Marketing

Gin continues to win

In case you thought it was all over and demand for gin had peaked, IWSR forecasts that the global gin category will grow by 24% over the next five years. Within this, Premium-and-above brands will be doing a lot of the driving. We take a look at the Irish market for gin in our annual Industry Report.

According to the IWSR spirits will enjoy global volume growth in almost all sub-categories over the next five years, especially gin which is predicted to witness 24% growth in volume.

But looking to the present, good weather tends to lift sales of those drinks well-suited to outdoor consumption so gin should benefit from these Summer months when many spirits drinkers tend to favour lighter choices like Gin & Tonics.

As a spirits category gin tucks into third place behind vodka and whiskey and according to market insight analysts CGA gin tends to grow its share of total spirits sales by about 1.8 percentage points over a Summer to the detriment of whiskey and vodka which lose around 0.9 and 0.7 percentage points respectively.

Since gin’s ‘boom’ started in 2015 it only registered its first decline in sales in 2020, five years later.  According to Drinks Ireland|Spirits’ Irish Gin Strategy 2022-2026 much of that small 2020 decline can be laid at the door of the Covid-19 restrictions placed on the on-trade (a key consumer channel for Irish gin) during the year. In tandem with this the complete shutdown of Global Travel Retail didn’t help.

Being such a prominent feature of cocktails, while on-trade gin sales lost out under Covid’s two-year Lockdown spell, a reopened on-trade platform means that gin is set to recommence its soar in sales.

Gin grew volume in Ireland by 7.7% last year to 357,000 cases and currently represents 14% of all spirits by volume here, down only very slightly from 2020 when gin’s market share was 14.1% according to IWSR data.

Gin is such a versatile spirit and it’s only made more so by the range of new flavoured gins. Neither need gin remain ‘flat’. The addition of a sparkling wine to gin as part of a cocktail can add a refreshing fizz to the consumer’s palate.

Gin is also ideally placed to respond to the ‘less but better quality’ demand.

As gin drinkers become much more knowledgeable about the category they continue to seek innovation therein and vintners should therefore regard having a wide variety of gins available as key to successful gin sales this Summer.

Ninth Wave

Ninth Wave Gin is inspired by a love of Irish mythology and its links to the sea.

The recipe for Ninth Wave Irish Gin was conceived by Hinch Distillery Chairman Dr Terry Cross OBE and his team.

The nose begins with fruit flavours; it’s full of citrus notes, sweet Vanillas and a hint of dew-covered grass. It contains Juniper Berries, Coriander Seeds, Angelica root, Orris root, Cassia bark, dried Lemon peel, Cardamom, Grains of Paradise and dried Lemon Verbena.

Ninth Wave Irish gin has an iconic bottle design in ocean blue glass incorporating the symbolism of the Celtic Triskellion (triple spiral) which adorns many ancient monuments throughout Ireland.

Established in 2020, Hinch Distillery is based in County Down and has been acclaimed as a multiple Gold winner both at home and abroad. Ninth Wave was named the World’s Most Highly-Awarded Gin in 2020 at major competitions.

Ninth Wave Export was released in 2021, delivering bolder flavours and higher alcohol strength at 46%.

Ninth Wave is distributed in Ireland by Barry and Fitzwilliam.

Visit https://www.hinchdistillery.com/.

Graham Norton Gin

TV Presenter and author Graham Norton has a fruity new addition to his Premium range. Following the success of Graham Norton’s Own Irish and Own Pink GiNs, Graham wanted to produce a new citrus-based Premium gin to add to his collection, but with a twist.

He’s teamed up with West Cork Distillers and Invivo & Co to create his own Marmalade Gin which is dry in style, crafted with Irish grains and locally-foraged botanicals including Coriander, Lemon peel, Gooseberry, Basil, Elderflower and Oranges.

Developed therefore in collaboration with a marmalade producer and gin producer in Graham’s hometown of Cork, the new addition to Graham’s range is dry in style and made with quality botanicals.

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, Graham’s own Irish Gin and Pink gin also boast very distinctive flavours, having won numerous accolades and awards.

Jawbox Gin & Liqueurs

This award-winning classic dry gin is produced in a distillery set in a 300-acre estate just outside Belfast. Jawbox Gin, available here from Noreast Beers, is distilled in traditional copper pot stills in small batches using grain from the fields surrounding the Jawbox estate and a unique combination of botanicals including local Belfast Black Mountain Heather.

The name ‘Jawbox’ comes from the local nickname for the famous Belfast sink, a lasting symbol of the city’s great manufacturing age in the early 1900s. A lot of laughter and craic was heard around the jawbox. It still is.

Jawbox is often described as the ‘original Gin and Ginger’ since both Jawbox gin and ginger ale were invented in Belfast.

Serve over ice with ginger ale and a wedge of fresh lime.

Jawbox Gin Liqueurs can also be served with ginger ale or Prosecco for a jaw-droppingly refreshing drink.

