Things are heating up
The end of February saw the country perplexed by spring (if not summer) arriving during the days that last year brought heavy snow to our streets. Depending on how you see things, this was either good or bad. I was a little unnerved by the chap I heard on the news who proclaimed: “It’s lovely, isn’t it? If this is global warming, then bring it on!”
While my enthusiastic friend prompted a dismayed slap to the forehead and brief shout at the radio, I do know why he was saying such stupid things – the simple fact is that the sun shining makes people happy. Summer, albeit imposing on winter, brings a feel good factor to the nation.
And you know what else makes people happy? Cocktails… and gin… and burgers… and live sport. If only there were some place where people could access all of the above when the summer season hits. Oh yes… the on-trade!
Rest assured, it wasn’t the unseasonal warmness that prompted us to fill our March issue with topics more suited for June onwards – we know the amount of planning that goes into preparing for your busiest time of the year, so we hope this edition of Pub & Bar will assist you with any activation/idea generation you’re going through over the next month or so.
From page 38, you can read about how gin continues to shove other spirits aside while continuing to grow in the market. Our features writer Esther Anyakwo has all of the latest facts and figures for you, including the behemoth milestone of on-trade gin sales passing £1bn for the first time last year. Jumpin’ junipers, that’s a lot of gin!
Keep reading, though, as beyond the botanicals you can find Rosanna Spence’s take on the value of cocktails in the industry and, more importantly, the role of the bartender in perfecting this offer (page 42). We’ve also got a full summer season focus (page 46), as well as all of the action from last month’s National Burger Awards (page 30). While the warmer months may not be here just yet, there’s no reason why you can’t jump into this issue and make some plans on how to heat things up this summer.
Tristan O’Hana - Editor