Flavoured gin, home cocktails drive Masons’ move into vodka

The co-founder of Masons of Yorkshire has highlighted both flavoured gin and home cocktail trends as key drivers for the company's launch into the vodka category.

Speaking to Drinks Retailing, Karl Mason said the three new vodkas – Espresso, Citrus and Classic – would roll out this week.

Mason said that while innovation in the gin category often strays from the true nature of ‘gin’, the number of flavoured gins on the market have “opened the gates for vodka to shine again”.

The new vodka range, which will be available in regional Morrisons stores, will also tap into the trend for home cocktail making.

Mason said the Espresso vodka provides a shortcut for the Espresso Martini cocktail - and the inspiration for using coffee came off the back of the success of the company’s tea gin variant. 

“We wanted to create a range of vodkas with versatility, perfect for a simple serve or for whipping up into cocktails,” he said.

“Consumers are looking for easy ways to recreate their favourite cocktails at home and this new range makes it easier than ever, with flavours that pack a punch. Whether you’re a fan of a classic martini, a simple vodka tonic or a trendy coffee cocktails, there’s something for everyone.”

The co-founder said it is too early to predict sales trends for the vodkas, but he expects to produce 25,000 bottles of the range this week. He said a lot will depend on supermarket range reviews, many of which “have been moved”. However, he did predict that the Espresso variant would be the biggest hit, owing to the popularity of coffee cocktails.

“It doesn’t contain caffeine,” he added, “because it doesn’t come through in the distillation process.”

When asked about moving into other categories, Mason mentioned the possibility of a botanical rum, though he has reservations.

“I disagree that rum is the ‘next big thing’,” he said. “It’s hard to understand as a category, whereas explaining flavours, in terms of botanicals, is much easier for the consumer.”

Masons of Yorkshire Vodka carries an RRP of £28 per bottle. 

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