several Scottish gin brands in particular.
“People are becoming more open to gins, especially as the Scottish gins break onto the market,” he said.
“It certainly is growing. Gin and tonics used to be reserved for old ladies and in the last five years that’s definitely changed.”
In a similar way to malt whisky, the individual character of different gins is a key selling point, according to Murray.
“The flavour and the fragrance from gin is why people love it,” he said.
“People are more aware of how different the gins can be.
“Each individual gin has a unique flavour and unique fragrance.”
The individuality of each gin underlines the importance of stocking a broad range, said Murray.
“Display it well; we have a dedicated gin gantry,” he added.
“Make sure your bartenders are pointing out that the range is available.
“People will splash out on premium gin when they’re getting cocktails.
“If someone is going to pay for a gin Martini then they’re going to pay for a premium gin.”
Adrian Gomes, who runs cocktail catering company 10 Dollar Shake and The Tippling House bar in Aberdeen, agreed that gin is going from strength to strength, saying it is the biggest-selling spirit in his bar.
He also highlighted the importance of stocking a broad range of gins.
“I’d say the key is having an interesting selection, a good house pour, a choice of tonics and the support of the team in pushing the category,” said Gomes.
It’s such a diverse category, albeit the differences between gins can be subtle.
Echoing the sentiments of Murray, Gomes said Scottish gins play a key role in the range at The Tippling House. He also highlighted the variety of tastes and flavours the category now offers.
“It’s such a diverse category, albeit the differences can be subtle, but that’s what makes gin great,” said Gomes.
“Having a few key national brands such as Caorunn, Hendrick’s and The Botanist helps too.
“Support your region, and offer a range that covers all bases – gins that go with specific tonics, gins with interesting serves and gins made specifically for Martinis or other classic mixed drinks.
“Bigger is not necessarily better, and that’s proven by the gin category where a three-botanical gin can be just as good as a 33-botanical gin.”
Pointing to the growing thirst for knowledge about the provenance of food ingredients, Gomes said the same information can be a key selling point when it comes to gin.
“I’d say we seldom get asked what the botanicals in a specific gin are,” he said.
“It can be a good talking point, though.
“You can highlight the interesting botanicals or even the number of botanicals in the blend.”
Image – Bar One in Inverness stocks a broad range of gins which spans different flavour profiles.