The gin craze shows no sign of stopping. Across the world, the alcohol industry has experienced a ‘ginnaissance,' with a significant increase in gin sales over the last few years. The industry continues to grow too. In fact, it is believed that gin sales will increase by 37% by 2021.
Like with every growing industry, the landscape of gin is always evolving, with new trends emerging every year. While we saw an influence of gins from faraway lands last year (like specialist brands from Japan) and an influx of flavoured gins, we're seeing a big difference in the expected gin trends for 2020 and beyond.
For gin trends, UK brands are always at the forefront of this evolution. If you're wondering what the next gin craze will be, we've put together a list of our predictions for the next year.
Unusual flavours are set to become even more popular over the next year or two. While we've already seen in increase in these types of gins (for example, the growing popularity of pink gin), we're likely to see even more interesting flavours on the market soon.
As distilleries and producers look for new ways to make the gin craze exciting and saleable, we'll likely see unusual flavours take the forefront. From parma violet to Christmas pudding flavours, keep your eyes out for new and uncommon gins. While some might be a little gimmicky, we're sure that there will be plenty of hidden gems.
British gins always tend to do well, but gin enthusiasts (or should we say ginthusiasts) tend to be adventurous. As we mentioned above, we saw an increase in popularity for Japanese gins in the market last year, which offered an interesting and unusual flavour profile (from cherry blossoms to yuzu fruit).
For this year's gin trends, it has been reported that we'll see more Indian gins on the shelves. Often spiced with interesting flavours, there are plenty of high-quality Indian gins that are making their way to the UK.
For gin trends 2019 and 2020, the garnish will become just as important as the brand of gin and the mixer. Gone are the days that a simple slice of lemon or lime will do. The new gin craze is all about carefully matching your garnish with the flavour profile of the gin, as well as the taste of the tonic. That could mean using different types of fruit (blueberries, pomegranates and other exotic fruits are often popular), as well as herbs and edible flowers.
The key with using new and interesting garnishes is to create an experience for the drinker that offers something different and unusual.
As well as gins from far-flung lands, extremely local gins are also increasing in their popularity. Like with the craft beer movement, UK gin trends are moving towards hyper locality and small batch supplies. That means consumers are looking for gins that crafted very near to their location, offering an authentic experience that is often only achieved by small distilleries or craft producers.
While big brands will always be popular, we predict that the craft gin market will continue to grow, particularly as these distilleries tend to be very experimental in terms of flavour and process.
Fans of gin often report that they enjoy the history and unique story associated with gin (as well as the delicious taste, of course). With so many different flavour profiles on the market, it's easy to see why ‘gin tourism' is becoming a big player in the gin craze. This simply refers to the increased interest in the way that gin is created, and the history attached to those processes, leading to a boom in distillery tours and tastings.
We predict that in 2019 and 2020, more and more distilleries will open their doors to their customers to give them a well-rounded experience of their product. We saw a similar boom in tourism within the beer industry, so it is unsurprising that gin distilleries are going the same way.
Gin is typically enjoyed with a tonic or similar mixer, with the taste of the gin enhanced by the chosen soft drink. While this continues to be the most common way of enjoying gin, serious enthusiasts are beginning to look at alternative ways of appreciating the spirit.
It is perhaps unsurprising that an increasing amount of premium gins are joining the gin craze. These are intended to be appreciated as standalone spirits, without a mixer (or mixed with equal parts of mixer). They tend to be much smoother and heavier in flavour, making them competitors with high-quality whiskies or other spirits that are often enjoyed neat.
Twists on Classics
At the start of the gin craze, we saw distilleries becoming increasingly experimental with flavours and processes. While unusual flavours continue to be a popular choice and are likely to rise in popularity in the coming years, it is also a time for distilleries to refine their existing products. It's likely that we'll enter into a period of consolidation, with distilleries deciding which of their gins to perfect and which to cull.
With this in mind, we predict that some gin trends will move backwards to classic flavours, placing emphasis on improving the way in which these classic gins are distilled – rather than more flavour experimentation.
As well as the more premium side of gin distilling, it has been reported that an increasing number of distilleries are looking for ways to diversify their products. Ready-to-drink gins (also known as gins in a tin) are growing in popularity and experienced a very good year in 2018. Experts are predicting that this will continue, with smaller distilleries bringing new ready-to-drink products to the market.
This 2019 gin trend will be a welcome one for many gin fans looking for a convenient and accessible product, particularly for those who are new to the spirit.
Like with gin tourism, the gin craze is becoming increasingly experiential. As gin enthusiasts look for new flavours to try and new products to discover, gin events are increasing in their popularity. From tastings to festivals, bars, pubs and distilleries are taking advantage of the gin craze with this new trend. It's a great opportunity for smaller distilleries to showcase their product to a wider audience, as well as for gin fans to try out plenty of new gins to find their next favourite.
It's likely that we'll see an increase in these types of gin events over the coming year, particularly in the festive season and the summer months.
Whether you love gins with an unusual flavour or high-quality classics, there's no doubt that gin is one of the most popular spirits in the UK (and across the world). As the gin craze enters into a new phase, we're looking forward to seeing how the industry develops and grows.
We hope you've enjoyed our guide to what we think the next gin trends will be. If our guide has inspired you to sample something new, head over to our ‘Gin
' section to find your next favourite tipple. Cheers!