Liqueurs: Forever Young

The producer’s top markets in volume terms are Thailand, the UK,  Russia and Italy – while in growth terms Russia and Italy, along with Thailand, have been enjoying double-digit increases – interestingly all countries which boast a growing cocktail culture.

While Holland is something of a bastion when it comes to liqueurs producers, it is innovation which has been at the heart of Italian producer Volare’s progress in recent years. In particular the development of its bespoke pouring mechanism has really helped to put the producer on the liqueurs map.

“Innovation is a key factor for the development of our brand and our company is constantly investing in research and development,” says export director Nicola Dal Toso. “The design of ‘pro pour technology’ is considered a great innovation and a key factor for the success and recognisability of the brand. It has allowed us to enter into markets where other competitors were already established.”

Vital community

The international bartending community is vital to Volare and the company is strengthening its position in emerging markets through training and sponsorship activities. “It’s important to educate and demonstrate product usability,” says Dal Toso. “The most popular flavours among bartenders are Vanilla and Cinnamon Red as they can replace regular sugar in all-time classics and help bartenders create well-balanced twists on classics.”

While eastern Europe is Volare’s prime stronghold in terms of development, the company is also finding growing interest in Asia, in particular South Korea and Japan. “This testifies that the consumption of cocktails is growing rapidly in these markets that previously have been very tied to the consumption of traditional liquor,” says Dal Toso.  

Over in France, the quality liqueur producer and one rightly famed for its Crème de Cassis, Gabriel Boudier also prioritises innovation but links it to ‘creativity’ as well.  “Innovation and above all creativity is essential in what we do, particularly as trends move very swiftly,” says Claire Battault, export director of Gabriel Boudier. “Even though the classics such as cassis and triple sec remain important, we are constantly being asked to innovate around new fruits, plants and spices. Indeed, we are increasingly inspired by the creativity emerging in desserts and sweet offerings which we try to adapt and make delicious liqueurs.” 

Interestingly, following increasing demand from the on-trade, Gabriel Boudier unveiled its Bartender range of liqueurs in bottles designed to fit the speed rail. The move clearly underlines the growing following the French liqueurs have among the cocktail fraternity. 

“Without doubt these have been successful, along with our Saffron gin and the more exotic flavours in the range,” says Battault. “The concentrated flavours of our liqueurs make these a perfect base for a successful cocktail.”

Like a number of producers  Boudier has also found a growing demand for its products in supermarkets as consumers take the cocktail mixing habit home, and this is furthered by “a ready-to-use cocktail recipe at point of sale which has been inspired by an innovative barman”.  

Indeed, Volare has taken this one step further by introducing a 50cl bottle for its Antica Sambuca especially for supermarket listings and creating a signature cocktail called A Star. “This is sambuca and tonic and as such a very simple ingredient which allows everyone to create a cocktail at home while promoting a different way to drink sambuca,” says Dal Toso.