Beyond juniper

23 May, 2016

“You should be able to make gin in a pot still,” he says. “That’s what they do in America and they are using all sorts of unusual things to make the spirit. Apples, oats, rice – you name it. And to use the art metaphor, the difference is you’re starting with a sepia canvass rather than a blank one, but you can still paint amazing pictures on it.”

The reservations are there, then, but overall there is considerable excitement about where gin is going and what it can offer, providing its excesses are reined in.

“Gin is being repositioned as a premium drink, not least because it is relatively expensive to make,” says Carl Reavey, content creation manager at Bruichladdich, maker of the Botanist.

“Let’s face it, vodka is boring. Lots of folk now drink gin – and mostly with tonic, ice and a slice. Sorry if that sounds a bit dull, but it seems to be true. Then there are loads of aspirational gin drinks, from cocktails through foraged serves through to the glorious Martini. It’s all very interesting and sometimes exciting, but these are still minority sports. It’s a bit like cricket – great fun if you know what you are doing.”

Desmond Payne agrees. “The global ‘ginaissance’ continues to excite the category and its effect on sales will be long lasting, with an underlying interest in new, high-end gins,” he says.

“With recent performances in mind we see no reason to predict anything other than continued positive growth over the next 12 months.”

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