The Balvenie: One Scotch brand's love affair with rum

On 1 July The Balvenie launched the latest in its Stories range, a 27-year-old single malt finished in Caroni rum casks, Drinks International caught up with brand ambassador Alwynne Gwilt to talk about the distillery's unique relationship with rum.

Japanese Whisky: Pushing Premium

Japanese whisky continues to go from strength to strength as shochu producers turn to the category to make their mark in international markets.

Negroni: Three-Parts Winner

From the bartenders’ handshake cocktail to being sold in cans in supermarkets and restaurants, the negroni continues to dominate menus across the globe. Millie Milliken takes a closer look at the evolution of the Italian classic.

Vodka Takes a Stand

Businesses all over the world have boycotted Russian vodka in a show of solidarity with Ukraine, but what does this mean for the wider vodka market?

Rhum Agricole: Quality Guaranteed

When it comes to the production of rhum agricole, terroir is key to quality. Oli dodd meets those at the forefront of this lesser-known spirits category.

Prosecco Rising

Owner of Martinotti prosecco bar in Nihonbashi, Japan, gives an insight into the country’s prosecco trends. 

The bitter taste of success

Italian bitters are enjoying something of a golden era as consumers’ tastes evolve.

Can sambuca relight its fire?

Flavours, packaging and a concentration on cocktails in the on-trade could be the way to a new audience for the Italian liqueur.

Modernising Calvados

The apple-based spirit’s newest incarnations are at odds with outdated consumer perceptions, but a new breed of producer is working to change this.

Tequila's Coffee Break

With Patrón discontinuing its popular XO Café, the tequila liqueur category has opened up to other brands – and it’s a popular space, finds Shay Waterworth.

Building Whiskey Bridges

Trade disputes resulting in crippling tariffs have been lifted after four years, but will America and its export countries find a permanent peace?

Wine: Argentinian Visionaries

Famously the hero country for Malbec, Argentina has so much more to give when it comes to wine, thanks to the pioneers who are capitalising on the climatic possibilities. Sorrel Moseley-Williams takes a journey through some of the latest trends in this vast and varied land.

Dhavall Gandhi: The whisky scientist

Whisky's rising star Dhavall Gandhi talks to Drinks International about his new consulting venture.

Sherry: New regulations to revolutionise category

Spain’s most famous alcoholic export is on the cusp of some major changes. Millie Milliken takes a look at the incoming regulations in sherry and what the future could hold for the category.

Scotch: Taking local oak seriously

While exotic woods from around the world have gained popularity for finishing Scotch, indigenous oak looks to be making a comeback for some producers, finds Shay Waterworth.

Leisure Wine: South London's first natural winery

The Old Kent Road in south London is one of the country’s oldest and most storied. The original track was paved by the Romans and used as their principal thoroughfare between old Londinium and the coast. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about its use as a pilgrim’s way in The Canterbury Tales and later it was the route by which King Henry V and his men returned triumphant from the battle of Agincourt.

Vinitaly returns for 2022

Thousands of leading wine and spirits buyers will descend upon Verona from April 10-13 to taste new vintages and innovations from prestigious producers.

Bartenders at war: Parovoz's Dima Shovkoplias speaks from the frontline

It is in the lives of normal people that war’s impact is most profound. In Kyiv, under attack by Russia from land and air, the city’s bartenders are a compelling illustration. They are everyday civilians living everyday lives that now look unrecognisable from a week ago. 

Mark Livings: How Lyre's plans global expansion

Few drinks categories have seen as much start-up activity as alcohol-free spirits in recent times. Lyre’s chief executive Mark Livings concedes his brand was beaten to the market by the likes of Seedlip and others, but he’s convinced that rapid scaling, rather than being early to the game, holds the key to success.

The rise of quality RTDs

Last year’s launch of Panther M*lk, a vegan oat milk RTD made with gin, rum, brandy and overproof spiced rum, shows just how quickly the pre-mixed cocktail industry has evolved since the days of mediocre Gin & Tonics.

Irish exports bounce back

Irish whiskey exports soared by 25% to reach €856m in 2021, according to new government gures, which also show that cream liqueur exports increased 19% to €367m, while gin exports were up 38%, albeit from a lower base.

South African Wine Rebounds

Strong demand from the UK, the US and China helped South African wine exports increase by 12.1% in value to R10.2bn in 2021.

Anne Moreau: Nurturing nature

The winemakers of Chablis scrambled to light candles in a bid to protect their budding vines from severe spring frosts in the early hours of April 6, 2021.

Medahuman founder Adam Feldheim on "what to drink when you’re choosing not to drink"

The UK’s CBD market is now the second-largest in the world and following a period of regulatory red tape, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry claims that the UK now has the most evolved regulatory framework for CBD in the world. Coupled with a growing consumer trend away from alcohol, CBD-infused functional beverages could be set to explode this year.

Tackling the modern challenges of bulk wine distribution

Logistics companies within the global drinks industry have been battered by an unprecedented confluence of headwinds during the past 18 months.

