The Tonic for Gin

12 September, 2014

According to Eurowinegate’s Callais, this is all about to change. In the UK, a cocktail culture already existed and people were, as a consequence, interested in the base spirit. “In Spain, it is the other way round,” Callais says. “Gin has been created for premium brands and the mantra is ‘drink less, drink better’. 

“Premium gins open the door to a cocktail culture for bartenders and consumers. The cocktail culture in Spain is going to get much better and is evolving fast.” 

Eurowinegate’s G’Vine works closely with bartenders for this reason, launching Escape to the Grape last year – a global cocktail competition aiming to find the best serve to complement its grape-based, French gin.

But as long as the G&T is king, the T will remain the loyal sidekick and perhaps here is another opportunity.

A tonic exporter, Kerstens appreciates the importance of a good one. “For me, what is key for all people in the market and category is to be able to bring Spanish style. Not all of the 300 or so gins available are complemented by every tonic.” 

Where Schweppes was once the standard, as a result of the G&T trend, new tonic brands have been created and are appearing in the Spanish market, but it is a far less prolific category than the gin sector. 

“Tonic water doesn’t have so many competitors,” Kerstens adds. “I’d say there are five serious contenders and I don’t think there will be any more.” 

The Spanish Gin Craze may be a far cry from the debauched antics of London in the 18th century but it is a trend that just keeps on going and keeps on premiumising. 

Talking to the major gin players, the consenus seems to be: If you’re not in Spain, you’re not in gin.

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