The possibilities are endless for new varieties of flavoured gin, but there’s one process that’s worth pursuing to create them quickly and efficiently.
Gin has gone from being outdated to sophisticated and mainstream in recent years. The value of the gin category has been boosted hugely by the launch of many flavoured gins and gin liqueurs and has attracted a new demographic of consumers who enjoy flavoured gin with tonic, lemonade or in cocktails.
Sales of flavoured gins grew by 37% in 2020/21, as the flavoured category now comfortably holds 40% of the gin market, in both volume and value – totalling £500m sales annually.*
To keep pace with demand and changing trends, the UK’s hundreds of distilleries and brands need to implement more responsive, creative and consistent processes to develop new and interesting flavoured gins.
The alternative to creating flavoured gin using solely botanicals is to use liquid flavour compounds which can give bolder and more varied flavour and colour profiles. This method is much simpler, cost effective and easily scalable when volumes grow sharply.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking more imaginative drink flavours and creations. Flavoured gin has really led this trend with unique and exquisite flavour creations, suiting unusual gifting, complementing special occasions, or simply offering a form of escapism. Distillers have been able to be responsive to high demand and new trends by using compounds to develop creatively-flavoured gins.”
As demand for flavoured gin has held strong, at Simpsons Beverages we have supported distillers and manufacturers to develop everything from more traditional flavours such as strawberry to more daring flavours such as lavender and elderflower or Eton mess.
What are the most popular varieties of flavoured gin?
Classic flavours remain the most popular. Berry or citrus flavoured gins consistently sell the highest volumes, followed closely by floral flavours or creations using botanicals like herbs and spices.
What are flavour compounds?
Whatever the desired flavour, it can be created using liquid flavour compounds – a single compound of all the component ingredients required to create a flavoured gin.
What are the benefits of adding liquid flavour compounds?
Liquid flavour compounds ensure consistency and accuracy in the creation of flavoured gin – or any other flavoured spirit or beverage.
From an operational perspective, adding liquid flavour compounds streamlines product development, negating the need to work with a number of different suppliers or manage multiple ingredients in-house.
Without the need to store, manage lead times, volumes or expiry dates, or blend multiple ingredients, distilleries using liquid flavour compounds minimise waste in production processes.
Instead, compounds mean just one ingredient needs to be sourced and managed, supporting ‘just in time’ operations.
Additionally, gin manufacturers can take one base product, which can often be a lower cost product, and turn it into an entire range of drinks.
What is the process to develop liquid flavour compounds?
Just as distillers have their own unique processes to create drinks, so too do those creating compound flavours. Other factors can impact flavour as much as raw ingredients do. At Simpsons Beverages, triple filtered water – a standard higher than our BRCGS certification mandates – and ingredients sourced from fellow BRCGS certified suppliers support our compounds creation. So too does independent microanalysis, as our compounds are quality assured for microbiological safety – to ensure the highest quality standards.
These processes assure distillers of product quality, consistency and safety – all essential for developing instantly recognisable flavours.
“We work closely with distillers, understanding their target market, product ambitions and project parameters, to take ideas from concept through to finished product. Using the very best ingredients we go to great lengths to ensure consistent quality, something which is of paramount importance for the growing number of brand owners that we supply.”
Once taste tests have been completed, allowing the recipe to be refined, liquid flavour compounds are supplied in the exact volume and quantities for the final product. From here they need only to be mixed with water and gin.
Manufacturing drinks can be a complex process – finding the right flavours, creating a cost-effective product, then finetuning marketing to reach the right consumers. An understanding of the processes that go into producing creative, consistent flavour compounds, and working with reputable, reliable suppliers, supports creation of exceptional flavoured gins.
*Wine & Spirit Trade Association, 2021