Hi folks, and welcome to our new look blog! It’s been a while since we’ve posted, so for starters here’s a potted rundown of recent gin news, with all the notable happenings in the Gin world in the last month or two.  We’ll be publishing these gin news roundups regularly, depending on how much news there is… [Spoiler alert: there’s always lots of gin news – Ed.]

  • Fentimans and GBBO Winner Launch ‘Gin Bakery’

Portobello Road-based gluten-free bakery Pearl & Groove hosted a pop-up event last weekend organised in collaboration with Fentiman’s. The Fentiman’s Gin Bakery (tagline: All You Need Is Gin And Cake) was launched by last year’s Bake-Off winner, Sophie Faldo, and the gin-based goodies on offer included Gin and Pink Grapefruit Tonic Cheesecake, Gin and Valencian Orange Tonic Chocolate Tart and a Gin and Rose Lemonade Drizzle Cake. Tasty!

  • UK Sales of Gin Hit £2.2bn

More figures backing up gin’s remarkable upsurge in popularity have been released by the Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA). The thirsty UK populace spent £1.6bn on 60 million bottles of gin in the last twelve months, with a further half a billion pounds of exports taking the UK’s total gin sales to over £2bn.  However, the WSTA’s good news came tempered by a warning that chancellor Philip Hammond’s planned 3.4% spirits duty increase could hit the UK’s burgeoning spirits business and inhibit future growth…

  • Collagin Secures £50k from Dragons

Gimmicky new gin brand, Collagin, which – yes, afraid so – contains collagen, recently wangled fifty grand out of two ‘entrepreneurs’ on BBC2’s Dragon’s Den. Despite having to admit that the actual amount of collagen in their product was so low that customers would have to drink several bottles a day to get their RDA of collagen (assuming that’s even a thing), the brand’s [PR professional] owners convinced [fashion ‘tycoon’] Touker Suleyman and [pharmaceuticals ‘magnate’] Tej Lalvani to cough up the requested £50k in exchange for 30% of their business. A match made in heaven, we’re sure you’ll agree…

  • Hokkaido Gets First Gin Distillery

Following in the footsteps of Honshu’s Kyoto Distillery, Japan’s Hokkaido island now has its first craft gin distillery! Benizakura distillery is based in Sapporo and while they’re waiting for their whisky to mature will be producing a gin to keep their revenue up.  Benizakura’s gin will be called 9148 (snappy!) and will be flavoured with local botanicals including kelp, shiitake mushrooms and shredded dried daikon radish…

  • Makar Cherry Gin Launched

In not dissimilar news, but closer to home, the Glasgow Distillery, future home to 1770 single malt whisky, is basically doing exactly the same thing as Benizakura above, but with cherries instead of kelp, shiitake et al. Makar is one of several gins being produced at Scottish whisky distilleries, with a fuller list available here.

  • Scottish Gin Society Slapped Down By Advertising Standards

Staying north of the border, there’s been a bit of a stramash over some rather poor taste Facebook ads from the Scottish Gin Society, who’ve had their breeks hauled doon and their airses gi’en a skelping by the Advertising Standards Authority.  The ASA took an extremely dim view of the highly regrettable ads in question, which suggested in not so many words that A) gin is good for you, B) drinking loads of it is a good idea and C) doing so would make you sexy. Sigh.

  • ‘Ginettone’ Mare

In a stunt that has never been thought of before, possibly for very good reasons, Spanish brand Gin Mare (pronounced Maah-ray, not Mair) has teamed up with some bakery boffins to produce a gin-soaked olive, basil, thyme and rosemary version of the Italian Christmas treat panettone.  Although that all sounds rather savoury, the ‘Ginettone’ will have the traditional sweet, light dough and dried fruits as well. The result is described, almost certainly correctly, as ‘most definitely unlike anything you will have tasted before’. Perhaps judiciously, only 500 ginettones are being produced, and will be available to brave punters at Harvey Nicks for £22 a pop.

  • Pinkster New Packaging & Campaign

2013’s Pinkster gin has sprayed a reported six-figure sum on a creative campaign including new packaging and a marketing splurge with the goal of pointing out that their product uses real raspberries…

  • Gin Trends Overview

Worthy trade publication Drinks Business have produced a report on trends in the gin category that’s worth a read for fans of industry quotes…

  • And Finally…

Deadpool star and Aviation Gin brand owner Ryan Reynolds threw caution and sanity to the winds on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, downing a gut-churning combo of bone broth, bacon, egg and cheese, blood and kombucha. The strong of stomach may witness this unedifying spectacle below but for pity’s sake, don’t try this at home…

That’s all your gin news for now, folks – stay tuned to the blog, we’ll have more exciting new posts very soon…