What is the history of gin in Brazil?
Traditionally, just few classic gin brands came to Brasil and with very high prices. Only the richest families used to drink gin, whilst the king of spirits in Brazil has always been cachaça, and the most popular serving has always been caipirinha. Today, big distribution companies have begun import new brands.
Amazzoni made the first step in setting up the first Brazilian independent craft gin distillery at the end of 2016. Besides that, some other brands have been created, producing their gin in existing cachaça distilleries rather than building gin distilleries. The amount of gin consumed in Brazil is growing very rapidly. After Amazzoni, five more brands have established themselves and we estimate that in 2018 we'll have up to 15 brands. The Brazilian market it’s generous and fast-moving when something new and fashionable appears.
Do Brazilian gins have a distinctive character?
The market is on the rise and this is leading to a diverse and somewhat confusing increase in the supply. There are brands, such as Amazzoni, who respect traditional distillation methods, and other brands that invent unlikely recipes and new, "exotic" distillation’s techniques.
Brazil is huge, its biodiversity is rich in raw materials and there are many different cultures from North to South, from the Amazon rainforest to Sao Paulo, and from Rio de Janeiro to Bahia’s beaches. The quality and the products that are popping up in the market is the mirror of this diversity. But for the market to grow in a controlled way it will take a lot of education to ensure respect for traditions and the history of gin. For this reason, Amazzoni Gin used a recipe and a method of classic distillation, finished with the presence of some typically Amazonian botanicals, just to emphasize the Brazilian soul. Some of the other new brands are following this path, whilst others are creating new, alternative products such as gin with distilled with sugar cane alcohol.
How do people like to serve gin in Brazil?
Gin tonic was born to be served in Brazil! It is a very refreshing drink for our year-round summer. G&T is indisputably the most common way in which gin is served, however, alongside the craft gin explosion, the whole mixology movement is growing with creative bartenders with interesting reinventions of classic cocktails.
Whic UK gins are available and most popular in Brazil?
Trans-Atlantic shipping charges and import fees weigh heavily on the cost of the final product. The products that arrive in Brazil are the mainstream brands (Gordon’s Gin, Beefeater Gin, Tanqueray Gin, Bombay Sapphire) for an affordable price, but still on average 3 times the UK price. Premium brands are arriving but at inaccessible prices, such as Hendrick's Gin, Martin Miller's Gin, Monkey 47 Gin, Gin Mare, and The Botanist. Just to give an example, a 70cl bottle of Gin Mare costs R$ 550, which is approximately USD 180!
The big distribution companies are trying to reduce costs, but there is still a long way to go and the Brazilian craft gins are the answer to supply the local market at a fair price.
What's next for the Brazilian gin industry and Brazilian gins?
Nobody does anything alone. Amazzoni and other serious brands have to continue to educate the local market by offering high quality products and explaining what mixology is and what a quality product is. When the market is ready and educated, the next step will be to export to Europe and to USA, because products made in Brazil have always had a great appeal internationally.