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Waitrose turns to local gins

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

St Giles Gin is available in seven Norfolk stores.
St Giles Gin is available in seven Norfolk stores.
UK supermarket Waitrose says that half of its stores will now be able to offer shoppers a locally-sourced gin.

The supermarket has doubled its local and regional gin range since the beginning of the year, seeing continued demand for artisanal spirits.

This means that half of its 353 stores will offer customers a gin sourced from within a 30 mile radius.

David Goddard, Local and Regional Assistant Buyer at Waitrose, said that craft gin is the most popular spirit sold in stores. “The rise of craft gin certainly shows no sign of slowing. People across the country are experimenting with making their own gin cocktails which are becoming more exotic than ever. That’s why artisan gins, which are usually infused with unique flavors and aromas, really appeal to our customers.”​  

Waitrose local gins: examples

London:​ City of London Dry Gin and Marylebone Gin (launched in 18 shops in January)

Dorset​: Conker Gin (launched in 10 shops in February)

Buckinghamshire​: Mr Hobbs (launching exclusively in 11 stores this month)

Northumberland​: Alnwick Gin (launching exclusively in four Waitrose stores this month)

Staffordshire​: Nelson’s Rhubarb and Custard Gin (launching exclusively in seven Waitrose stores this month)

Gin boom

waitrose roku

Sales of gin are up 30% in Waitrose and the retailer says it is constantly searching for new styles to meet demand.

Last month the supermarket also boosted its gin selection with the introduction of Roku, a Japanese craft gin from The House of Suntory.

Roku means six in Japanese and the gin boasts the same number of Japanese botanicals: with two styles of green tea (Sencha and Gyokuru), Yuzu, Sanshō pepper and Sakura (cherry blossom) flower and leaf, which is synonymous with Japan. Each botanical is harvested in accordance with the concept of 'shun' - which means they are only harvested when they reach their peak flavor.

The best way to serve Roku is with ice, tonic and then six slithers of fresh ginger rather than usual lemon.

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