Once the drink of the masses, gin has been reinventing itself over the last two decades. In pre-Victorian days gin was drank in preference to water as the water was so contaminated, and it was so cheap that even the homeless on the street could afford it.
It picked up the name mother’s ruin as it also destroyed families in the big cities of Great Britain. Today however, gin has a totally different reputation and is actually the biggest selling spirit in the UK toppling vodka and whisky (3rd & 2nd).
The resurgence of gin came about in the 1960’s with the ever popular gin & tonic, mixed together with ice and a slice of lemon added it is the perfect refreshing summer drink. But the new hype about gin is not for the big distiller’s brands, it is small local distilleries making superb bespoke alcohol.
Facts and Figures
In 2017 there was 47 million bottles of gin bought by UK consumers, and that was a rise of seven million on the previous year, and the aforementioned gin & tonic was named Britain’s favorite alcoholic drink.
This moved gin up to pole position with twenty-nine percent of all spirit sales in the UK during 2017, with whisky slipping down to second at twenty-five percent and vodka coming in at third at twenty-three percent. It is amazing to think that sales of this quintessentially English spirit have actually doubled in the last five years. And now account for 1.2 billion pounds worth of sales.
By far most gin was consumed at home, with shop sales accounting for nearly 40 million bottles. In British pubs there was also a sharp increase in sales with 8.8 million bottles sold in 2017. These pub sales are highly significant as it meant gin was the number one spirit being consumed in pubs and inns all over the UK for the first time since statistics have been taken. But why is this so? What is it that has made gin so popular recently? After all gin exports are now eclipsing British beef and soft drinks, so it is not the Brits that are also getting on the gin bandwagon.
The New Gin’s
There are over a hundred brands of gin currently being sold in the UK, and they differ immensely. This is part of the reason why gin is becoming so popular, as consumers can delight in a new gin every time they frequent a new pub or bar.
Gin festivals are popping up all over the UK, and they are becoming almost as popular as the beer festivals that have featured by groups such as CAMRA. Because many of these new gins are made in micro-distilleries they are seen in the same vain as craft beers and a real optionto spirits that are mass produced.
The second big reason for the growth of gin is fashionable cocktails, as new gins have hit the market so have new and exciting cocktails that are highly popular with young drinkers who frequent trendy wine and cocktail bars. Gin has shed its prior reputation as an old person’s drink, it is now highly popular with young consumers and that is why the demand is so high.