Ginspirational new ideas
Is its supremacy waning? Not if these new varieties have anything to do with it
AS I WRITE, the suggestion of gin fatigue is making headlines in the papers after the fall in sales growth (knocking off £2 billion from the value of its shares since last autumn) of Fevertree. The premium tonic producer (whose cucumber and Mediterranean mixers have become favourites in my household) was founded 15 years ago and its bottles are now commonplace in restaurants, bars and supermarkets across the country. It might be, analysts suggest, that the royal wedding and the men’s football World Cup contributed to more favourable figures last year; anecdotally, at least, there seems to be little evidence that the nation’s love of gin and its accoutrements is waning.
In fact, two years ago, gin was added to the official inflation shopping basket – the index used by the Office for National Statistics to measure consumer price rises. And the latest beautiful bottles (see Mermaid’s turquoise fish-scaled glass), inticing labels (such as the stained-glass-style Jarrold’s) and adventurous flavours make it a drink to trade up to.
At a recent barbecue with friends, pink gin was our pour of choice, closely followed by Aldi’s Greyson’s Seville Orange & Persian Lime gin, which recently beat the big brands in industry blind-tasting awards. The Telegraph’s drinks columnist, Susy Atkins, tells me that rum will be the hottest spirit towards the end of this year, but summer remains gin’s domain. It’s worth taking fellow columnist Xanthe Clay’s advice for G&TS at al fresco gatherings: line up a few bottles with a mix of tonics and garnishes (grapefruit, rosemary, mint, melon) in a DIY station, then everyone can make their own bespoke drink.
Jarrold’s London Dry Gin Jarrolds, £38.50, drinkjarrolds.co.uk
Isle of Wight Distillery, £39.50, mermaidspirit.uk Mermaid Gin
Elderflower Liqueur Edinburgh Gin Distillery, £18.50 for 50cl, edinburghgin.com
Greyson’s Seville Orange & Persian Lime Gin Aldi, £14.99, aldi.co.uk