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.

The drinks brands championing sustainability

Beam Suntory marked Earth Day 2021 by announcing a $1bn investment in making the business more sustainable. Bacardi took the opportunity to introduce fully biodegradable plant polymer bottles, while Carlsberg announced that it would invest in restoring coastal biodiversity.

Californian wine: Trouble in paradise

California is the latest major wine-producing region to struggle with Mother Nature after a drought emergency gripped the Golden State.

Analysis: Diageo's recovery mode in 2021

Diageo shareholders were toasting chief executive Ivan Menezes after he said they can expect to receive billions of pounds in share buybacks or special dividends. The Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Guinness producer announced that organic profit should grow by at least 14% in the year to 30 June.

The global cocktail trends brought on by Covid-19

While the pandemic has been felt universally, the unevenness of lockdown restrictions has lent wildly different experiences to bar owners and cocktail drinkers around the globe.

Industry economics showing promise for 2021

The global economy is now expected to grow by 6% this year after developed nations ramped up the Covid-19 vaccination drive, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Dr Jack Ó’Sé: Irish whiskey's secret gem

“There aren’t many 70 year olds that get PhDs,” says Dr Jack Ó’Sé, one of the most understated members of the Irish whiskey industry.

Pisco: How versatility can offset battered 2020 exports

Pisco has seen its share of damage throughout the pandemic, with both Peru and Chile taking a hit on harvests and exports. But there is light ahead, as Shay Waterworth reports.

Armagnac: How US tariff relief poses long-term questions

A synchronised sigh of relief was heard right across the Armagnac region last year as the news broke of Donald Trump’s defeat in the US election.

Tonic water's refreshed approach in 2020

Like other categories, mixers have had to look at the way they operate. Oli Dodd reports on recent trends and what’s in store ahead.

New Zealand wine: Covid's highs and lows

While New Zealand has managed the pandemic better than most, a lack of tourism and difficulties with shipping have taken a toll on wine sales. Martin Green reports.

Japan's new whisky regulations: What do they mean?

Plans to protect the reputation of Japanese whisky have been unveiled, but do they go far enough? Shay Waterworth looks at the implications.

Mezcal: Nom-199 and the ongoing regulations standoff

A U-turn on regulations for mezcal has left producers confused about quality control. Shay Waterworth reports.