Why is Everybody Drinking Gin?

Gin and Strawberries

There was a time, not that long ago when Gin was just seen propping up the bubbles in a tonic with a slice of lime, but now it's served with Champagne, crushed black peppercorns, strawberries and sipped neat - simply put, gin has been revolutionised!

In 2016 40 million bottles of gin were sold in the UK, which is enough to make 1.12 billion gin and tonics! These annual sales broke the £1 billion mark for the first time, thanks to a 16% rise on the previous 12 months. And the number of gins available keeps on rising.

So Why So Popular?

A number of factors could be pushing the growth in sales, which is ultimately driven by consumers looking for something new to drink. With people spending less on supermarket alcohol and more on going out, they want something more sophisticated – something to relish and enjoy. Flavoured vodkas, and rum and coke just seem predictable, but a gin served with honey syrup or elderflower, and garnished with anything from mint to cucumber really get’s the senses going.

With the emergence of premium tonic mixers that have hints of flavour has brought the classic G&T to the fold, making this refreshing yet simple drink a varied and vibrant appetiser or beer garden tipple.

It’s also been said that the increased cultural popularity of Britishness through James Bond, Downton Abbey, and even the Royal Family, could also have revived the popularity in gin, a true British drink.

The Popularity of Gin

We Care About What We Eat & Drink

A significant current trend is an interest in the origins of what we eat and drink, with a particular focus on organic produce and local ingredients. Gin is no different, with producers striving to find the best local botanicals to make their gin unique.

Take The Botanist Gin for example, 22 of the 31 botanicals are native to Islay, the small Scottish island where it is produced. Then there is Rock Rose Gin, who say each annual batch can vary as the local botanicals subtly change from season to season.

More Distilleries and Craft Gins on the Way

London-based distiller Sipsmith’s founder Fairfax Hall said, “We launched the first copper pot gin distillery in London for nearly 200 years in 2009, tapping into the consumer desire for provenance, authenticity and ultimately quality, since then a wave of craft distilleries has swept across the country.”

He isn’t wrong, the ever growing demand for gin has caused a surge in new distilleries, as the number of licensed gin producers in the UK has doubled since 2015.

Sipsmith is one distiller who has experimented with Sloe gin, to try and diversify beyond the usual London Dry Gin, but other distillers are looking towards the more premium market. As consumers increasingly trade up it is seen that the premium segment will continue to grow as more consumers will enter the gin category. The Oxley Classic Dry Gin is a gin that strongly recommends drinking neat over ice to savour the premium taste.

What Next?

Experts feel the growth will continue as consumers keep trying new gins rather than sticking to a certain brand. This ensures distilleries keep producing new and creative varieties to keep people keen and coming back.

So keep checking our website and Facebook page for new gins. We try to add new ones as soon as we get our hands on them, but if we aren’t currently listing your favourite gin, please contact us as we may have it in our shop where we stock lines not available on the website. And chances are, even if we don’t have it, we can get it for you!

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