Last year alone, industry figures showed that over 66 million bottles of gin were sold in the UK. There’s no denying that gin has become a serious consumer trend over the last few years, and the upsurge in Pink Gin has been a major innovation in this standout category. According to the 2018 CGA Mixed Drinks Report, over half of consumers who said they had purchased Pink Gin, do not suggest that it’s their usual tipple. 
Here at LWC, we have been big fans of the juniper-based spirit for ages. From classic London Dry Gins to on-trend flavoured brands, the market is brimming with options. Gone are the days of the solo bottle of Gordon’s behind the bar. Gin is everywhere! We currently stock over 100 different brands, of which 19 could be classed as ‘Pink’ and with summer around the corner it’s an ideal opportunity to capitalise on its popularity. But where has our current obsession with Pink Gin come from?
For years, Gin was considered something of an acquired taste, with a reputation as being a depressant – it even had the moniker ‘Mother’s Ruin’! In its simplest form, gin is a potato or grain-based spirit, which is then flavoured during the distillation process with juniper, coriander seed, cardamom, fruit peels and the like to create a dry, spicy, bitter and citrusy spirit. It’s massively versatile spirit, and bartenders love it – not to mention all the classic cocktails that call for its inclusion!
Both craft gin suppliers, like Whitley Neill, and now the big industry players have totally redefined Pink Gin. Originally a cocktail made fashionable in England in the mid-19th century, Pink Gin or Pink Plymouth was made simply by adding a dash of Angostura bitters to Plymouth Gin, which makes the whole drink pinkish. Fast forward to 2019, and now we’re finding sweeter, more flavoursome brands infused with spices and fruit flavours – occasionally derived from whole fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, cherries or rhubarb and as we know from the alcopop era… sweet sells!
So, what is driving the growth in popularity and the surge in interest from younger drinkers? Often ornately garnished with mint, loads of fruit and ice in huge, ‘Copa’ glasses, Pink Gin looks great on Instagram and appeals to those who like to share shots of what they are drinking. Amongst the social media influencers, pink drinks are on-trend, and their sweeter flavours gives them broad appeal without the bitter acquired taste that comes with more traditional gins. Thanks to a bigger interest in cocktails, the popularity of the flavoured vodkas with the younger market, a desire for lower-calorie drink options and the increase in innovative and exciting gins on the market, gin has truly become the spirit of choice in the UK.
Discussing the rise of pink gin and lighter, healthier drinks, Charlie Mitchell, senior consumer research manager at CGA, said:
“Staying right on top of people’s needs and preferences is crucial if brands are to protect and increase their share of this lucrative market.” 
There’s a real opportunity for bars, clubs and pubs to capitalise on this boom. CGA’s Report also stresses the importance of promotions in cocktail sales. Almost half of cocktail drinkers say they use promotional offers almost every time they order one, and over three quarters are more likely to visit a venue if it has a cocktail promotion. Prominent menus, bartenders’ knowledge and skilled cocktail mixing also influence drinkers’ choices. 
Linking interesting recipes and the social aspect could well be key to increased profitability. Play up to the aesthetics and popularity of a beautifully mixed and served cocktail. Make the offerings interesting and colourful and offer drinks which play on the classics. An Elderflower Pink Gin Fizz served in a classic champagne flute with a touch of lemon, a Pink Gin and Blood Orange over ice in a chunky beaker or a Gin-ger beer in a jam-jar will all make it onto Instagram and bring in increased revenue if promoted well at the bar and elsewhere. Set up your own social media channels and be proactive in promoting your offerings on them – encouraging customers to share cocktail shots and tagging their location, maybe even offering discounted drinks for likes and shares!
So, stock up on Pink Gins, soda, prosecco, fresh juices, ginger beer and lemonade. Order in some berries, citrus fruits, cucumber, mint leaves and varying sizes and styles of drinking vessels. Buy a big cocktail chalkboard and brush up on Pink Gin recipes. Oh, and make sure the ice machine is serviced and fully stocked for happy hour!