Bourbon sales booming in London

5th March, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Sales of Bourbon are booming in London bars and restaurants, fuelled by a spike in American-themed new openings in the capital.

Recent additions to London’s burgeoning restaurant scene, including The Lockhart in Marylebone, Jackson & Rye in Soho and Steam & Rye in the City are helping to shine a light on Bourbon and rye with strong offerings of each spirit.

Racing-themed bar The Whip meanwhile, which recently opened in Mayfair, goes one step further by honing in on Bourbon-based classic cocktail, the Mint Julep.

“I thought there was a gap in the market for a bar that focuses on an unsung cocktail that deserves a light to be shone on it,” co-founder James Chase told db.

“Juleps conjure thoughts of the Kentucky Derby, sunshine and happiness – what’s not to like?” he added.

At Nola bar in Shoreditch, Bourbon is the bar’s number one selling spirit, accounting for a third of spirit sales with the inclusion of rye, which is used in the bar’s signature sip – the Sazerac, due to Nola’s New Orleans roots.

The Bourbon-based Prescription Julep at Steam & Rye

The Bourbon-based Prescription Julep at Steam & Rye

“A lot of classic cocktails, like the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, call for Bourbon. Our Bourbon Street Blues – a twist on a Manhattan using Four Roses, vermouth and crème de mure, is selling like hotcakes,” co-owner Dan Priseman told db.

“Bourbon is starting to give Scotch a run for its money. We’re increasingly coming across connoisseurs who are looking to try our top single barrel offerings,” he added.

Proving just how serious it is about Bourbon, at the Danish-owned Modern American Steak House (MASH) in Soho, Scotch, Cognac and Japanese and Irish whiskey are shunned in favour of Bourbon and rye, with the bar specialising in hard to source vintage offerings.

“We get a lot of regulars coming in to try our older offerings and single barrel Bourbons – I’ve noticed women taking a particular interest in them,” head bartender, Ondrej Pospichal, told db.

Bourbon sales are also booming at the Bourbon Bar at JW Steakhouse on Park Lane, with bar manager Karina Elias reporting a 70% uplift in year on year sales.

The bar lays claim to having the best Bourbon list in London, with over 130 different labels on pour, including pre-prohibition examples and rare vintages.

“The top Bourbons are now commanding high prices in the UK and the US, which proves how seriously consumers are taking the category,” Elias told db.

To meet the growing demand for small batch Bourbon in the UK, last month Jim Beam released a 12 Year Old expression onto the market priced at £40 a bottle.

“Interest in the category is at an all-time high, so it’s an exciting time to be introducing this ultra-premium small batch Bourbon in the UK,” said Eileen Livingston, marketing controller for imported whiskey at Maxxium UK.

An in-depth look at the Bourbon category will appear in the March issue of The Drinks Business, out next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more