Whiskey leads as Drinks Insight Network lists the top five terms tweeted on Spirit Experts in November 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Whiskey – 615 mentions

Cancellation of whiskey events due to Covid-19 pandemic and whiskey being declared gluten-free were some popularly discussed topics in November. According to an article shared by Mark Gillespie, host of WhiskyCast, a weekly podcast on whiskeys, the rising number of coronavirus cases has led to the cancellation of several whiskey festivals across the globe. Countries like the US, Sweden and others witnessed the highest number of event cancellations or postponements due to the ongoing pandemic. Meanwhile, Germany cancelled even in-person tastings of whiskey in view of public health restrictions, the article highlighted.

Whiskey also trended in discussions shared by Amy Zavatto, a writer and wine drinker, about the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declaring the drink to be gluten-free. There was always a debate about whether whiskey can be considered gluten-free as it is made from grains like wheat, barley and rye, which contain gluten. However, the FDA acknowledged that the gluten is removed during the distillation process and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved the new policy change. The new ruling mandates manufacturers to specify ‘gluten-free’ on bottle labels, the article noted.

2. Scotch – 249 mentions

Founder of Scotch whisky blending house detailing the company’s journey and tariffs imposed on scotch were some widely discussed topics last month. Noah Ruthbaum, chief editor of The Daily Beast, a political and pop-culture news portal, shared an article where John Glaser, founder of Compass Box, a scotch company, discussed his company’s success story. The company recently completed twenty years in the scotch industry. Compass Box disrupted the scotch industry and Glaser also won a host of awards for the innovative techniques he brought into scotch making. Many renowned scotch brands took a leaf out of Compass Box’s book and adopted their methods, the article highlighted.

Another discussion surrounding scotch was shared by Greg Randle, a wine and spirits expert, about EU imposing 25% tax on US whiskey and US retaliating by making scotch whisky, liqueurs and wine manufactured in EU states and UK subject of 25% tariffs in October last year. Meanwhile a consortium of 20 trade organisations belonging to wine and distilled spirits industries in EU, UK and US appealed to the governments to cancel the tariffs with immediate effect. The scotch whisky exports to US plunged 34% since the imposition of tariffs last year, the article noted.

3. Cocktails – 203 mentions

German sky bar offering best cocktails and small gatherings such as cocktails and dinners not contributing to Covid-19 cases were some popularly discussed topics in November 2020. According to an article shared by Inka Larissa, a spirits blogger, Loft14 Sky Bar located in the German capital of Berlin offers a combination of tasty cocktails and magnificent view. The bar provides a wide variety of cocktails with different flavours, infusions and foams and has a perfect ambience enhanced by vintage charm. The bar is situated on the 14th floor of Vienna House Andel’s Berlin, a four-star business hotel, and offers a scenic view of the city’s skyline, the article highlighted.

Another discussion related to cocktails was shared by Andre Picard, health columnist at The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, about cocktails and dinners not being the major reason behind the rise in the number of Covid-19 infections. There is no concrete evidence to pinpoint that cocktail parties lead to rapid transmission of coronavirus, though they could be potential carriers of the virus. While a mere 81 Covid-19 cases are attributed to get-togethers in the US state of Colorado, contrasting with 4,000 cases from penitentiaries and jails and more than 3,000 cases traced to colleges and universities, the article noted.

4. Gin – 124 mentions

 UK Crown Prince’s organic gin and three gins launched during the year were some widely discussed topics in the previous month. MacCocktail, a spirits, wine and beer news provider, shared an article about Prince Charles, UK’s Crown Prince, unveiling his personal organic gin, containing herbs grown is his garden. The prince launched the gin to support his personal foundation, the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund. The proceeds from the sale of the bottles will be used for supporting academic, environmental, social and medical causes. The gin bottles will cost around $47. The drink is manufactured from rare, organic heritage grain along with thyme, lemon verbena and rosemary collected from the prince’s flower beds, the article highlighted.

Olivier Ward, editor of Gin Foundry, an online portal providing gin reviews and cocktail recipes, shared an article about the three new gins out of the 150 launched in the UK in 2020. The first gin Ward talks about in Sunday Brunch’s Drinks segment is Martin Miller’s Winterful Gin, which is the first gin to be launched by the company in more than a decade. The second gin discussed is Porter’s Orchard Gin, released by a team based out of Aberdeen in Scotland. The gin is made of cold-distilled apples and pears and gives an aroma of fresh fruits. The last gin is Off Piste, which is made through a combination of juniper, cardamom and lemon zest, along with rowan and Saaz hops, the article noted.

5. Tequila – 106 mentions

Tesla’s own tequila hitting the stands and the two categories of tequila were some popular topics discussed in November. According to an article shared by David Henkes, a global beverage industry consultant, electric automaker Tesla launched its own tequila brand ‘Tesla Tequila’ on its website and it clicked big time with the drinkers. The drink costs $250 per bottle and is manufactured by the Southern Californian spirits company, Nosotros Tequila. The bottles sold like hot cakes on the day of the launch and were only available to consumers in specific states in the US. The tequila project was under development for years and Tesla founder Elon Musk humorously called it ‘Teslaquila’, the article highlighted.

Tequila was also discussed in an article shared by Inka Larissa about the two categories of tequila including 100% agave and Mixto. The 100% agave tequila is made from blue agave without adding any sugars before fermentation, while the Mixto is a cheaper variety of tequila made from 51% agave and the remaining from other sugars. Within these two categories, there are five types of tequila including Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, Extra Añejo and Joven. These tequila types are named after the duration of ageing and time spent in casks, the article noted.