Behind bars: gin

James Sutherland, 56 North, Edinburgh

Which gin serves are proving particularly popular this summer? Is the G&T king or are cocktails taking over?

As always with us G&Ts are king but we’re also seeing refreshing summer drinks do really well too. We designed a whole series of spritz-style gin drinks before summer, which have come into their own with the warm weather; they are light and flavoursome, so ideal.

Has the weather influenced people’s choice of gin or serve?

110%. The weather means people are looking for refreshing, accessible drinks. Lower ABV products have also benefitted too.

Which tonics and mixers do you currently stock?

We have a huge range with Fever-Tree and Lamb & Watt dominating the space for us but we also have Fentimans, 1724, Schweppes 1783, Bon Accord and Cushidoos. The idea is we want to give customers a choice of flavours, styles and locale, etc. It’s the exact same approach we take to our range of over 400 gins but in tonic form!

How many flavoured gins do you currently stock?

Our range consists of hundreds of gins, more and more of these are based around a pronounced flavour or style. The growth of the flavoured gin market is great but it is key we don’t lose sight of what defines gin, which is juniper! I could (and do) talk for days on this subject but I do love the current growth of accessible styles and flavours.

Where do you source your gins?

To stock over 400 gins, we need to use a bit of everyone. We use all major routes to market and have a few other ways of sourcing some of the very hard to get gins via a London-based specialist.

What are the qualities you look for in a gin?

“What does it add for our guests?” This approach is really simple but highly effective. Branding and flavours, etc. fall behind this. We want to offer a diversity of flavours, production methods and regions. If a brand can do all this well while interesting our guests the rest of it really just falls into line.