Aldi gin beats posh rivals costing up to six times more

Sarah Coles
Supermarket gin beats pricey rivals
Supermarket gin beats pricey rivals

Aldi Oliver Cromwell Gin
Aldi Oliver Cromwell Gin

Aldi own label Gin has beaten rivals costing up to six times more, at the International Spirits Challenge. It's a handy award for the discount supermarket, given that gin remains so fashionable.

Since 2016 was named the 'Year of Gin', our enthusiasm for the spirit hasn't waned. It was recently added to the Office of National Statistics basket of goods after an absence of 13 years - reflecting the fact it's now a household staple - and gin sales have smashed the £1 billion barrier.

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The award

Two different Aldi gins took silver medals at the International Spirits Challenge - beating pricey alternatives from Hendrick's Gin to Tanqueray Rangpur - and Beefeater Burrough's Reserve Gin - which sells for an astonishing £63.35 a bottle.

The Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin, which costs just £9.97, added to the three industry awards it has already picked up over the past 12 months. The achievement is all the more impressive for the fact that it's cheaper than most of the supermarket own brands - including Tesco gin and Sainsbury's Basics Gin.

The gin started winning awards back in 2013. At that point it sparked a host of taste tests across the media, and booze expert Jilly Goolden awarded it nine out of ten, declaring it both classy and cheap.

Aldi's Topaz Premium Gin (£13.99) also picked up a silver medal at the International Spirits Challenge.

The awards follow on the heels of Aldi's award for Multiple Wine Retailer of the Year at the Drinks Retailing Awards. In 2016, Aldi collected 225 awards for its beers, wines and spirits range alone, including the International Wine & Spirit Competition 'Innovator of the Year' title.

Middle class

It's a key part of the discount supermarket's strategy - to draw new middle class customers with well-priced award-winning alcohol, with the hope of converting them into regular shoppers while they are in store. UK and Ireland chief executive Matthew Barnes says: "Some people shop with us first to try the wine and then come back to do a weekly shop – so its very important to us."

It appears many may also be coming for the gin now too. After-all, what could be more middle class than a gin and tonic - even if it does come from Aldi?