Let the fun beGIN!
Growing by a phenomenal 184% between 2014 and 2020, Irish gin is a premium-plus product for which consumers have rightly developed high expectations. Don’t risk disappointing these discerning shoppers by failing to stock an interesting selection of the flavourful, botanical infusions available, writes Gillian Hamill
20 June 2022 | 0
The Irish Gin Strategy 2022-2026 from Drinks Ireland|Spirits has set ambitious goals to grow exports in key markets and develop a vibrant domestic Irish gin market. Irish gin sales experienced a number of years of very fast growth, where sales soared. In fact, the category grew by 184% between 2014-2020, with at least 37 distilleries on the island now producing Irish gin. Due to restrictions on the on-trade sector, gin – as with all alcoholic drinks – was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic but has recovered as the on-trade reopened, and global travel retail continues to recover.
Ireland is currently the dominant market for Irish gin, but the strategy puts a heavy focus on driving export growth – earmarking the UK, USA, Germany, Canada as the key targets in the coming years.
As Drinks Ireland|Spirits points out, Irish gin is a premium-plus product which has been established as a world-leader in terms of quality and authenticity. This has and will be key to positioning the category internationally.
“The Irish gin sector has grown extremely quickly in recent years, driven by innovative and ambitious producers and brand owners, dedicated to creating quality and authentic products,” says David Boyd-Armstrong, chairman of the Drinks Ireland|Spirits’ Irish Gin working group, and joint founder and head distiller of Rademon Estate Distillery, which creates Shortcross Gin.
“Our strategy will enable the industry to take advantage of the opportunities in the domestic and international market and face the various challenges ahead,” Boyd-Armstrong continues. “A key part of our strategy centres on protecting the Irish gin category, and we will be working to seek the introduction of rules covering the marketing and labelling of Irish gin in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK to ensure consumers know what they are buying.”
“Irish gin has been a true national success story in recent years,” adds Vincent McGovern, director of Drinks Ireland|Spirits. Our members employ dozens of people across both urban and rural Ireland producing this much-loved spirit and exporting to markets across the globe. Following a number of years of very fast growth, and in the context of the ever-changing national and international conditions, there was the need for a fresh strategy for the sector, to ensure it can recover from Covid-19, and continue to grow in the years ahead.”
No ordinary gin brand
The unusual and alluring taste of Hendrick’s Gin is created by what the brand describes as the divine symphony of no less than 11 botanicals, using two distinctly different stills and further infused with rose and cucumber, resulting in an impeccably smooth and wonderfully refreshing gin, with a delightfully floral aroma.
The two leaders of this peculiar ensemble of stills are the Bennett, an antique copper pot dating back to 1860, and the Carter-Head, hailing from 1948 (of which only a few exist today). The Hendrick’s family of stills has flourished and now stands at a proud six-four Bennet style stills and two Carter-Head stills.
The Bennett stills steep the botanicals in spirit overnight before distillation, resulting in a rich and complex liquid. The Carter-Head gently steams the botanicals in a basket atop its lofty neck, yielding a lighter, more delicate spirit.
Each batch of Hendrick’s Gin is crafted just 500 lovely litres at a time in the Hendrick’s Gin Palace, situated in Garvin, South Ayrshire, Scotland, under the direct supervision of award-winning master distiller, Ms. Lesley Gracie.
While other brands create spectacles, Hendrick’s Gin says it creates journeys, rewarding its audience’s thirst to venture into the unexpected and unusual. Reward your curiosity this summer and sip the unusually refreshing with Hendrick’s Cucumber Lemonade.
Hendrick’s Cucumber Lemonade
1 part Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 part Lemon Juice
1/2 part Simple Syrup
Top with Soda Water
3 rounds of Cucumber and 1 wheel of Lemon to Garnish
For further information, visit www.hendricksgin.com.
Hendrick’s Gin is distributed by Richmond Marketing Limited in Ireland.
Multi award-winning The Exiles Irish Gin from The Wild Geese premium Irish spirits collection was the first gin in the world to contain shamrock. An artisanal product, made to a secret recipe, it was created with the assistance of an eighth-generation gin maker, whose family have been distilling gin for over 300 years. The Exiles is a small batch production gin using traditional pot distilling methods.
Skilfully infused with traditional all-Irish botanicals including shamrock, red clover flowers, honeysuckle flowers, rowan berries and bog myrtle, it artfully captures the essence and aroma of Ireland. With a nose opening up to notes of citrus zest, pine, eucalyptus, violet and apple peel, it wraps up on the finish with more zest and hints of cracked black pepper. Our gin is bottled at 41.3% ABV, for a more rounded and dryer profile, resulting in a crisp, smooth and floral gin. Distilled for ultimate crispness, it’s an impeccable base for a sling, fizz, or classic martini, and is the perfect partner to any of the excellent artisanal tonic waters now widely available. Try it over ice with lemon juice, sugar syrup, soda water, and a lemon wedge for a perfect refreshing summer drink.
