What are the French’s favorite spirits?

2021 Spirits Data Survey by the French Spirits Federation

According to the French Federation of Spirits, nearly 700 million liters of spirits were produced in France in 2021. Despite these figures, the French do not know what they drink. The term “spirits” has lost its definition and the general public’s knowledge of the subject is paradoxical. Today, in general, the French do not know what a spirit is or means! And yet we are a country deeply rooted in the traditions of local wines and spirits. Moreover, many French people do not know that spirits are made from agricultural produce.. Information taken from the FFS report after the Salon de l’Agriculture 2021.

But then, what is a spirit?

The literal definition of the word “spirit” according to the Larousse is:
Adjective or noun. In the case of the noun, ” a drink that contains a high percentage of alcohol such as armagnac, cognac, whiskey, gin, etc.”

In practice, European regulations state that the alcohol content of a spirit drink must be at least 15%. The main characteristic of a spirit compared to a wine, for example, is its distillation. Without distillation, there are no spirits.

All the distillers like the Atelier du Bouilleur, better known as distillers, work on the desired blends for their eaux-de-vie by distilling them.

There are several types of spirits

There are two types of spirits: spirits or simple spirit drinks, and compound spirit drinks.
The first is characterized by the taste that comes from the result of distillation. Whether the spirit is barrel aged or not, the desired character of the spirit will be different.
The second is characterized by the aromas that come from what has been added after distillation, such as liqueurs or creams, absinthe or pastis. You can discover the absinthe or the Esprit du midi made by the Atelier du Bouilleur in our online store.

The “drink less, but drink better” trend!

According to the criteria of the WHO or Santé Publique France, the French have reduced their excessive consumption of alcohol by 60% in 60 years and by 26% over the last 20 years. The French drink better and less excessively than before. Good, because natural spirits are generally very good!
The market has something to do with this, as spirits distillers have moved upmarket, and the quality of the finished spirits is being felt. The palate and taste research of amateur and professional consumers challenge the market to offer even more elaborate references according to the seasons (and the available materials).
According to Whisky Mag, ” Household purchases of alcoholic beverages have decreased by 7% in 10 years, while the budget has increased by 5.5%. We drink less, but better, and the premiumization of the market confirms this trend.

The current French trend is for sparkling wines to top the podium of preferred consumption. However, spirits are becoming increasingly popular.

Le Figaro reminds us that: ” In 2021, 48% of French people said they were interested in the world of spirits, 11 points more than in 2019. Of those surveyed, 21% prefer to sip spirits rather than wine or beer. As for their knowledge of this universe, humility is the order of the day: 57% say they are neophytes in the field, while 39% are “enlightened” and only 4% are fine connoisseurs.

The most popular spirits in 2021

In our country, deeply rooted in the tradition and culture of wine, two spirits stand out: whiskey and rum. Since the 2000s, rum has been steadily increasing. This brandy is particularly appreciated by 18-35 year olds in cocktails or pure.
Whisky has been available in France since the 1990s, but the Scottish reference is preferred.

In 2021, the French spirits sector is clearly on the rise. “This is in line with the very favorable trend of a return to local products. French liqueurs are in third place at 71% (+11 points). Cognac, at 64%, is up 14 points, as are calvados (56%, +10 points) and armagnac (52%, +10 points). Source du Figaro.

The current French trend is for sparkling wines to top the podium of preferred consumption. However, spirits are becoming increasingly popular.

In 2022, a new challenge appears, that of the economic crisis in times of pendency and war in Ukraine. Consumers are more reluctant to spend the price of a craft spirit and prefer foodstuffs. We hope that this crisis will end quickly to perpetuate the sector and the distillers in their activity.

And you, which spirit do you prefer?