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Ginspiration: make the most of the gin boom

Saturday 6th June was classified as ‘National Gin Day’ on social media. This prompted PFR to take a look at the UK gin marketplace and suggest some easy ways for pub, bar and restaurant operators to capitalise on the trend.

The huge success of gin is a recent phenomenon, with craft gin distillers and premium gin brands driving a massive trend, especially amongst younger people who previously considered it an old fashioned tipple. As a result, gin is now the most popular spirit in the UK, with 29% of voters voting it their favourite in 2017 – up from third place in 2016 (YouGov). More than 47 million bottles of gin were purchased in 2017, and gin sales doubled in value over six years, reaching £1.2bn in the 12 months to end of September 2017 (Wine and Spirit Trade Association).

In order to capitalise on the Gin Boom, pubs and cocktail bars should offer a range of craft and premium gins, with one or two local distilleries represented. Assorted flavoured tonic waters should be stocked, with elderflower and aromatic blends being popular.

Pubs, bars and casual dining

As gin drinking is now experiential, providing a fully rounded offering helps to maximise customer delight as well as provide additional income streams for operators.

For cocktail bars, the theatre of mixing gin cocktails is enhanced by serving in either classic glassware or innovative drinking vessels, such as these from American Metalcraft

Pubs can now get in on the gin cocktail action by purchasing an affordable starter kit from Barfly by Mercer, which provides bartenders with everything they need to be amateur mixologists.

Barfly basics cocktail set
Barfly basics cocktail set

Offering tapas or sushi with gin encourages drinking customers to stay longer, without the need to splash out on a full meal. Small plates are a key eating trend for 2018, so combining gin with tapas or sushi will tick all the boxes for casual dining at pubs and bars without a chef.

Tapas served on a Revol Porcelaine Basalt platter. The Basalt collection is made from porcelain that mimics slate, and is resilient, non-porous and dishwasher safe.

Sashimi on a Mealplak platter

Sashimi salmon on a Mealplak platter. Mealplak tableware is made from a unique, patented resin which is guaranteed against colour fade and breakage for 10 years. Ideal for outdoor casual dining, Mealplak dishes can be frozen to keep cold dishes cold!

Restaurants and fine dining

Traditionally wines are served with fine dining courses. With the huge range of gin flavours and mixes to choose from, why not experiment by offering a flight of gin?

A gin tasting menu can be created using complementary ingredients. Seafood and salmon are especially good with gin, and oysters can be enhanced with a few drops of gin and tonic. In fact, one enterprising Belgian chef has actually produced a lobster gin, made by soaking a raw lobster in pure alcohol for two days, binning the lobster (what a waste!) and mixing the liquor with gin. Other ingredients that play well with gin include spicy or curried lamb, cured meats and strong and blue cheeses. Fresh fruity desserts and sorbets with citrus and berry flavours are especially enhanced by a carefully chosen gin.

Revol Sphere plate with seafood

The Sphere collection by Revol Porcelaine elevates seafood dishes. Revol’s fine porcelain is hand sprayed with real gold. Serve a gin with gold flecks for a glittering presentation!


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