How to setup your own Gin Bar - Bar & Kitchen

How to setup your own Gin Bar

For a drink once coined ‘Mother’s Ruin’, gin is and will remain the biggest spirits category in the UK (IWSR, 2021). Many are made in the UK too: in the past year, the number of gin distilleries has increased by 110, taking the total number to 820. The world has had a ‘ginaissance’ in the past 10 years, and with World Gin Day on Saturday 11 June, what better way for you to capitalise on this than setting up your own gin bar?

One spirit, many tastes

The joy of gin is that no two are alike. Some people believe that no gin can beat a faithful London Dry – bursting with juniper, coriander and liquorice. Others are embracing the modern world of exotic fruits and unique herbs – last year flavoured gins took a 40% share of the entire market, accounting for over Åí500 million.

As Pritesh Mody, from pre-mixed cocktail maker World of Zing, says: “Gin has become about discovery for consumers, whether that’s new brands and flavours or cocktail serves.”

“Cocktails now account for one in ten alcoholic drinks consumed in foodservice,” says Stephen Warnham, Key Accounts Manager at CCEP. “By having an innovative and exciting cocktail menu, you can drive consumer spend.”

New flavour trends

Liverpool Gin Distillery is launching a small batch ‘Experimental Series’, to push the boundaries on what is considered a ‘traditional gin flavour’. “We are distilling with some exciting ingredients, including miso, olive and yuzu with fantastic results,” says Matt Haycox, Bar Manager at the Liverpool Gin Distillery.

The team at the City of London Distillery has also been experimenting, and has launched Whitley Neill Oriental Spiced Gin, full of savoury notes including cardamom, coriander, turmeric, ginger and chilli. Be sure to have spicy snacks on offer and on show at the bar to complement the flavours.

“4.9% Growth forecast for gin globally by 2028”
- Source: Allied Market Research
1

Choose a spot

During the summer months, you may wish to create a gin bar in the garden – think converted garden shed, dressed in fairy lights. Show off all the bottles and add signage or if you don’t have the outdoor space, create a highly visible area behind the bar exclusively for your gin collection.

2

Select your gins

Customers want to see gin with local provenance and exciting, unique blends. Do your research, find out where the closest distilleries are, then add a selection of New World gins. And don’t forget to put some sloe gins in there too, or McQueen Scottish Gin if you can get your hands on it, which changes colour when you add the tonic water.

3

Offer insight

To create a full gin experience, people want to know where they came from and how they’re made. Provide the information on tasting cards and train your team on each gin, so they have the knowledge to recommend different blends.

4

Presentation

How a drink looks is just as important as how it tastes. Make sure you choose the appropriate glassware, use the right ice (eg a Negroni requires just one or two large ice cubes), and use fresh garnishes that bring out the flavours of the gin.

5

Tell the world

Spread the word about your gin bar.

• Use social media and point of sale inside and outside of your venue

• If you have a customer database, take advantage of that too and alert your customers via email.

• Think about a ‘gin of the week’ campaign, which will give you valuable content for your social media and online channels.

6

Create a gin menu

All gins are different and your menu should reflect this. If you have a mixologist, put together your own menu and be sure to feature some popular classics such as Negroni. If you don’t have a mixologist, follow our guide overleaf to create an exciting, inspirational menu.

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