Spirit that is only getting stronger

The current ‘gin boom’ is expected to continue into the new year and beyond

Hendrick’s is one of the gin brands enjoying huge success in Scotland’s bars and pubs

GIN remains very much the spirit of the moment, both in terms of sales and new products, and growth is predicted to continue into 2019 and beyond.

Subsequently, if there’s one spirit that is definitely a ‘must-stock’, it’s gin.

The top three most popular gins in the Scottish on-trade are major international brands, according to CGA figures, but from fourth place the craft brands start to creep in.

Hendrick’s – one of the brands which arguably kick-started the current gin boom – is now one of the most popular gins in Scotland’s bars and pubs, with fellow Scottish brands such as Boë and Edinburgh Gin having also established a significant presence on the country’s back-bars.

The gin category has broadened in recent years to include a diverse range of different styles, from the traditional London Dry, Old Tom and Navy Strength-style gins to newer  flavoured and experimental varieties.

The ingredients – or ‘botanicals’ – used in the making of each gin are often what sets the many brands on the market apart from each other, and there’s certainly no shortage of names for licensees to choose from.

Drinks companies provided a number of hints and tips to help bar and pub operators make the most of the category this year, including hosting events such as tastings or food and gin-pairing dinners.

Provenance, seasonal flavours and – above all – quality were also highlighted as vital when choosing which products to stock.

Joanne Motion, customer marketing manager at Ian Macleod Distillers, parent company of Edinburgh Gin, said: “Having a gin offering that focuses on premium brands, carefully-selected botanicals, and seasonally-appropriate flavours is great for the customer and the return.”

With customers increasingly knowledgeable about the spirit, it was also recommended licensees encourage staff to learn as much as they can about the gins they’re selling.