Gin variations

As demand for gin in all its variations continues unabated we look at gin sales after another record year and what’s out there for the on-and off-trade.



The largest gain in the world of global beverage alcohol consumption took place last year in the gin category which posted total growth of 8.3% on 2017 to 72 million nine-litre cases, according to IWSR’s Drinks Market Analysis Global Database 2018 which predicts that gin sales will reach 88.4 million cases by 2023.

Pink gin was a key growth driver here.

Another report from the IWSR through online trade publication just-drinks has gin poised to be the second-fastest-growing international spirits category to 2021 (behind whisky) with a particular emphasis on the premium-and-above price segments.

According to just-drinks, “Cocktail culture has been another boon for gin, both through the imaginative reinterpretation of the core gin-and-tonic serve, and through bartenders’ rediscovery of gin’s historic role in classic cocktails.

“For this momentum to be maintained, and for new entrants to the gin category to find a niche, innovation is key. This takes many forms, from the exploration of ever-more-esoteric botanical ingredients to the explosive growth of strawberry or pink gin.”

In the UK, gin accounts for £1 in every £5 spent on drinks but flavoured gin accounts for £1 in every £3 spent on gin which is now overtaking vodka as the most popular spirit there.

Here, with all gin sales up 44.3% in 2017 and a 40.5% lift in on-trade sales, Irish gin producers marked World Gin Day last June by celebrating the recent growth in the sector.


Irish gin

There are now over 26 Irish gin producers and over 60 Irish gin brands according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland.
3,883,000 bottles or nearly 324,000 cases of gin were sold in Ireland in 2018, up nearly 32% on 2017. Notably, Irish consumers purchased over half-a-million bottles of pink gin, making it the breakthrough success story of the year.
And Irish gin is also emerging as a category for the international consumer. Last year the value of gin exports increased by an exceptional 211% from €1.9 million in 2017 to €6.04 million in 2018. As the Irish gin supply base expanded in response to global trends, double-digit sales growth was recorded in the UK, South Africa, Italy and Germany last year.
“From a low export base, Irish producers are now achieving significant sales at home and in markets across Europe and beyond,” said the Head of the Irish Spirits Association Vincent McGovern, “With a host of new brands and innovations the gin revolution has also benefited Irish consumers who now have more choice than ever.
“With the huge number of gin brands on the market Irish producers, especially new and developing entrants to the market, will have to put a renewed emphasis on export growth. Maintaining current growth levels will become as important as driving new growth.”


Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin

The iconic success of the multi-award-winning Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, the first-ever brand from The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney, has been key to the creation of over 30 new jobs in the rural village of Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, just three years after the brand was launched to market.

Winning the 2019 Flaviar Best Gin ‘Oscar’ created great international excitement around the gin, especially in the US (the brand’s biggest export market) and as far afield as Asia.   Flaviar, one of the world’s most competitive drinks contests, awards Best Spirit Oscars to just five of 22,000 eligible premium spirits brands each year.

Drumshanbo is slow-distilled with ‘oriental botanicals & gunpowder tea’.

Listed in over 30 international markets, the brand is breaking new ground in Asia with a landmark listing in Hong Kong International Airport recently secured.

The super-premium gin from the Curious Mind of PJ Rigney combines vapour distillation of fresh Chinese Lemons, Kaffir Limes and Oriental Grapefruits along with the intriguing gunpowder tea and pot still distillation of eight other botanicals ranging from Chinese Star Anise to local Drumshanbo Meadowsweet.

The recipe uses only fresh citrus fruits leading to the signature fresh, rounded flavour.  Every bottle is uniquely hand-distilled, labelled and sealed by the team in the distillery.

With the continued international growth of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin & Sausage Tree Pure Irish Vodka, a new €2million Visitor Experience and plans to release the first ‘Premier Grand Cru’ whiskey later this year, the workforce will soon grow to more than 50.


Signature Red Grapefruit Serve:

Generous wedge of Fresh Red Grapefruit

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin – 40ml

Chilled premium tonic such as Thomas Henry -140ml

Garnish with a thick wedge of red Grapefruit

Serve over cubed Ice

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is distributed in Ireland by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits.



The creators of Brockmans shared a view that gin could be something more exciting, different and delicious than the traditional brands. So they set out to explore new possibilities in taste and push some boundaries to see where gin could go. Brockmans set out to be different. They wanted a new-style gin, one with a recipe that went beyond Juniper into more avant-garde territory – something distinctive that would shake well with new mixers and create exotic cocktails.

In their quest for new experiences, consumers are increasingly looking for interesting flavours and sensations and Brockmans certainly delivers.

