For the first time ever— in the history of Google. This December, Gin surpassed vodka in terms of search volume. For years, many have predicted that we would see peak gin. Thus far, those predictions seem overzealous— or at the least— premature.
Furthermore, what we saw in November 2018 was a culmination of a long-term trend that has seen gin shoot upwards.
Worldwide Trends in Gin
While Gin has seemingly conquered vodka in the Google search wars, it’s far from a universal trend. In fact, some countries such as Russia and the United States are more vodka than gin. Though the number of countries in blue, representing gin as the more common search query continues to rise each year.
Unsurprising among the gin nations is the United Kingdom which still releases the most gins per capita of any place in the world. But Spain, Peru, Australia, Italy and Japan— all are more gin than vodka. Japan is still among the newest gin nations of the bunch. Japanese Gin is still as hot of an item in 2018 as it was when it ranked among our top gin trends for 2017.
Furthermore, as we’ve seen in 2018 there is a renewed interest in flavored gins— and what’s surprising is that there’s a wide variance of the top flavored gin search term by nation.
Gin Trends among Brands
Comparing last year’s top gin Roku Gin vs the reigning champ Hendrick’s Gin, we see that there’s still little competition. Although gin-lovers on this site continued in 2018 to search for Roku Gin more frequently than any other brand— Hendrick’s is still king.
Fans of American football may have seen a prominent halftime shareout of a bottle of Aviation Gin. Combined with the recent Ryan Reynolds marketing campaign, Aviation has seen a meteoric surge in interest in December 2018.
Whether this is a short term marketing rush or a long term effort to compete with Hendrick’s near-monopoly on sticky gin marketing remainds to be seen. But the mid-game shareout not only was this site’s most trafficked hour in its history— Google similarly saw a surge in interest in Aviation Gin.
2018 was not a particularly interesting year for gin as a cocktail ingredient. It remains popular in searches and while still a fixture on modern cocktail menus, “mixologists” have pushed into new directions more often experimenting with brandy, aquavit and even non-gin botanical spirits like Trakal.
While some in the gin community have predicted peak Negroni much in the way that there was a peak Aviation— there’s little evidence to show that the gin community has moved away from the aperitif cocktail.
Gin Word of the Year 2018
Much to the chagrin of many, without a doubt 2018 was the year of Pink Gin. Gin producers have co-opted the name of an old cocktail that once meant gin and bitters (see: The Bitter Truth’s Pink Gin).
The word Pink Gin now literally means a Pink Gin. It includes gins as diverse as Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin, Gordon’s Pink Gin with its strawberry overtones, and a whole slew of others.
Whether you love it or leave it— there’s no doubt that Pink Gin is the Gin Word of the Year 2018.