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What a year it’s been. Gin has overtaken vodka in sales for the first time in the history of the world with what is considered ‘local and regional brands’ driving these figures.

Artisan, small batch gins are up 167%, compared with a 30% rise in mass-produced brands. I.e. yours truly, Mr Hobbs Gin- *wink wink, nudge nudge*.

If you thought the world had gone botanical bonkers already then brace yourselves because in the words of the experts ‘’you ain’t seen nothing yet!’’. Evidence shows that distilleries far and wide are likely to retreat back to the more traditional botanicals but start to use them in more innovative (or should we say gin-novative?) ways. Our beloved Mr Hobbs Gin is made using said long-established classic gin flavours, but we have given it that modern twist by adding in the lime flower and lemon peel for a more citrus forward spirit as well as the Marshmallow which can be found local to Henley.

We’ve started to see the methods of our gin madness altering also, St George Spirits in California roast their coriander seed ahead of using it, and then there is Portobello Road Gin who smoke their juniper before adding it. Flavour ideas are still going to get more adventurous though with the incorporation of everything from spices and herbs to exotic fruits. Watch this space.

There’s going to be yet more gin brands entering the market moving forward which brings with it lots of fresh ideas when it comes to garnishing the drinks as well as which tonic water to pair it with. North America are currently leading the way with tonic water sales and shipments across the world so we look forward to welcoming some new tastes and combinations from across the pond.

Gin tourism is on the rise also, this has been pinned to the upcoming Brexit deals we have on the horizon, potentially pushing producers to look towards Asia and the US. It’s going to be an international affair according to forecasts. Sounds like a perfectly good reason to start booking lots of gin themed holibobs, don’t you think?

We are already aware of the problems with some materials and their unsustainability on a global scale, and this affects lots of things, the gin industry is no exception. We are seeing a more gin-viromentally friendly approach to how things are created, served and recycled already which is set to become even more of a focus in 2019. Plastic being a biggy, as we know, biodegradable straws have made their way into our G&T’s and this is hopefully just the beginning of a shift of consciousness throughout this year and for many to come. This was our thinking behind a venture we started back in 2017, we took an opportunity with a local craftsperson to reincarnate our empty bottles into beautiful candles. This is a fun way to get more use out of our bottles and once the candle is done, use it as a pen pot perhaps or a paint brush holder- the options are endless. New Year, new mantra: Reduce, reuse, recycle!

It doesn’t just stop there though, it is even going to come into play with bars and bar-tenders being more careful in the ever-growing world of garnishes. In the thinking behind how to cut back on waste, a new term has been coined, look out for ‘closed-loop cocktails’. This has sprung from cutting back on waste and making sure nothing is binned. If you want to use a piece of fruit or vegetable to make your drink look pretty, then you’ll be encouraged to find ways to use whatever excess is left for something else like a syrup or juice to incorporate into another beverage. For example, in our perfect serve we suggest a curl of Orange Peel but, once peeled completely, why not chuck the rest of the orange in the smoothie maker at home? At least we can be sure our discerning Mr Hobbs Gin drinkers are happy to finish their G&T’s responsibly and wouldn’t think of squandering a drop of our cherished family tipple, phew…

All in all, expect more gin! Gin parties, gin cruises, gin scented everything, gin menus, gin infused goodies, ginvent calendars and even gin hotels to have a quick rest in when it all gets too, erm, ginny!