Inflation looms for alcohol industry

Central banks are coming under increasing pressure to hike interest rates after inflation soared across the globe.

How the world aided South Africa's wine trade

South Africa has suffered greater than most countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has reported three times as many cases as any other African country, and many of the government’s attempts to curb the virus – closing borders, prohibiting or restricting the domestic sale of alcohol, and banning the transport of goods to the country’s ports – have had a damaging impact on the wine industry.

Spanish brandy's push for domestic appeal

The adoption of local produce has been one of the biggest trends within the global drinks industry over the past few years, particularly in the on-trade where the influence of sustainability has encouraged consumers to look closer to home for their drinking choices.

Canned wine hits new heights

It’s fair to say that the perception of canned wine among consumers has historically been less than favourable, perceived as the choice of hen parties, train-drinkers, and people with “it’s wine o’clock” fridge magnets. In recent years though, canned wine has matured and now some very good products are available in the format.

The continued rise of RTDs

The RTD category proved remarkably resilient when the Covid-19 pandemic brought the global drinks industry to its knees last year. It was already on a tear, and its growth simply accelerated after strict lockdown measures forced billions of people to stay at home.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues: Who is the new chief of Chivas?

Jean-Etienne Gourgues landed one of the top jobs in the Scotch whisky industry when he took over as chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers this summer.

The Rise of DTC Sales

The Covid-19 pandemic has inspired drinks producers across the world to significantly ramp up their focus on direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales.

Cachaça: Breaking out of Brazil

For many drinkers outside of its native Brazil, cachaça is a largely mysterious category, perhaps known as the star of a Caipirinha and nothing more. In its homeland, however, cachaça’s popularity borders on religious.

Ice Wine's Asian appeal

Sometimes accidents breed innovation. In 1928 Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin by chance, having thrown away a bacteria sample he thought was spent.

Surge in hard seltzer brands slow uptake

It has been a sobering quarter for hard seltzers. Sales of the canned RTD that disrupted the US alcohol market when it burst on to the scene in 2016 have finally stalled.

ZX Ventures: Tracking tastes in innovation

A direct-to-consumer site allowed AB InBev’s global investment and innovation group to continue gathering vital consumer feedback during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Richard Seale: Rum's Supreme Champion

Foursquare Distillery icon Richard Seale talks about his career and recent achiements with Oli Dodd.

White Claw lays out international expansion plans

It’s been a sobering quarter for hard seltzer. Sales of the canned RTD that disrupted the US alcohol market when it burst onto the scene in 2016, have for the first time, stalled.

Functional cocktails: Industry's next big thing

In late 2020 the US Food & Drug Administration sent out a warning letter to Red Moon Herbs in Asheville, North Carolina, after it claimed its adaptogenic products were intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure Covid-19.

Barbados GI: Heritage matters

Geographical Indicators (GIs) are a hot topic in the global spirits industry, particularly in the Caribbean. Shay Waterworth investigates.

Prosecco steps up sustainable practice

The volatile symptoms of climate change are looming larger over the wine world, Oli Dodd investigates.

Ripples 2.0 printer is making waves

Israeli firm Ripples has launched a next-generation hardware device that prints selfies and logos on the tops of cocktails, beers and coffees.

James Rackham: The journey of Daddy Rack

Outside I’ve got a five-litre, left-hand drive Mustang. That’s right, I watched The High Chaparral, I love everything American. So to make an American whiskey was a dream come true.”

Rioja is on a roll

Brits love Rioja – they’re recognisable, affordable, easy to purchase, delicious to drink, and great with foods all year round. While Tempranillo is a core mainstay for Rioja, there’s so much more to the wines from this region, with winemakers working hard to develop more innovative premium wines at all price levels.

Amaretto in a nutshell

There’s a buzz about Italian spirits in many markets. Campari and Aperol are kicking up a storm in aperitif drinking occasions through spritz and other mixer serves, while amaro is getting some love on the back of the wider trend for herbal, digestif-style liqueurs.

Brighter days ahead for the industry

Global alcohol consumption is expected to increase by 2.9% this year, according to new IWSR projections. Martin Green reports.

Pink Prosecco: not fizzling out

Drinks international catches up with the founder of The Emissary Prosecco, Ed Smith, to find out whether talk of a Rosé Prosecco shortage is cause for concern.

Tequila's calling for celebrity mixto

Stars continue to flock to give their endorsement to 100% agave brands, but sustainability has become an issue as consumer demand has risen.

Takamaka: The Seychelles rum turns 20

Shay Waterworth talks to brothers Bernard and Richard d’Offay about their Takamaka rum brand as it hits the ripe age of 20.

Penderyn chief executive Stephen Davies on resurrecting Welsh whisky

When Stephen Davies arrived at Penderyn in 2004, the Welsh whisky industry had lain dormant for almost a century. Nowadays it’s an established category with a growing reputation for quality.