This contemporary Irish gin has won multiple awards, from Silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition to Gold at the Q Quality Awards. A proud producer of Irish Gin, The Wild Geese premium Irish spirits is excited to offer the world, and Ireland’s generations of Exiles, Ireland’s first premium Irish Gin. For more information, visit www.irishpremiumspirits.com/.
Under starters orders!
Silks Irish Dry Gin’s name is inspired by the colourful jockey silks worn at Bellewstown racecourse, which can be seen from the family-owned Boann distillery where it is distilled in small batches.
Silks Gin is composed with 14 distinct botanicals, which are macerated for 24 hours before slow distilling with vapour infusion in a 500ltr custom Bennett copper pot still.
The signature botanicals have been hand foraged from the Cooney family apple orchards at the foot of the hill of Tara in Co. Meath – apple blossom from the trees, honey from the beehives and elderflower from the hedgerows.
This unique combination of botanicals and distillation technique creates a floral forward contemporary style gin with bright citrus aromas.
It’s perfect served in a classic G&T with a slice of red apple and superb in a classic martini.
Recently awarded Gold by the Beverage Testing Institute and 93 points at the IWSC Awards, Silks Irish Dry Gin is hand distilled at the Cooney family-owned Boann Distillery in the heart of the Boyne Valley and distributed exclusively in Ireland by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
Vibrancy of Kerala in a glass
Maharani brings to life the colour, vibrancy and flavours of Kerala, India, in an Irish gin. A fusion of two creative cultures. Maharani Gin celebrates its founder’s roots, Cork and Kerala, where husband and wife team, Robert and Bhagya, come from. Maharani Gin is Rebel City Distillery first release, a boutique distillery in Cork’s historic Docklands.
The word ‘Maharani’, meaning Queen, is a tribute to revolutionary women everywhere. The premium gin is zested with pomelo fruit, and uniquely spiced with cassia and nutmeg-mace, all sourced from a women’s organic farming co-operative in Bhagya’s home state of Kerala. This heady combination results in a gin of truly transcendental taste, a liberation of spirit and spice.
A multi-award-winning gin, Maharani achieved five titles in its first year: Silver in The London Spirits Awards, bronze in the Craft Spirits Berlin, gold in The Gin Masters, bronze in the IWSC and most recently silver at Blas na hÉireann.
Maharani Gin is best served with premium tonic, grapefruit and mint leaves. It retails at €45 RRP and is available directly from Rebel City Distillery, SuperValu and leading off-licenses nationwide; distributed by Bevella, part of the Primeline group.
For further information, see www.rebelcitydistillery.com/.
TV presenter and author Graham Norton has added a fruity new addition to his premium range.
Following the success of Graham Norton’s Own Irish and Own Pink Gins, Norton wanted to produce a new citrus-based premium gin to add to his collection, but with a twist. Developed in collaboration with a marmalade producer and gin producer in his hometown of Cork, Ireland, the new addition to Graham Norton’s Own Wine and Spirits range is dry in style and made with quality botanicals.
Graham Norton has teamed up with West Cork distillers, Invivo & Co. to create his own Marmalade Gin which is dry in style and crafted with Irish grains and locally foraged botanicals including coriander, lemon peel, gooseberry, basil, elderflower and oranges. Graham’s Own Irish Gin and Pink Gin also boast very distinctive flavours, having won numerous accolades and awards.
All are available for €39 in SuperValu stores; distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
Míl is an award-winning and popular Irish pot still gin. Created by the Pearse Lyons Distillery, it is distilled with almond, basil, bergamot orange, gooseberry, juniper, olives, orris, rosemary and thyme. As a result, this small-batch gin is bursting with southern sunshine. Míl Gin has previously won Gold at the prestigious Gin Masters Awards. These blind-taste awards were decided in London by an expert panel of gin experts who diligently sampled over 300 entries from all over the world, with Míl being awarded one of the highest honours.
Ideal served with a premium tonic water, a wedge of grapefruit and basil, this refreshing gin is a go-to for any Irish drinker. The gin is set to gain even more fans through its upcoming appearance at this year’s Taste of Dublin 2022 festival, which will raise further awareness of this refreshing choice and its unique taste credentials.
A popular choice with Irish consumers, Ha’Penny Rhubarb Irish Gin has now become even more sought after following its recent impressive win at the World Gin Awards where it scooped the award for ‘Ireland’s Best Flavoured Gin 2022’.
Ha’Penny Rhubarb is a refreshing, distinctively pink small batch pot distilled gin, featuring the finest rhubarb alongside 13 expertly selected botanicals.
A well-rounded Irish gin that can be enjoyed on the rocks, the recommended serve is with premium tonic water and wedge of orange.
Shopper Intelligence: How is gin’s role changing for shoppers?
How is the role of gin changing for shoppers, influenced by Covid and minimum unit pricing (MUP) legislation? Together with other BWS (beer, wine and spirits) categories, Shopper Intelligence shows the shift in the category role of these products. They seem to become more intentional purchases, while keeping a high engagement level for shoppers. Shopper Intelligence tracks Irish shoppers’ behaviour on 100+ FMCG categories on 30+ attitudinal, behavioural and satisfaction aspects in all key retailers in the country.