Back in Mid-2019, as a Bartender, I could see the Gin Boom slightly slowing down. I’d also been listening to distillers and trade experts who were adamant that Rum was going to be the next big thing. While I didn’t quite see Rum as the experts did, I personally did believe that the Subcategory Spiced Rum was coming. And I jumped in hard with my YouTube Videos.


Slowly, over the months, I saw more and more Spiced Rums Launch, alongside proper Rum of course. Spiced Rums alone had spiked from just a mere 30ish Brands available to well over 150 in just a few months. But. For some reason, the hoo-hah in the public domain hasn’t caught up. We’re still not seeing the massive interest in Spiced Rum, like we have done Gin. Was I wrong? Were the experts wrong?

Well, not quite…

You see, Rum IS becoming a thing. But the biggest trend I can certainly see is flavoured Rum. And to that matter, Flavoured anything.


With regards to Gin, while sales have plateaued across most major retailers, sales haven’t declined. The reason being, is the trends are pivoting. If you look across the majority of the big categories, Gin, Vodka, Rum, it’s Flavours that are now dominating. New flavoured Gins are being Launched every week. As I type this, Gordons Lemon has just dropped. GinTing is growing in followers with its Passion Fruit, Mango and Elderflower Flavour. They also have RumTing in exactly the same flavour. Proof that if you have the flavour, it’s easy to add it to any base Alcohol. You’ve then got Whitley Neill Gin, the massive exponents of flavour extensions. They have just dropped a limited run of Gooseberry Gin. JJ Whitely… Whitley Neill’s cheaper little brother, or sister however you want to look at it…have just dropped a Bramble flavour (which of course is arguably them same as Whitley Neill’s Blackberry, just a different cheaper base liquid, but thats a story for another day). Incidentally, JJ have also just dropped flavoured Vodka Extensions with Vanilla and Raspberry to go alongside their Rhubarb.


Here’s the thing.

Parent company, Halewoods, have now got the marketing know-how and formula to just adopt this cross category. Take Spiced Rum. Their huge brand is Dead Mans Fingers. Spiced was obviously first to market. Closely followed by Coconut and Coffee. But what they’ve done since, is to launch a Hemp flavour, and now literally, again as I type, Dead Mans Fingers Pineapple has just dropped, with also word on the street that a Ginger Flavour Extension has been signed off too.

So, where am I going with this?!

To actually concede that Gin isn’t going anywhere just yet! It’s just evolving and isn’t showing any sign of slowing down.


It may not be growing, because there’s only so much alcohol the average human can drink. But it’ll certainly still be around in 2020 and 2021. Simply because the bigger players now have this rinse and repeat formula that they can just use again and again. In business, you can’t just rest on your laurels and work with just one product. You have to pivot, otherwise you’ll stagnate. So all’s the big players will do is take their base liquid, whether it be Gin, Rum, Vodka and just launch a new flavour. This is now our current future. And even when you think that all the Flavours have been done, brands will start to double up flavours. I mentioned GinTing Earlier. To my mind, they’re one of the very few so far, but more will join. Instead of Gordons just having a Pink and a Lemon. Perhaps we’ll see them launch a Mango and Lime. Who knows?


Now of course, the big Gin enthusiasts will undoubtedly now argue with me, claiming this is not real Gin. They’ll cringe at the thought of the direction it could take. And to a certain extent, I might actually agree with them.

However, the market does not care. It doesn’t care about my opinions, or your opinions. It doesn’t really care that Gin Liqueurs with trace elements of Juniper, get clumped together in the main Gin category. The fact is, the Gin Boom has been the biggest example of awesome business across any industry in the modern age. Perhaps only the Online world can compete on how it’s evolved. Gin grew from virtually nothing, a very minimal Market Share (Gordons & Bombay are the exceptions) to a £2 billion industry in the UK in 2018. I’m yet to see 2019s figures, but its pretty safe to assume, that £2b will have increased.


So, while you’re sitting there, sipping your G&T tonight, what flavours could you dream up, because within the next 6 months to a year, it’s pretty safe to assume that someone, somewhere will have made it!!


Gin isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But it will evolve. Into what direction after flavours, who knows. I remember a conversation about 8-10 years ago when flavoured Vodka died. That conversation went something along the lines of, ‘well that fad won’t get repeated anytime soon. People want real drinks. That’s just been proved’. Umm, how wrong were they?! Flavours are back. And back with a bang in 2020. Not just in the Alcohol, but in the Tonics and Mixers too…

Steve the Barman
This blog has been brought to you by Steve the Barman. Steve is a Cocktail Bartender who loves helping people celebrate special occasions such as Birthdays and Hen Parties. He’s passionate to educate and share his knowledge from his 22 years in the trade!