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G&T's have become one of the most popular drinks on the market, but how is the spirit evolving? It's sophisticated reputation and delicious flavours create the ideal cocktails, as well as becoming the perfect confidence booster BFF:

"You should go to the dancefloor and show off your hip moves, you're such a great dancer" – as said by Hendricks, overheard in Coppers in October 2018. Hendricks was later proven wrong.

There's no doubt about just how much gin has grown in the world of spirits, with Scottish gin especially undergoing a massive revival.

According to the Irish Times, the on-trade gin market in Ireland is now worth at an all-time high of €50 million. It's image has become transformed from a seemingly 'mother's choice' to a millennial's favourite. 

We've put together a list of gin trends for 2019, so you can prepare your livers for the changes due to come in next year for the gin world. Get yourselves ready for relentless gin puns throughout, you have been warned.

1. GINcredible flavours 

Gin flavours are KILLING the game right now, and they're showing no sign of slowing down.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Botanical delights such as berry pink gin, plum and cinnamon, pomegranate and rose, lemon drizzle, rhubarb and ginger to passionfruit gin liqueurs, salted caramel flavour and even a bubblegum taste, the flavours of gin available are GINfinite (sorry not sorry).

Copeland Spirits, based in Co. Down, specialises in 37.8% flavoured gins. Aldi Ireland stock its GINSANELY good Rhuberry flavour, naturally infused with local fruit, as well as its new, limited-edition infusion Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant.

Founder of Copeland Spirits, Gareth Irvine has recently spoken about the journey which gin flavours is currently on, saying that a shift in what's popular is incoming:

“Flavours to date have been quite seasonal or trend-led and associated solely to summer, or unicorns, or crazy colours and not veer too much away from berries. Over the coming months, we’ll see the flavour ideas get more adventurous incorporating spices, herbs, exotic fruits.

“Often-times, trend-led flavoured gins are of poor quality and are full of syrups, additives or sugar, rather than real fruit. In addition, the volume is generally around 20% and so a liqueur as opposed to a gin."

Hmmm, this is heart-breaking news. Some of our fave flavah's are legit just sugar and syrup…but this is changing. Thank GOD. We get enough sugar as it is.

Gareth predicts that consumers will start to focus more on quality, just like we saw with unflavoured gin and this will catapult flavoured gin into a category all of its own. Noted, Gareth.

2. GIN-vironmentally friendly

With the introduction of plastic-free consumer goals, especially in terms of straws in bars and restaurants, it's no surprise that gin companies are noticing this important trend. The 'waste not/want not' ideology is spreading fast, with bartenders becoming more aware of the value of not throwing away unneccesary food and drink waste.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“We’re thinking first and drinking second. We’ve noticed cocktail menus are changing slightly as bartenders consciously look for ways to minimise food waste." according to Gareth.

When it comes to garnishes such as lemon wedges, egg yolks and limes, the amount of fruit that is thrown away or used needlessly purely for the same of appearance is pretty shocking.

Rather than sweeping these used garnishes into to the bin, some bars have making what is becoming known as ‘closed-loop’ cocktails, where excess fruit is used to create natural syrup or saved for pitchers.

Bars becoming conscious about their eco-footprint is imperative, especially since spirit companies rely heavily on the land to create their infused gins.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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3. GINcrease in gin brands

Wait, you mean… we're going to see even more gin? YAS. 

More brands will be arriving on the scene next year, with supermarket-owned brands such as Aldi helping to increase access to the category.

Gin-lovers in Ireland are a passionate bunch of people, and brands are taking that passion seriously. As more and more brands come on the scene, people will only connect with the ones that have strong values, for example supporting the environment or raising talent through graduate programmes.

Brands will be providing a quality product that is conscious of price and quality. Amen to that.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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4. GINnovation

Brands in 2019 hope to focus on some brand new categories, many of our favourite brands which have risen in the last three years didn't exist prior to the gin renaissance. These brands, whose journeys are only really beginning, will be competing to adapt in the long-term industry pool.

Gin and spirit companies will begin experimentation with distilling and flavours which will likely benefit gin, and those who drink it, i.e. us.

We predict that experimentation will lead to some unreal new flavours and tastes, we also volunteer as tribute to test these new tastes. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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For the moment anyway, we're heading straight to Aldi Ireland to grab Copeland’s Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant Gin for just €29.99, see you there gals.

With Christmas around the corner, this new flavour is perfect for winter.

Can someone please le Santa know that a gin advent calendar is on our present list? Just in case he doesn't know…

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The 2018 edition of Taste of Dublin will start in less than a week and after discovering the tempting menus, we have one more reason to get excited about the deadly food and drink event. 

For the first time ever, the World Class Bartender of the Year Competition will be taking place in front of a live audience at Taste of Dublin 2018. This global competition brings together the best bars, the most talented bartenders and the most outstanding spirits from around the world.

You will be able to witness Ireland’s top three finalists, Barney O’Kane from One Goose Entry in Belfast, Alan Petrovic of Urchin in Dublin, and Carl D’Alton of Cask in Cork, as they go head to head in a series of challenges throughout the weekend at in Dublin's Iveagh Gardens.

You can get to know our finalists and see what inspires them in their everyday lives in this short video:

These industry pioneers will be tested on all aspects of the craft of bartending, where they'll be asked to demonstrate their skill, passion, innovation, creativity and ambition in a series of live challenges and masterclasses, culminating in the ultimate showdown on Sunday, 17th June.

The crowned winner on the night will have the honour to represent Ireland at the World Class Global Finals in Berlin this coming October.

For more information on World Class, the masterclass schedule, and to purchase tickets, go to www.tasteofdublin.ie

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Looking for a change of career?

If you've always wanted to pull a pint for Varadkar or pour a shot for Harris, then the latest listing on the career section of the Oireachtas website is for you. 

The Oireachtas is hiring a bartender for their members bar, and they're recruiting right now.

Potential candidates are required to have three to five years experience and a minimum of two references, as well as a wide knowledge of various tipples. 

They must also 'demonstrate a high level of professionalism and discretion towards guests and colleagues.' 

So no dishing the gossip to your pals on what was said in the sanctity of the bar by any upstanding member of Dáil Éireann.

Candidates must also speak and write fluent English, and be flexible when it comes to working hours. 

The role is described as an 'exciting opportunity'  for someone with the 'utmost discretion and professionalism.'

Get those CVs in, ASAP.

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We would not like to be Brian Lederman today – or any day really. He is a respectable looking middle aged man who works in Investment Management, but none of that matters, because now all anyone knows about him is that when Laura Ramadei, a bartender, asked him if we wanted anything else, he put his hand on her bum and said: “You, to go”.

Yuk – we’re sure you’ll agree. Laura wasn’t having any of it though, and posted an open letter to the man, where she names and shames him, and it has now gone viral.

Check out the letter below – fair play to Laura for calling him out. There are plenty of men who could learn from his mistake!

"Dear Brian,

You came into the restaurant where I work and ordered a Stoli on the rocks. When I asked you and your companion if you'd be eating, or needing anything else from me, you put your hand – ever so gently – ON MY ASS and asked if you could take me "to go". When I immediately stepped away and said "Sorry, what?" you probably gathered that I was and am not receptive of such advances from customers. We were in a family-friendly restaurant, around 6:30pm, and I was wearing a loose-fitting, long sleeve shirt, jeans, and no makeup…so I'm not sure where the confusion arose as to what kind of service you were being provided. You left soon after, leaving a signed credit card slip and a two dollar tip (see picture included!). Your name is Brian Lederman. I found you, instantly, via a quick Google search online. I looked at your face on Linked In, the World's Largest Professional Network. You work at Swiss Performance Management and Truehand AG, in Investment Management. Of course you do.

I work as a bartender, and have for more than five years now. I graduated NYU with honors, and have at some point held down every conceivable part time type job including but not limited to food service, administration, and even temp work at firms such as yours. So far, bartending allows me the most flexibility to pursue my artistic career, while comfortably covering my basic living expenses, including my outrageously high student loan payments. I have a good job that I'm grateful for. The environment is low key, I have incredibly supportive coworkers and managers, and – in general – the clientele is nice.

But I still hate being a bartender. Over the years my knowledge and skill set have expanded, but I seem to be getting worse at tolerating the "service" part. I deal with incredible amounts of entitlement, condescension, and drunk nonsense. And at a bar, it is impossible to ignore the fact that misogyny is alive and well. I can't tell you how many times people have treated me horribly and I've memorized or photographed the names from their credit cards, fantasizing about internet revenge. But every time I've been tempted in the past (even after verbal attacks, physical affronts, or sexual harassment) I've stopped myself and let it go.

So congratulations, Brian! You've done it! You broke this tired ass camel's back. And though this is obviously a public shaming, I truly don't mean this as an attack. Maybe – just maybe – via the intimately connected internet world, my post will reach you, and you'll learn something about how hurtful and upsetting a small comment or gesture might be. Or at the very least, maybe a Facebook passerby will read this and more deeply consider how they treat women, how they treat servers, and/or how they treat other people in general. And thank you. Without your inspiration I wouldn't be quitting my job today, and endeavoring a better chapter of my life.

Love,
Laura

p.s. Everyone else – please be kind to your server. If your drink took a while, it might just be because your bartender was rage crying about misogyny in the bathroom. Also because if you're not nice to her, she just might memorize the name from your credit card, find you online, hunt you down, and pee in your bed while you're sleeping.

p.p.s. I'm looking for work to sustain me until all of my acting dreams come true! Something that requires only 30ish flexible hours a week and that covers NYC rent and NYU student loan payments. Open to all ideas and input."

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