Craft distillers turned ‘mother’s ruin’ into a upmarket drink – now their sophisticated market has been overwhelmed by a boom in sales of pink gin
Public, the newly crowned Observer Food Monthly bar of the year, likes to think of itself as an open, unpretentious cocktail bar. But on one issue – Britain’s current thirst for sweet, fruity pink gins – it has a bunker mentality that befits its tiny basement location beneath Sheffield’s town hall.
“It’s gone bonkers,” says the head barman, Jack Wakelin. “We get people in all the time asking: ‘What gins do you have?’ It’s an obsession. They almost turn their noses up that we don’t sell particular sweet gins.” Public stocks one fruit gin, Tanqueray’s orangey Flor de Sevilla, which, insists Wakelin, “is still very juniper-led”. But, otherwise, he is baffled by the soaring popularity of not just berry-infused gins, but vivid violet gins and gins flavoured with everything from marshmallow root to cocoa. “How far can you take it before it stops tasting like gin and becomes a liqueur?” asks Wakelin.
Pink terror: how sweet gins muscled in on the artisan market