Gin Issue 10 Trends

Visions in juniper: what will 2020 bring for gin?

2020 looks to be another big year for gin, but what exactly does the future have in store? We spoke to experts from around the world to get their take.


BERNADETTE PAMPLIN | Spirits judge and writer | @undertheginfluence

“2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year for gin. I believe there are trends from last year that will continue to grow in popularity, such as low/no ABV spirits. Sustainability is another recent buzzword that will continue to evolve as distillers make their processes more sustainable. This necessary rethink will hopefully lead to wonderfully creative ideas for methods and flavour profiles.”


AARON KNOLL | Author and gin specialist | @theginisin

“This year will see a continued trend towards authenticity. With more Asian, African, South American and Southeast Asian distillers taking aim at the global market with their latest locally inspired gin releases, expect to see fewer European and American gin distillers taking ‘inspiration’ from other cultures and more distillers looking for new stories in their own communities.”

Sam Carter Profile Picture

SAM CARTER | Senior brand ambassador, Bombay Sapphire | @sapphiresamc

“You can already see it, but tonic is in decline, even though gin is still on the rise. People, as a gross generalisation, just don’t care for bitter-style drinks. The consumer loves balance and is discovering new, interesting ways of mixing their favourite gins, be it with ginger ale, lemonade, fresh juices, sparkling wines, or even Kombucha!”

Alex James

ALEX JAMES | Founder, London to Lima Gin | @lima_london

“Gin sales are going from strength to strength in South America and new brands continue to appear. Unlike five years ago, gin is now a staple at weddings and parties. Consumers’ knowledge about how gin is made has definitely improved, but progress still needs to be made; some people still don’t know what juniper is and some even think gin is made from ginger.”

Eddie Brook

EDDIE BROOK | Co-founder, Cape Byron Distillery | @brookiesgin

“In Australia it is mainly very hot (spoiler alert!) and the trend of lower ABV, infused gins in refreshing spritz serves has grown significantly in the last 24 months. A good example of this is our Brookie’s Byron Slow Gin or Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz. I have no doubt that this category of infused, fruit-forward (in particular native fruits) gins will be a big growth driver for Australian gin, both domestically and around the world.”


SARAH MILLER | GinADingDing | @gin_a_ding_ding

“Gin is anticipated to eclipse vodka as the UK’s most popular spirit in the next few months, so 2020 is set to be another big year. It seems likely that we’ll see more gin-inspired non-alcoholic ‘spirits’, although I’ll be fascinated to see whether any distilleries follow in the footsteps of Hayman’s Small Gin by adapting their flavour profile and serve, rather than the ABV, to create a low-alcohol drink.”

Caroline Childerley

CAROLINE CHILDERLEY | The Gin Queen | @theginqueenau

“Australia tends to lag behind everyone else, so what we see as a trend may have already peaked elsewhere. Gin RTDs (ready-to-drink) are taking hold – major brands, obviously, but some Aussie distillers are also getting involved: LoveCan (Poor Toms Gin and Strangelove Tonic) is a standout. Pink gins are coming through, too, but with a lovely Aussie twist, using native botanicals to create a drier style of pink gin. Lilly Pilly Gin from Manly [Spirits], Sunset Gin from Adelaide Hills and Slow Gin from Brookies are great examples.”


VANESSA PIROMALLO | Writer, | @VanessaMedea

“Most Italian gins used to be very aromatic and made by compounding, but now there is a move towards more classic and London dry gins. A trend for local botanicals persists: we have great juniper and citrus here, and producers are experimenting with other ingredients such as hops (expect a few hopped gins this year), hemp and sea water, as well as local juniper varietals. Overall the gin boom continues, although I don’t see a move towards many flavoured gins, which – like the gin and tonic – are not as popular here as elsewhere.”

Virginia Miller Writer Photo

VIRGINIA MILLER | Food and drink writer; The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy chairman | @theperfectspot

“In the States you continue to see restaurant bars shine in specific categories, like Thai, Moroccan or Spanish-influenced cocktails in notable restaurants serving those cuisines. While some American cities have had such bars for years, other cities are just getting their first proper Spanish-style gin and tonic bar or menu. Creative gin cocktail ingredients continue to run the gamut, too.”

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