The city’s top five drinks have been revealed, and it shows a diverse – and distinctly modern – range of tastes.
According to Bestway Wholesale, the largest independent food and drink wholesaler in the UK, vodka comes out on top in Leeds, followed by pink gin in second place, spiced rum in third, followed by traditional London gin and Jack Daniels.
The top five comes from analysis of Bestway Wholesale’s Drinks Express delivery service for pubs, clubs, restaurants and takeaways, which includes a range of more than 6500 products from soft drinks to spirits along with beers and wine.
Jason Longstaff, Depot Manager of the company’s Leeds depot says: “Drinks Express is our licensed division which can deliver beers, wines and spirits to any catering customer including pubs, clubs restaurants and cafés to name a few.”
Jason adds: “The overall beers, wines and spirits market is up +2.4% and the on-trade accounts for 59.9% of value sales, so the opportunity is definitely there to grab. Spirits in particular are up +5.3% and 65% of this growth is being driven by the gin category, which we have seen in our own sales and in the growth of our gin range. The last year has seen phenomenal growth in gins and we stock over 100 different brands, many of which form part of our bi-monthly promotional programme, which helps customers to offer on-trend drinks for great prices.”
The figures from its depot in Intercity Way and the Batleys branch in Stourton show Leeds residents clearly like to let their hair down with modern twists on classic drinks and unusual flavours.
Some of the hottest drinks trends this year include hybrid crossover drinks like vodquila and rumquila, wine aged in bourbon barrels and even rosé beers.
Low-alcohol and no-alcohol drinks, including alcohol-free spirits, are growing in popularity too, suggesting a rising demand from drinkers for ‘mocktails’.
The findings also show a move towards drinks with unusual twists - particularly those with a healthy kick like turmeric or aloe vera. Changing tastes are reflected with more bitter or sour drinks – such as sour beer - as consumers turn their back on sugar.
Bestway’s figures show, flavoured gins, particularly pink gin, are continuing to rise in popularity which suggests there’s no sign of the ongoing 'ginaissance' slowing down.
Leeds drinkers love a vodka. Celebrate the city’s spirit of choice with these five ‘on-trend’ cocktails:
Pink martini: Mix four parts vodka to one part vermouth along with two teaspoons of grenadine in a pitcher with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Beetroot Bloody Mary: Pour vodka and beetroot juice along with a squeeze of lemon juice into a tall glass with ice. Add salt and pepper, a bit of horseradish and a splash of balsamic vinegar then stir and serve.
Old Glory: Muddle a handful of fresh blueberries in an old-fashioned glass and top with ice. Add vodka, lemon juice and sugar syrup to a mixing glass and shake until chilled and combined. Strain over the ice and blueberries then carefully pour pinot noir wine over a spoon into the drink to create a red wine float.
Sage apple sour: Combine sage leaves, maple syrup, lemon juice, a dash of cider and aromatic bitters in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add vodka and shake before straining into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sage leaf.
French Cosmopolitan: Mix vodka, Grand Marnier, a dash of lime juice, grenadine, and a splash of cranberry juice in a shaker then strain and serve in a martini glass.
For expertly chosen wines, beers, ciders and spirits, and wholesale soft drinks and water at great prices, as well as advice about what to buy, go to www.bestwaywhole.co.uk
Please be drinkaware and drink responsibly.