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Sparks are still flying in our love affair with gin

By Kate Blake, senior category strategy manager, Diageo

- Last updated on GMT

Do consumers still love gin?

Related tags: Spirits, Diageo, Cocktails, Gin

Brits have had a long love affair with gin, which we believe could be due to the versatility of the liquid as well as its increasingly accessible flavour profiles.

Gin currently has the highest penetration in the spirits category[1] and is the second largest category in the on-trade[2]. While the market has matured over time, with a wide range of gins becoming a staple on the back bar, there is still plenty of opportunity to excite and engage customers with gin when in-venue.

We know there is a generation of adult gin-drinkers who are very knowledgeable about the spirit, and are looking for innovation within the category. We also can expect some people to be drinking less, but better and as a result, we can expect to see more people enjoying high-quality gin variants as well as alcohol-free spirits.

With people looking for quality and breadth of choice, there are opportunities for operators to leverage this and generate excitement by offering new cocktails, new variants and new ways to serve the liquid.

Berries are back and tropical variants are in

Gin variants have played a huge role in growing the category – in fact, one in two gin serves in the on-trade are gin variants[3] – a testament to the category’s ability to innovate and engage consumer interest through taste and popular flavour profiles. For example, Tanqueray launched Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale in 2021 – crafted with the four botanicals of Tanqueray London Dry Gin and perfectly blended with juicy blackcurrants from France, warm vanilla and the exotic floral notes of black orchid – tapping into the growing popularity of berry flavour-profiles.

Diageo’s latest launch is Gordon's Tropical Passionfruit Distilled Gin. The fruity passionfruit flavour blends perfectly with the botanicals in Gordon’s original London Dry, to deliver a crisp and juicy taste, tapping into popular tropical flavours.

Offering a variety of different options on the drinks list will be key this summer. By stocking gin variants which tap into popular flavour-profiles, such as berries or citrus, operators can engage their customers and inspire them to try something new and different. 

How to make a Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale Spritz (1.63 units)

Ingredients:

Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale Distilled Gin

Sparkling wine

Lemonade

A handful of dark berries

Ice

Wedge of lemon

Glassware:

Champagne flute

Method:

Pour 25ml Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale over ice, add 50ml of sparkling wine, 100ml lemonade, and then finally add a handful of dark berries and stir & enjoy your Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale Spritz.

Royale.Spritz.BTL.KV

Leverage the popularity of cocktails

Consumers are still very much in love with the white spirit – in fact, £1 in every £4 spent on spirits in the on-trade is spent on gin[4]. We know that pre-pandemic, 46% of consumers said it is worth paying more for quality drinks in the on-trade[5] so there’s an opportunity here to capitalise on gins popularity in premium cocktails.

2022 is the year for celebration with numerous bank holidays and calendar dates coming up, where people will be looking for elevated serves to celebrate and mark those special occasions.

We suggest serving twists on classic cocktails that typically use spirits other than gin, such as a Martini or Negroni. This can intrigue customers and encourage them to continue exploring the category.

How to make a Tanqueray Sevilla Negroni (2 units)

Ingredients:

Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin

Bitter Aperitif

Red Vermouth

Twist of orange

Ice

Glassware:

Old fashioned glass

Method:

Add 25ml Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin, 25ml Bitter Aperitif, and 25ml Red Vermouth to an old-fashioned glass full of ice.

Stir well, and garnish with a twist of orange.

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Add fizz to gin

There are many ways for operators to rejuvenate a gin menu, as well as elevate serves to create memorable experiences. Making spritz cocktails by adding prosecco or champagne to gin will provide customers with new and exciting premium options to try. As these mixed drinks are one of the top 10 mainstream cocktails and growing[6], there is an opportunity here to upsell gin and offer customers premium serves throughout more occasions.

How to make a Gordon’s Premium Pink Spritz (2.5 units)

Ingredients:

50ml Gordon’s Premium Pink

75ml lemonade

50ml Prosecco

Strawberry slices

Glassware:

Copa glass

Method:

Fill a chilled copa glass with fresh ice cubes. 

Poor 50ml of Gordon’s Premium Pink over the ice, followed by 75ml lemonade and top up with 50ml Prosecco.

Finish by adding strawberry slices and then give it a final stir.   

Gordon..s.Premium.Pink.Spritz

Consider alcohol-free spirits

Providing people with more choice in pubs, bars and restaurants is key. We know people in general are drinking less but better so there is an opportunity to provide customers with alcohol-free spirits that have the same taste-quality as gin, just without the alcohol. Offering premium alcohol-free spirits from well-known and established brands can help you reach new consumers.

Tanqueray – known as the bartenders’ favourite gin[7] – launched an alcohol-free spirit back in 2021. Tanqueray Alcohol-Free 0.0% is created by distilling the same botanicals used in Tanqueray London Dry Gin, bringing gin-drinkers that juniper and citrus led taste they’re expecting from Tanqueray when they choose not to drink alcohol. The key is to use high-quality alcohol-free drinks with good mixers, that are garnished appropriately. That way operators can offer those choosing not to drink alcohol with premium options that elevate their experience in-venue.

How to make a Tanqueray Alcohol-Free 0.0% and tonic

Ingredients:

50ml Tanqueray Alcohol-Free 0.0%

150ml Tonic water

Glassware:

Copa glass

Method:

Pour 50ml Tanqueray Alcohol-Free 0.0%.

Add 150ml of tonic.

Garnish with lime wedge.

Tanqueray.0.0_Bottle_Serves (1)

[1] Kantar Alcovision Total Trade 7 Day Penetration 52wk 31.12.2021

[2] CGA to WE 11Sep21

[3] CGA IFT Data 12 wks to 14.08.2022

[4] CGA Mixed Drink Report Q1 2021

[5] Kantar Insights | CovidMonitor Survey | October 20-22 2020

[6] CGA Mixed Drinks Report Q3 2021

[7] Drinks International Brands Report 2021

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails