As the industry watches gin after gin (after gin) launch and trickle onto shelves and into glasses, it’s often hard to believe the rate at which yet more distilleries are springing up, and naturally there have been concerns about just how big the gin bubble can get before it bursts.
These concerns, however, are not shared by consumers or even producers, says Ian Spooner, The Spirit of One managing director.
‘I don’t think the bubble is showing much sign of bursting at the moment. There’s certainly some gin fatigue in the trade, but less so in consumers. I don’t think there’s any fatigue there,’ he said.
One, the ethical drinks brand which up until recently kept itself to water and other soft drinks, has waded into the spirit scene with the launch of One Gin, which the it believes will help it reach its 2020 fundraising target.
‘The water side has been going since 2005 – it was set up expressly to run water projects. Since then the brand has raised over £15m and changed the lives of over three million people. We have a target as a brand to raise £20m by 2020 and we were thinking about how we were going to do that last year,’ Spooner said, speaking at the One Gin launch party on 20 June.
‘The idea really was to look for other ways in the drinks space to help us make additional funds and reach that target.’
The One team worked with distiller Sarah Thompson to create the liquid which comes in at 43% abv and is marked out by a distinctive waft of sage. The British gin 'inspired by the world’ uses nine traditional botanicals sourced from around the globe, and the sage, foraged from the One grounds in Sussex and blended after a separate distillation.
The Spirit of One will donate a minimum of 10% of profits to water projects, following in the footsteps of other ethical launches such as Elephant and Ginerosity.
And it seems for now the numbers agree with Spooner too, as the gin renaissance has pushed massive growth in the spirits sector.
‘It’s like anything, if you have a point of difference then you can create a niche for yourself – we obviously have a point of difference in that we’re the One brand and every bottle funds water projects, but we were also very clear that that isn’t enough in itself,’ Spooner said, adding that brands need to go all out with ‘a beautiful liquid, a beautiful bottle and a beautiful label – and we’ve got the ethical story as well’.
In a testament to the One brand’s confidence in the gin scene, the long-term plan is to create and launch a series of gins, each with a signature British botanical.