28 March 2017, 04:17 AM
  • We catch up with Terry Threlfall, Selfridges wine and spirits buying manager, to discover the value of ‘craft’ for the iconic retailer
Selfridges: The Importance of Craft Spirits

HOW DOES SELFRIDGES DEFINE A ‘CRAFT SPIRIT’?
A simple definition of craft spirits is they are made by a distiller who is actively involved in every aspect of the distillation of the spirit, from ingredient selection to bottling and labelling. They tend to be independently-owned and production is handmade and small batch with the raw materials going straight to bottle.

ARE THERE ANY AMAZING SPIRITS OUR READERS SHOULD KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR?
The craft category is booming, so there is a lot to choose from at Selfridges. Few Spirits, for example, produces small-batch spirits like bourbons aged in charred oak barrels, spicy rye and a citrusy whiskeybased spirits. Squadron Vodka which is made in Cambridge from British potatoes and distilled only once (a more traditional method) for extra smoothness. Marylebone Gin, which has also just launched exclusively with us, is made a just stone’s throw away from Selfridges and is a complex blend of over 13 botanicals so there’s a great choice for gin aficionados looking to discover something different.

WHAT MAKES THEM SO WELL SUITED TO INDEPENDENTS?
As an independent business we want to offer our customers a wide range of choice and craft spirits enable us to offer products that carry extraordinary stories, limited releases and exclusive blends. At Selfridges we aim to create an offer which allows customers to discover something new and craft spirits make that experience more exciting and unique.

WHAT’S IN THE FUTURE FOR THE CRAFT SPIRIT INDUSTRY?
There is growing demand for craft spirits in Europe and North America so we’re expecting to see more products coming from those areas. A few years ago, whisky was the spirit most associated with craft; gin and vodka have rapidly caught up with craft trends and there is currently no sign of the demand slowing down.

Read our entire feature on craft spirits in the latest issue of Speciality Food, free to download here.

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