Food & Drinks

A new pink gin

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Media personalities Nancy Wanjiru better known as Shix Kapienga and Jacky Vike alias Awinja (left) during the launch of Gilbey’s Mixed Berries Gin at Anzana Gardens Northern Bypass on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. PHOTO DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Summary

  • As a spirit, pink gin is made like other gins, but with few additions included post-distillation.
  • Gin consumption is growing, thanks to a rise in creative cocktails and new thirst from drinkers aged 18 to 30 years.
  • Strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, grape skins, rose petals, and red currents, add colour and flavour to a pink gin.

There was a time when alcohol was only on the dark side of the colour palette or just clear. Then came a new generation of drinkers and mixologists who wanted a different flavour and an appealing colour.

Nowadays, a glass of alcohol must be Instagram-worthy. To respond to this desire, East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) has launched a pink gin, Gilbey's Mixed Berries, targeting the young, upwardly mobile, and fun-loving drinkers.

“We have acknowledged their search for a drink that offers both style and a refreshing taste to boot. We are confident that our consumers will love it,” said Victoria Mbugua, the innovations brand manager.

As a spirit, pink gin is made like other gins, but with few additions included post-distillation. The pink colour is an infusion of red and pink produce, spices, or bitters—or even colouring and sweeteners.

Strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, grape skins, rose petals, and red currents, add colour and flavour to a pink gin. Typically, these ingredients downplay the dry, juniper-heavy, and bitter characters of a gin with smooth, sweet, and sometimes fruity notes.

Gin consumption is growing, thanks to a rise in creative cocktails and new thirst from drinkers aged 18 to 30 years. This has seen gin drinkers launch new products even in the pandemic.

“The launch of Gilbey’s Mixed Berries comes at a time when the gin movement is exploding in Kenya. In a year, we have launched three gin brands, which are Tanqueray Sevilla, Gordon Pink Gin, and Chrome Crisp Gin. All these brands have been received well by consumers. Today’s consumers are looking for existing, flavourful, and delicious drinks, hence the opportune time to expand Gilbey’s Gin with a new flavour,” said Graham Villiers-Tuthill, EABL marketing, and innovations director

“Gilbey's special dry gin is a leading light in the spirits category. Gordon’s London Dry, Tanqueray London Dry, and Tanqueray 10 enjoyed growth, and Tanqueray 10 has grown into a much-loved gin. This move helped register impressive results and sampling new consumers,” he added.

But flavoured gin is not the sole driver of potential success, Ms Mbugua says. Suitability (for the spirit and the consumer) also matters.

“Flavour trends come and go, but we have seen over the past decade that there are a few tried-and-true flavours that are timeless,” she says.

“I think the trend is a return to normalcy, to more traditional flavours, to what is known and fresh. Organic and fresh are meaningful to people because it communicates a sense of realness and that's what consumers are looking for right now,” she adds.

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