StateWays - July/August 2015

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays ■ ■ July/August 2015 30 W ith all due deference to vodka's longstanding market dominance—which now accounts for almost 35% of all distilled spirits sold—drinking patterns do inevitably shift. The question then becomes, what will be the largest benefi ciary of ex-vodka drinkers looking for something different in a light spirit experience? Those in the gin camp conjecture that potential converts are being created on a nightly basis in the form of lapsed vodka drinkers, consumers who've grown disenchanted with its aus- tere, aloof personality and overwhelmed by the continuing surge of new fl avors. To explain gin's nearly universal appeal, afi cionados point to its trim, lightweight body, singular array of fl avors and wafting aromatics. "Frankly, gin is not for everyone and the category will never be as large as vodka," says Andy Taylor, director of marketing for Vin Vino, Ltd. "That being said, the renewed interest in gin can be attributed to two factors. The fi rst is the new brands on the market, most of which are well-conceived and of good quality, are sparking renewed interest in gin. It is a relatively small category, one still dominated by inexpensive domestic brands. Although the category volume is declining slightly, pre- mium brands and imports are growing. The other factor is that younger, Millennial drinkers are experimental and willing to try all categories and types of drinks before deciding their favorites." The resurgence of the cocktail has attracted smaller artisanal brands of gin to enter the marketplace, as well as prompting established brands to introduce snazzy new variations on their centuries-old themes. So which brands have what it takes to become instant classics? New Arrivals Every great gin must possess a singularly appealing quality that makes it standout from the crowd. Especially when it comes to gin, individuality is a must. Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin is an excellent example. This super-premium release is handcrafted in the Scottish High- lands using a handful of botanicals indigenous to the Speyside Profi ting from Gin's Renaissance A resurgence of the cocktail now attracting interest with Millennial drinkers BY ROBERT PLOTKIN ©

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