With Christmas and New Year out the way it’s time to look ahead at what’s to come in 2016. January is supposed to be the month to relax and take it easy before all the madness starts again, but we’re way too excited to find out what’s in store for the drinks industry in 2016. Whether it’s a new product entering the market or an entirely new brand, we can’t wait to find out exactly what they are!
So let’s delve straight in and see which spirits and wines are on the rise and which ones we should expect to see more of, on the shelves and behind the bars.
Gin has definitely been the show stopper of 2015, with an ever growing range of new brands gracing the market. From the classic London Dry to the not-so-classics, made from all sorts of weird and wonderful botanicals. Sometimes even we find it hard to keep up!
The gin category is currently growing by 6.6% and is showing no signs of putting the brakes on and slowing down. As the category continues to grow, we’ll be experiencing greater things from this spirit with even more new and exciting gins set to appear on the market soon.
It’s going to be another, very very exciting year for gin and we can’t wait to see what’s to come!
With aquavit gradually appearing in more bars across the UK, 2016 is expected to be its year! Aquavit, in case you’re not familiar with it, is a Scandinavian spirit distilled either from grain or, more commonly, potatoes. To make it a bit simpler, think of it as a flavoured vodka.
In Scandinavia, aquavit is generally drunk neat, chilled or at room temperature but in the UK, aquavit is already showing signs that it can work well in mixed drinks and cocktails. Bartenders are already switching their gin in a Negroni and vodka in a Bloody Mary for a spicier kick that comes from using aquavit.
We’re one of the leading suppliers of aquavit in the UK so why not give some of our brands a try. Choose your favourite between: Linie Aquavit from Norway and Aalborg Aquavit from Denmark. If they don’t tickle your fancy then don’t worry, we’ve got plenty more aquavit for you to try.
Over the last year or so, vodka has taken a bit of a back seat after struggling to keep up with the growing popularity of spirits with more unusual flavours. However this year, vodka is said to be making a comeback with a steady flow of new premium brands, with an added edge, entering the market. Vodka is definitely fighting back to regain its status right up there, next to gin… watch out!
One of the most noticeable new trends in the UK spirit market is the rise of mezcal and we’re certainly very proud to have the best and most exclusive selection of mezcal available in the UK, including Del Maguey, Los Siete Misterios and Pierde Almas.
This new found love for mezcal has definitely taken people by surprise, considering not that long ago barely anyone had heard of this wonderful Mexican spirit. In an interview with the Morning Advertiser our Brand Champion and mezcal connoisseur, Jon Anders gives his take on this mezcal epidemic.
Here’s what he had to say:
‘Mezcal is the big one. It happened almost overnight, two or three years ago no one had heard of mezcal, now you can get it in bars all over the country. It taps into the same trend that gets people interested in whisky, as there are so many different expressions out there. It’s a premium spirit, we sell small volumes but consistently, which is over the odds for a high price imported spirit’.
‘People will be willing to search out places that serve drinks that have that authenticity and quality. They’re willing to learn, they read about something on the internet then they want to come to the bar and try some of the drink they hear about, to experiment’.
In 2016 we expect to see an even bigger rise in the popularity of mezcal, with more bars and restaurants making sure they’re stocked up!
Tequila is not just for traditional margaritas and shooters anymore. It’s a widespread spirit that can be purchased today, in most bars, clubs and restaurants. Tequila has an enormous history with the demand for the spirit still growing fast. Now, with so many players in the tequila game, tequila trends have been bigger than ever. New drinks and cocktails are frequently being developed with the vast selection of tequila brands and types that are now widely available.
Tequila has definitely earned a new name for itself as the world continues to discover the many things that it has to offer. It is certain that it won’t be losing any of its steam anytime soon!
Back in the eighties, every household had a bottle of vermouth stashed away in the drinks cabinet. But vermouth quickly fell out of fashion and was only ever used as an ingredient in the odd cocktail or two. Now it’s making a comeback, quickly becoming one of the most ‘on trend’ things you can drink. The classic version of vermouth was always dry but the category is slowly expanding with sweet and much more herbal versions now existing.
The demand for vermouth from bartenders is also rapidly increasing. It’s becoming one of the key ingredients in the ever growing cocktail culture as cocktails like the Manhattan, Negroni and Martini have started to become fashionable again…Plus, it’s absolutely delicious and every bar and restaurant should definitely have it at the top of their drinks list!
Contratto offer a fantastic selection of vermouth’s, including a bianco, rosso and americano rosso. The Contratto Vermouth recipe dates back to the early 19th century and is based on a combination of white wine, Italian brandy and over 50 delicately infused natural herbs, spices, roots and seeds. This traditional process is used to create a sophisticated elixir and a complex and well-balanced boutique aperitif that will make any vermouth based cocktail an exceptional experience. Give them a try!
All over the world, people seem to be going mad for Japanese whisky. The growing popularity of Japanese produce in bars and restaurants has meant that Japanese whisky is in higher demand than ever before.
The story of Japanese whisky goes back about 90 years and owes its existence largely to two people – Shinjiro Torii and Masataka Taketsuru, who founded the distilleries behind the two largest producers – Suntory and Nikka. It’s crazy to think that it was first distilled in the 19th century but took up to the 21st century for the wider world to catch on as these days people can’t get enough.
With a growing trend of consumers that want more unique and exotic products, we expect that the demand for Japanese whisky will continue to increase well in to 2016.
Something a little different for your mixer
Consumers are continuously looking for new and exciting tonics to go with their spirits. They want something different, with an interesting flavour that is nothing like the ones you can pick up from any supermarket or corner shop.
Doctor Polidori’s Dry Tonic is infused with herbal essences, making it an aromatic filler for your favourite spirits. Herbal notes of basil and thyme combined with exotic notes of spicy cubeb pepper and instantly recognisable juniper make for a very interesting character.
Their cucumber tonic on the other hand is not equipped with the usual citrus aromas but instead, exciting cucumber notes. This tonic works spectacularly in a G&T, providing a refreshing and vibrant experience!
Greek wines may be the most underrated on the planet. Why is a mystery, as the Greeks have been making wine since around 2000 BC. Certainly, the quality of Greek wines has improved dramatically since the 1980s, but this is the case for all winemaking countries… isn’t it?!
Over the past few decades a big shift has taken place with a reduction in overall vineyard area. This has resulted in fewer bulk and table wines being produced, which has actually lead to the rise in numbers of quality producers and boutique wineries.
This is exciting as the trends show that people are looking for cool, unusual grape varieties from emerging winemaking countries. White Greek grapes like Assyrtiko and Moschofilero and reds such as Vradiano and Agiorgitiko may not roll off the tongue but they are high quality grape varieties that are now being used to create complex, food friendly wines.
This trend is expected to continue well into 2016 so a continuous increase in the popularity of Greek wines looks very promising. So as you can probably predict, we can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for some of our Greek wines producers, like Vrinioti and Tselepos. Exciting times!
If you would like anymore information on any of the products above, please visit our website or pop in to one of our stores.