Gin

14 August, 2012

With its accents of rare Japanese sencha tea and Chinese green tea Beefeater 24 is the ideal candidate for China and Chivas is spreading the word through upmarket tea salons. “While G&T is most known in Spain and the UK, in emerging markets there’s a good opportunity to play with different cocktails and mixers – many times we’ve tried new things in Spain but we always come back to the G&T,” says Recuero. “The blend of Japanese and Chinese teas in its botanicals is a key USP.”

Education is the fundamental in these newer markets where there are no preconceptions when it comes to gin – and where, in the main as a white spirit, it is up against locally produced drinks – the likes of baiju in China, shochu in Japan and soju in Korea. To further aid and abet consumption the company has also launched a comprehensive cocktail website for its gin trio, ginandtales.com, which interacts between the trade and the consumer.

The big three

On the whole, though, it’s the big three markets which remain the prime hunting grounds for the new kids on the block – and Bulldog Gin, along with Berry Brothers & Rudd Spirits’ No 3 are cases in point. As the name suggests Bulldog is produced in England – London, to be precise – and made its Stateside debut five years ago, moving into Spain and on to the international stage a year later. “In the US we were up 50% last year and will be up 100% this year all within our existing distribution territory in the northeast,” says owner Anshuman Vohra. “We are now the number three gin in Spain (north of e20 a bottle retail) and that’s just in three years. Overall we are considered the fastest-growing super-premium gin in the world.”

Interestingly, Vohra maintains that Spain, which is showing “incredible growth” will continue to “lead the charge with US and UK following along, thanks to the mixology trend, vodka fatigue and the innovative gin offerings” that abound. However, Bulldog is destined to go further afield too. “We have received a lot of interest from Latin America and from parts of south east Asia – my sense is that, as other parts of the world continue to develop and populations grow wealthier, they will continue to demand premium offerings that are in vogue from western countries.”

BBR Spirits’ No 3 has also taken to the top three strongholds – but, only in its second year, is already available in 20 countries, including Canada through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Japan, Australia, Russia, Germany, Portugal and Turkey.

No 3 is a traditional gin, which majors on juniper and was created as the spirit for gin’s classic cocktails, notably the Martini and the Negroni. “No 3 continues to grow through our partnership with Maxxium in the Spanish on-trade with the major bartenders of Barcelona and Madrid adopting it as a staple brand,” says the company’s marketing director, Luke Tegner. “The UK is steady and strong and, following its recent launch with Anchor Distilling, the US is beginning to motor.”

Cornerstone of growth

As previously mentioned, cocktails are a cornerstone in gin’s growing prominence, as the spirit offers, thanks to its botanical mix, a much broader panoply of taste than its vodka counterpart. Furthermore, with the number of gins on the market bartenders can pick and mix depending on the cocktail. “Bartenders are pushing gin over the bar,” says Hendrick’s Clarke. “This is making all the difference and attracting new consumers to the spirit.”

It has to be said too that producers are mounting some serious and on-going marketing efforts. For starters, in the UK Bulldog is fronting its Tales of the Cocktail Bartender Challenge,  while InterBev is mounting its first global cocktail competition under the banner Caorunn Storytellers. As Bakos explains: “Bartenders are natural storytellers and we encourage them to create a classic drink with a modern twist and tell us their story behind the drink. Being an up-and-coming brand, an innovative approach is a must to stand out.”





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