Behind the bar: Lyndsay Craig and Christopher Fraser, Champagne Central, Glasgow

SLTN discusses Scottish spirits with two bartenders from Champagne Central

How many different Scottish spirits do you currently stock?

(Lyndsay) Too many to count. From whisky to gin, vodka and even rums.

Why do you think the Scottish spirits industry has performed so well in recent years?

(Lyndsay) I believe that more and more people in Scotland want to drink spirits that are locally-made, opening up the market for more companies to get their product out there.

What consumer trends have you noticed with regards to Scottish spirits and which trends do you expect to grow over the next year?

(Christopher) With regards to whisky, I believe we have left the image of the old man with his pipe behind and are now hitting a much younger and fashionable demographic. The Glenfiddich IPA, which is made using craft beer casks, or Glenmorangie with some of their fantastic finishes, are great examples of this and it’s helping younger people get into the spirit, enjoy it and explore the category more. This will only grow.

Are customers more interested in Scottish spirits than they used to be?

(Christopher) Yes, I think in the last few years Scotland has become more passionate about its own products.

How do you source your Scottish spirits?

(Lyndsay) By speaking to reps from wholesalers or direct from the distillery themselves.

What tips would you give an operator looking to grow their selection of Scottish spirits?

(Christopher) When looking to add spirits, it’s crucial that those in charge understand exactly what their customers want. Flavoured gins should be a hit, while perfect serves should always be understood and new trends have to be monitored.

Have you been to any Scottish distilleries? If so, what was good about the experience?

(Christopher) I have been to Glengoyne and Aberfeldy. I would recommend anyone to visit and tour a distillery because knowledge really helps behind the bar.