As innovative distillers challenge tradition, gin is evolving in exciting and unexpected ways. Whether hailing from surprising origins or possessing a less-Juniper-forward flavor profile, today’s gins lend themselves to experimentation with creative cocktails.
The future is calling, and it’s talking about wellness and self-care. The generation that follows the Millennial cohort, Gen Z (defined by Pew Research as born between 1997 and 2012) includes young adults now of legal drinking age. Unlike previous generations, these younger drinkers are more likely to embrace moderation.
American Whiskey is popular far beyond its roots. With good reason, as U.S. distillers begin to offer more spirits from the fast-growing premium and super-premium category in export markets. But there’s more to the international love affair with U.S.-crafted bourbons and ryes.
A new year, and the spirits market begins what global market intelligence firm Mintel forecasts as a three-year “recovery period” from the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic accelerated trends in alcohol consumption that will continue to shape consumer demand in 2022.
Consumers’ concern about how food and drink impacts their health has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. These concerns include persistent questions about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and suggests that non-GMO ingredients remain a strong differentiator for people interested in consuming products they consider ‘healthier’. In fact, a 2020 Lightfoot/Mintel survey of 2,000 U.S. residents over age 18 found that 47% believe non-GMO foods are healthier than foods containing genetically- modified ingredients.
Like an insistent puppy that won’t stop nipping at your heels, rye whiskey is a relentless competitor to bourbon that doggedly continues to make inroads with consumers. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Rye may be the most ‘American’ of American whiskeys, whose popularity is booming across the U.S. and abroad.
In the craft distilling community, innovation often pays tribute to time-bound processes and mash bills. The American Single Malt Whiskey revival does that, with a twist, sometimes looking to inspiration from Scotland, Ireland and Japan. But it remains distinctly American, further enhancing the nation’s reputation for fine whiskeys as craft distillers create a product distinctive from traditional bourbons and ryes, according to drinks market research firm IWSR.
Craft distilleries constantly innovate to stay relevant in the crowded spirits category. Case in point: Ready-to-drink cocktails.
Gone are the days when hyper-sweet concoctions dominated the category. Craft distillers in recent years recognized that premixed, canned cocktails were an excellent outlet to introduce their brands and showcase quality spirits. The opportunity remains solid with the popularity of cocktails-to-go and consumers’ desire to drink premium spirits at home, trends that boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s distillers pay homage to the past. But they aren’t afraid to tweak the age-old art and science behind great whiskey. Case in point: Yeast research.
Yeast is a basic component of all fermented beverages (beer, wine and spirits). Its function is to convert sugars from grains, plants and fruits into ethanol and carbon dioxide. For years, makers of spirits and other beverage alcohols have used strains from a species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cerevisiae is preferred for its ability to repress wild microorganisms and efficiently convert sugars, producing consistent alcohol without ‘off’ flavors.