In figures released this week by Vinexpo, it has been revealed that the British now surpass the French for their consumption of wine, and is now the world’s largest importer of wine.

The UK spirit market is also on the rise, with Vodka being the top spirit and Tequila showing a marked rise, growing 33% between 2005-2009.

But despite this rise, sales of Scotch whisky and cognac actually fell over the previous 5 years.  Cognac sales fell by 13.2 % between 2005-2009, and Scotch whisky fell 10.8%.  However, the report is predicting that in the years 2010-2014, the UK’s consumption of Scotch whisky will stabilize at current levels, but that cognac will continue to decrease by around 8%.

This is England drinking

Of course, Scotch whisky and cognac are two totally different drinks; whisky being produced from grains and cognac from grapes, although both are fermented and aged in barrels.

Culturally, cognac is drunk as an after dinner drink, or ‘digestif,’ whereas whisky is more of an ‘anytime’ tipple; commonly drunk in bars and clubs and is also a popular base for many cocktails.

However, cognac is fast shrugging off its somewhat stuffy image of bygone ages and is rapidly becoming the drink of choice in China, India and various other countries such as Russia and South America.  In conjunction with this popularity, more and more cocktail recipes which include cognac are being invented.

Drinks, along with everything else, follow trends.  So whilst cognac consumption in the UK is currently on a downward path, the pendulum is bound to change direction at some point in the future.


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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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