Premium spirits tot up big business in the UK

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 5:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 5:17 pm

Spirits such as whisky, vodka and gin are enjoying a surge in popularity among drinkers in the United Kingdom with some prepared to shell out thousands for premium products.

Japanese whisky is proving to be a particular favourite around the UK and for well-heeled fans, it appears that cost is not an issue.  In March this year a bottle of Japanese whisky was acquired by a private collector at auction in London fetching a record-breaking price of £363,000!

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BBC Spirits, a Bordeaux-based distributor, estimates that the UK is set to follow the USA in its demand for premium spirits. The US market has experienced accelerated growth in this category for the tenth straight year.

The UK is seeing a boom in the range of choices among popular spirits such as vodka and gin.

Smoked vodka

Global distributors are introducing Britons to exciting brands including Vantza, the world’s first smoked vodka and the Japanese produced Matsui whisky that uses natural spring water from Mount Daisen in the Tottori region.

Gin is another much-loved tipple, with the UK’s spend on this spirit increasing by 41% during the national lockdown, equating to £47 million over ten weeks compared to the same period in 2019.

Around the UK, distillers are  developing some weird and wonderful concoctions, including the world’s only gin infused with magical sweetgrass Hierochloe Odorata, also known as Bison Grass, which has been grown from seed and nurtured at the Three Wrens Gin distillery in Cheshire.

Distinctive tastes

Another world-first comes from Twisting Spirits who specialise in distilling spirits with distinctive tastes.  The company's owners Mary and Richard love creating gins that are new to the global market. including their latest, Kimchi Gin.

Premium drinks are becoming a community too as those sharing their love of exploring UK craft spirits are coming together. Set up during the last lockdown Sip & Share which started as a gin blog has now expanded to become a distillery map and membership platform for craft spirits brands across the UK.

(photo: Shutterstock)