That’s according to new research commissioned by Beefeater from the City University of New York, which also found, among other things, that Millennials are driving cocktail sales and consumers are spending on better quality drinks.
Public perception of bartenders had shifted in recent years, with those at the top of their game globally often earning in excess of £175,000 a year.
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The report, Cocktails: The New Golden Era, which delved into spirits and cocktail sales worldwide – from the UK to Asia – was compiled by City University Professor Richard Ocejo, who claimed a new emerging “global cocktail culture” would benefit the on-trade.
Younger drinkers were turning to or sticking with gin and vodka, which they viewed as natural, according to the author.
Thirst for gin and vodka
Data gathered from consumers based in the UK, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Japan, showed the thirst for gin and vodka across the globe shows no sign of slowing.
“What we found most fascinating was how interconnected cocktail cultures are in these countries. Pretty much no one operates in a vacuum, and sharing and influence are the norm,” said Ocejo.
“Patterns may originate locally, like craft gins, but they quickly spread throughout the global cocktail community.”
Premium and super-premium gins are currently favoured by leading bartenders in cocktail creation, with sales up 14.5% between 2015 and 2016 according to figures from International Wine & Spirits Research.
The UK’s cocktail culture was cited as the most advanced in the world, with every current trend in the craft cocktail world found in the capital and other major cities.
‘Varieties of gin’
“In terms of popular spirits, all varieties of gin are on the rise,” said the report. “The expansion of the gin industry in terms of sales, the sheer number of brands, and the new flavour profiles available, is very intertwined with the rise of cocktail culture in places like the UK.
“How bartenders will use the product in cocktails is very much on the minds of gin makers. Given the size of its market and the long history of gin in the country, the UK is a key market for this expansion.”
Of the future of the cocktail culture in the UK, Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne said: “Over the past 50 years I have seen many false starts to a resurgent cocktail scene, but now the wait is finally over and, boy, the wait has been worth it.”
He continued: “In every city I visit around the world, in the most unlikely of places, I am being continually surprised by the sheer brilliance, creativity and dedication of cocktail bartenders.
“The sea-change in the professionalism of the sector as a whole has been dramatic and great for both gastronomes and lay-drinkers alike.”