Thin Gin

This multi-award-winning quality Irish gin came about in the first wave of new Irish gins back in 2015. It won three consecutive medals in the gin category at the Irish Whiskey Awards, the only Irish gin to hold such a record. It has several international awards too and has achieved cult status over the past few years.

This smooth classic but fresh gin with a citrus finish is best enjoyed with a simple Indian Tonic and a slice of Orange.

Even throughout the pandemic the export market for Thin Gin from Anchor Spirits, a small company based in the Southeast, continued to rise.

So following its success Anchor Spirits looked at the fruitier end of the market and created Thin Gin Raspberry.

Using fresh Irish Raspberries, the deep magenta pink colour came very naturally and rather than filter it out, Thin Gin Raspberry retains its distinctive hue.

On opening, the fresh Raspberry aroma is unmistakable and as Pink Gins go, this one’s at the higher end of the scale.

Among its growing stable of brands Anchor Spirits also boasts Muldoon Irish Whiskey Liqueur and Spike Island Spiced Rum.

For further information on distribution and sales see www.anchorspirits.ie.

Blood Monkey: Gold – winning pair of Irish gins

Blood Monkey Gin and Blood Monkey Spice Storm are a pair of sipping gins from Dublin-based Outcast Brands.  They recently each won a Gold medal at the Global Gin Masters 2022 in the Ultra Premium and Contemporary categories respectively.

Blood Monkey, the inaugural product from Irish-owned Outcast Brands, is distilled by West Cork Distillers in Skibbereen.

Master Distiller Deirdre Bohane notes, “Blood Monkey is a sophisticated spirit with a complex character that reveals various details as it evolves on the palate. It hits you with a smooth, warm citrus spice followed with a slight hint of floral entwined with smoky, caramel flavours of whiskey”.

Available nationally via Bevella, Celtic Whiskey or direct with Outcast Brands.

Exiles Irish Gin

Multi award-winning The Exiles Irish Gin from The Wild Geese Premium Irish spirits collection was the first gin in the world containing shamrock. Made to a secret recipe, the artisanal product was created with the assistance of an eighth-generation gin-maker whose family have distilled gin for over 300 years.

The Exiles, a small-batch production gin using traditional pot distilling methods, is infused with traditional all-Irish botanicals including Shamrock, red Clover flowers, Honeysuckle flowers, Rowanberries and bog myrtle and with a nose opening up to notes of citrus zest, Pine, Eucalyptus, Violet and Apple peel, it wraps-up on the finish with more zest and hints of cracked black pepper. It’s bottled at 41.3% ABV for a more rounded and dryer profile which results in a crisp, smooth and floral gin.

Distilled for crispness, it’s an impeccable base for a sling, fizz or classic Martini and the perfect partner to any of the artisanal tonic waters now widely available.

Try it over ice with Lemon juice, sugar syrup, soda water and a Lemon wedge for your perfect refreshing Summer drink.

This contemporary Irish gin has won multiple awards from Silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition to Gold at the Q Quality Awards.

The Wild Geese Premium Irish spirits offers Exiles to the world including Ireland’s own generations of exiles.

For more information, visit https://www.irishpremiumspirits.com/.

Xin Gin

Xin Gin was designed to be at the heart of gatherings. Xin’s founders Michelle and Gareth McAllister have Irish blood and Asian hearts. After spending many years in Asia, they wanted to merge what they loved about their two homes. The word itself means ‘heart’ or ‘feelings’ in Mandarin.

The design of the bottle with ancient celtic swirls contrasts with a modern eastern aesthetic reflecting the liquid inside – a perfect balance of European and Oriental botanicals.

The cross-shaped label represents a promise to stay connected and a crossing point of the two cultures they love.

Xin Gin has won ‘Best in Ireland’ at The Gin Guide Awards, Gold at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, Bronze at the World Gin Awards 2022 for Best Contemporary Irish Gin and Silver for Best Design.

Maharani

Maharani brings to life the colour, vibrancy and flavours of Kerala, India, in an Irish gin in a fusion of two creative cultures. Maharani Gin celebrates our founder’s roots, Cork and Kerala, where husband and wife team Robert and Bhagya Barrett come from.

Maharani Gin is boutique Rebel City Distillery’s first release from Cork’s historic Docklands.

The word ‘Maharani’, meaning ‘Queen’, is a tribute to revolutionary women everywhere. The Premium gin is zested with Pomelo fruit and uniquely spiced with Cassia and Nutmeg-Mace, all sourced from a women’s organic farming co-operative in Bhagya’s home state of Kerala. This heady combination results in a gin of truly transcendental taste, a liberation of spirit and spice.

A multi-award-winning gin, Maharani achieved five titles in its first year: Silver in The London Spirits Awards, Bronze in the Craft Spirits Berlin, Gold in The Gin Masters, Bronze in the IWSC and most recently Silver at Blas na hÉireann.

Maharani Gin is best served with Premium tonic, Grapefruit and Mint leaves. It is available directly from Rebel City Distillery and distributed by Bevella, part of the Primeline group.

For further information see https://www.rebelcitydistillery.com/

 

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