New global drinks hubs are emerging, making use of local ingredients, terroir, and flavors, for a distinct new interpretation of established and familiar categories.
Whisky is synonymous with Scotland, Cognac with France, and sherry with Spain, but this may not be the case for much longer. Well, not entirely.
A case in point is the growing English whisky scene recently explored by Radius, in which the majority of producers use local grains to produce their whisky. Examples include Adnams’ use of East Anglian barley, or Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery’s use of hyper-local barley, grown on its own farm. The Isle of Wight distillery also uses local, island-grown barley for its soon-to-be-launched whisky.
Asia is also becoming a hub for gin production, with a number of new gins made in India launching globally of late, including Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin. Said to “encapsulate the rich heritage and history of the Indian city of Jaisalmer”, the gin has been made not for the Indian market, but specifically for British consumers. Exotic credentials, in this case its derivation from an ancient Indian recipe, using herbs and hand-picked botanicals from the Himalayas – helps the product stand out in a crowded category.
And, again making use of local and region-specific botanicals, Japanese gins have been coming to market for some time. Among them is Komasa Gin Sakurajima Komikan, which uses komikans, a specific satsuma variety from the island of Sakurajima. Most recently, Taiwanese whisky maker Kavalan launched its inaugural gin aimed at a global market, again using local botanicals such as kumquat peel, dried star fruit and red-flesh guava botanical extracts.
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