Brockmans is like no other gin. It’s intensely smooth with a soft, fruity character derived from the carefully-selected botanicals used in distillation. Italian Juniper berries provide Pine, Lavender and Camphor notes. Spanish Lemon and Orange peel add zesty citrus. But the unique use of dried wild Blueberries and Blackberries give Brockmans its most distinctive flavour.

For cocktails, the smooth taste of Brockmans works exceedingly well in a Martini with a dash of Vermouth and a twist of Lime.

To make the perfect G&T, pour a good measure of Brockmans Gin over 4-5 ice cubes topped with chilled premium Tonic. Garnish with a twist of pink Grapefruit peel and two fresh Blueberries.

The sharp acidity of Grapefruit and the floral notes of Blueberry combine beautifully with the unique botanicals of Brockmans.



Conceived, distilled & hand-crafted on the Island of Islay, The Botanist Islay Dry Gin is an artisanal Islay gin made using nine of the classic gin aromatics – Orris root, Cassia bark, Coriander seed etc – augmented with a heady harvest of 22 local botanicals hand-picked by an expert foraging team from the windswept hills, peat bogs and Atlantic shores of this Hebridean island.

This truly seasonal and exotic serve is then slow “simmer” distilled in a unique Lomond pot-still. It works at low-pressure so the precious botanicals are slowly and gently coaxed into releasing their complex signature aromatics. The result is a highly distinctive gin with layered complexity, a touch of floral notes, an outstanding finish and impeccable provenance. In an age of re-badged industrial gins, the Botanist stands out as a truly artisanal, small-batch, hand-crafted labour of love and distiller’s art. This first and only Islay dry gin is a rare expression of the heart and soul of the remote Scottish island.  #BeTheBotanist

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Graham Norton

Graham Norton’s Own Irish Gins celebrates Graham’s West Cork Heritage, the beauty and flavours of his idyllic native county and his award-winning flair for blending perfection.

Partnering with an Irish distillery was very important to Graham and that’s why he decided to work with his West Cork neighbours – West Cork Distillers. The West Cork Distillery is the most southerly-located distillery on the Atlantic Archipelago – an area close to Graham’s West Cork retreat.

Distilled and produced using 100% Irish grain, Graham Norton’s Own Irish Gin and Graham Norton’s Own Irish Pink Gin draw their flavours from a combination of 12 botanicals including Angelica, Fuchsia flowers, Orris roots, Rosehip, Basil and Liquorice root – all of which contribute to a gin as unique as the man himself!

Gin is one of Graham’s favourite tipples so he really wanted to put his own Norton-esque twist on one. Graham wanted something that spoke of the splendour and beauty of West Cork, its countryside and its unique botanicals. The bottle shape and design of both have great stand-out.  Proudly distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Serving Suggestion:

Enjoy Graham Norton’s Own Irish Gin with Indian Tonic Water, lashings of ice and fresh Lime to garnish.

Enjoy Graham Norton’s Own Irish Pink Gin with Indian Tonic Water, lashings of ice and Summer berries to garnish.


Bombay Sapphire Limited Edition

Limited Edition No1 Bombay Sapphire English Estate, a quintessentially English gin, is inspired by the beautiful English countryside that surrounds Bombay Sapphire’s home, Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire. It captures the essence of the English garden giving a uniquely refreshing and authentic taste, perfect for long relaxing afternoons.

Inspired by the rolling hills of Hampshire, Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti balances locally-sourced botanicals of Penny Royal Mint, English Rosehip and Hazelnut to craft a unique expression of Bombay Sapphire.

The gin’s natural botanicals are delicately suspended over the spirit in perforated copper baskets during distillation, gently infusing their aromatic flavours into the gin as they’re


Serve long with freshly-squeezed Lemon juice, Tonic or Ginger Ale, lots of ice and a sprig of Mint.


Limited Edition Bombay Sapphire English Estate gin, Ginger & Apple

This refreshing take on the English garden cocktail blends Bombay Sapphire English Estate gin with Fever-Tree Ginger Ale and Cloudy Apple Juice.

Serve long with Lemon, Apple, Thyme and ice.



50ml Bombay Sapphire English Estate

25ml Eager Cloudy Apple Juice

75ml Fever-Tree Ginger Ale



1 thinly-sliced Granny Smith Apple disc

1 thinly-sliced Lemon wheel

1 sprig of Lemon Thyme


Method: Place the Lemon wheel and Apple disc into the bottom of a Highball or Copa glass. Add Bombay Sapphire & Cloudy Apple Juice. Swirl well to infuse. Fill the glass with cubed ice then top with Ginger Ale. Gently stir/fold to mix. Garnish with a Lemon Thyme sprig placed into the glass.

