Investigating the popularity of Gin
A few months ago, I discovered that a close friend of mine was an epic Negroni-maker. And that led me to rediscover Gin. Some of you may remember that a little more than a year ago, our AI studied drink recipes online to decipher favorite drink flavors and tastes in different regions of the world. We found that citrus was the most common flavor note across all signature beverage categories, highlighting an acidic preference amongst consumers in Singapore, London, and New York. We also inferred (based on search interest and drink recipe analysis) that there was one spirit that stood out as the most popular liqueur worldwide - gin.
This time, we used our proprietary AI-powered ad generator CREATE to come up with the top themes for gin cocktails, based on the most popular ingredient combinations used by people.
Gin has been trending in recent years because of its versatility, affordability, and it's uber cool quotient. The spirit can take on different strengths, flavors, and tastes, making it an ideal drink for people with varying palates. In addition, there are a number of ways it can be consumed- be it with tonic water or as a refreshing martini; the beverage fails to disappoint.
The inclusion of the drink in pop culture has strengthened its image and added to its appeal. Shows like Downton Abbey and other British favorites portray gin drinkers to have a sophisticated, cool vibe.
History of the drink
This barley-based pale yellow drink originated as a medicinal product in the 1600s in the Netherlands as a drink that could treat trout and other stomach conditions. Getting its strong flavor from juniper berries, the spirit soon became a hit amongst soldiers looking for a warm drink to fight off the chilly battle environment. As the benefits of the liqueur became popular across other European countries, commercial manufacturing skyrocketed, eventually exceeding the production of beer.
Over the years, gin has gained fame as a drink that is best consumed with tonic water and makes for some of the most delicious cocktails.
Gin in pandemic times
Our search data analysis highlights a 119% increase in the term “gin cocktail recipes” from July 2020- March 2021, as compared to the pre-Covid period in 2019. I confess I drove some of that search volume. Extended periods of lockdown and staying at home gave people the opportunity to experiment as mixologists and try out various gin recipes since they could not head out to bars to enjoy their favorite cocktails.
Flavor pairings and cocktail ideas for the win
The art of mixology involves a holistic approach ranging from a deep understanding of ingredients used to a speckless culinary knowledge of ideal food pairings. Here are some of the top things mixologists have to keep in mind when deciding on the best flavor pairings and cocktail ingredients:
The seasonality of the ingredients used.
Understanding, balancing, and enhancing the eight tastes involved in cocktail-making: boozy, sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, salty, dry, and meaty.
In-depth knowledge of botanicals and garnishes such as coriander, citrus, fruits, and spices.
Balancing flavors of the base spirit with highly-concentrated ingredients like syrups and juices.
Some of the most popular gin cocktail recipes are the results of these mixology considerations. Martinis, Moscow Mules, and Negronis are just some of the names that even non-liquor drinkers are familiar with.
A variety of sought-after gin cocktails have similar flavorings as their base, making them delectable drinks to consume at any time during the day. The French 75, for example, is a century-old delight made from gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. Searches for the cocktail skyrocketed by a whopping 573% during the pandemic. Similarly, other sweet-tasting drinks such as the Negroni and the Gin Gimlet also saw increases in searches by 126% and 92% respectively during the same period.
We also noticed consumers looking for keywords related to specific gin flavors like Strawberry gin (searches for this term spiked by 17%). This goes to say that apart from the actual ingredient and flavoring choices, gin drinkers hold seasonal cocktail preferences. A refreshing strawberry-based beverage may be better cherished in the scorching summer, while a classy Moscow Mule could be better suited for a cozy winter night.
CREATE deciphered the following gin cocktail themes:
The ingredients detected by CREATE incorporate the core ingredients and flavor pairings used in making classic gin cocktails. Lime juice, sugar syrup, chili, and egg white are common components of drinks such as the French 75, Tom Collins, and Gin Fizz and form the basis of their lip-smacking delight.
How can brands leverage these consumer preferences?
Major gin brands can focus on popular cocktail ingredients, flavor pairings, and garnishes to advertise the liqueur to customers. Here are some ad samples we generated by deploying CREATE:
With AI now being able to generate a multitude of new cocktail recipes, you are going to find me spending more time trying to make that epic Negroni!
Write to [email protected] to test our product and learn more about AI-powered digital marketing.