For everything, there is a season, and right now is the season for gin.
In 2022, gin saw a 3.7 percent increase in its share of total spirits value. Gin sales in restaurants and bars grew more than rum, whiskey, and vodka, and experts think those numbers will continue to rise. So, let's take a look at why everything is coming up gin.
One reason gin is growing in popularity is that its production is expanding beyond traditional borders. While gin is rooted in Great Britain, by way of the Netherlands where genever (a distilled liquor that used juniper for flavoring) was first made in the 16th century, today gin is made in places all around the world.
Fun fact: Gin is produced in at least 68 different countries!
People who don't like gin tend to note the heavy pine taste as a reason. But over the past few years, gin has grown far beyond its juniper-forward roots.
All gins must be infused with juniper to be called gin. Nevertheless, gin can be infused with or flavored with a wide variety of ingredients.
For example, Japanese gin uses local flavors like yuzu, sansho pepper, and cherry blossoms. Spanish gins may taste of olives and rosemary, while gin produced in India uses flavors like Darjeeling tea and lemongrass. If it's fruity, herbal, or floral, it's fair game for today's gin.
Pink gins are incredibly popular right now. Generally made with rose petals, red berries, or pink grapefruit, these gins look as pretty as they taste. You can also find blue and purple gin, made with butterfly pea flowers for its unique color.
Like other craft spirits, a major source of market growth is premium brands.
Last year, brands selling premium gin (priced at $25 or more per bottle) grew 11 percent from 2021. Expect more premium brands to join the market, looking for discerning customers willing to pay a bit more for something unique.
Give the gin cocktail a summer twist by making a gin granita using gin, simple syrup, tonic water, and citrus juice (or other fruit pulp). Freeze in a large flat container; every hour or so, flake the mixture with a fork until it has a fluffy texture. Serve the granita in a bowl topped with summer berries or in a slushie gin cocktail.
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