For more information, contact your Edward Dillon Rep 01 819 3300.



In recent weeks Blackwater Distillery has kept up its tradition of bringing exciting new flavoursome gins to the market. This time it has joined forces with Cork’s favourite soft drink brand, Tanora, to create a tangerine gin that’s created quite a stir already.

Tanora is a uniquely Irish soft drink. The brand’s heritage is rooted in Cork having been initially introduced to Cork City in the 1930s. It continues to be a much-loved drink across the Munster region with an almost cult-like status.

Blackwater ‘Tanora’ Irish Gin features a classic Juniper profile, Ginger and a whole metric barnload of fresh Tangerines to create a perfect Tanora-inspired gin. At 40% ABV the gin will be bottled in Blackwater Distillery’s classic 50cl clear square bottle to showcase the distinctive tangerine liquid.

The innovation follows the sell-out success of the limited-edition Barry’s Tea Gin in 2017 & 2018 and adds another product to its ever-growing portfolio of award-winning gins. Blackwater’s strong Summer line-up not only includes the well-heralded No5 gin but also its Wexford Strawberry Gin, one of the very few natural pink gins on the market, distilled using real Strawberries from Kearns farm in Wexford.


Fresh from winning a Silver Medal at the London Spirits Competition, Conbec Dry Irish Gin is growing from strength-to-strength. Distributed by Barry Group, Conbec is a premium gin botted at a robust 41.3% to ensure the true expression of the botanicals. It’s a smooth, warming gin that packs power with a rich, full taste. This classic gin offers a mix of warming spice, hedgerow berries and zesty citrus notes contributing to its unique taste. However, when provoked through the serving of the signature gin and tonic, the fierce nature of the beast emerges.

This Irish gin has captured the imagination of the nation with its innovative use of Irish folklore. It was founded with a fierce spirit and a clear objective – to offer a truly authentic Irish gin, firmly rooted in the Irish culture.

Dating back to 3rd Century Ireland, an Irish wolfhound was a loyal servant of King Cormac and Fionn, head of the armies and head of the hounds. He fought in epic battles and contributed to the success of this iconic duo.

For more information please visit For on-trade enquiries, contact


Conbec Signature Serve

  • Wedge of fresh red Grapefruit, squeezed
  • Torn sprig of Rosemary
  • 3 Blueberries
  • 5ml of Conbec Dry Irish Gin
  • 120ml chilled premium Tonic
  • Garnish with a wedge of red Grapefruit
  • Serve over cubed ice.



Comans introduces Puerto de indias Strawberry Gin

Comans Beverages has just launched Puerto de Indias Strawberry Gin into the market here in Ireland.

Puerto de Indias is a naturally pink strawberry gin from Seville, Spain. Since its launch in 2013, it has risen to become the fourth-best-selling gin in its homeland with six million bottles sold last year ranking it among the top 10 gins in the world.

Puerto de Indias has now turned its attention to the UK and Irish markets in response to the growing popularity of flavoured and pink gins in particular in those markets.

Distilled in the oldest alembic stills in Andalucia, maceration of Strawberries and Juniper occurs for 48 hours before a slow 18-hour distillation for a flavoursome, soft and delicate gin.

With a delicate touch of Liquorice this gin offers an authentic flavour to those who enjoy different sensations.

The gin is made using the freshest Spanish Strawberries from the province of Huelva. Light and sweet, the gin is delicious on its own or adds a fruity touch to G&Ts or cocktails – the perfect serve is a ‘Strawberry Tonic’.

Comans Beverages also carries 6 O’Clock Gin.




To learn more contact Comans on 01 – 4662700 or e-mail on


Thin Gin

Don’t be fooled by the name ‘Thin Gin’.  It has nothing to do with calories or slimming.   This fresh, citrus-forward gin by Waterford’s Anchor Spirits is one of the most awarded Irish gins.

The name pays homage to Isaac Thin, a bathtub gin enthusiast in the 1920s. While the name may be vintage inspired, the gin is thoroughly contemporary and understated at 40% ABV.  It’s the only gin to have been voted in the top two Irish gins three years consecutively at the blind taste-tested Irish Whiskey Awards.  No other Irish gin has ever achieved this record.   It also holds a ‘Gold Outstanding’ IWSC award for Gin & Tonic among others.

This year has seen more flavours added to the range, with the deep pink Irish Raspberry receiving high praise.

The original Thin Gin has all the classic gin botanicals along with some native Irish flavours and a burst of citrus at the finish.  Served with a simple tonic water and a slice of Orange or Grapefruit, Thin Gin is a solid premium serve all year round.  Find out more at

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