Does Gin O’Clock really exist?
And if so, what time really is Gin O’Clock?
This is one of those questions that pops up once in a while in conversation, usually over a G&T. But it came to my attention recently in an article by Pulsar Platform that there really is a gin o’clock. At least, in social media terms.
Personally, I’ve always thought that as soon as the long hand is pointing to 12 and the short hand is pointing in the opposite direction it’s time to crack open the gin. This coincides with the onset of having to cook dinner, something that must be done with a large G&T in hand.
Traditionally, sundowner was the term used for any refreshing alcoholic cocktail taken at the end of the working day. The term sundowner has all the glowing romance of a refreshingly cold drink with condensation glistening on the glass, sipped gently as the sun sets on another hot day in the African bush. And often this was a gin and tonic. More specifically there is a Sundowner cocktail popular in South Africa, made with local brandy though not gin.
So gin o’clock is now the new slang for this time of day when work is over and leisure can begin. Across social media, you will see #ginoclock popping up everywhere, particularly on Instagram. And for gin fans that means one thing: gin and tonic.
It’s estimated that over 1.3 billion gin and tonics were served last year in the UK alone. The Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) declared that gin sales in 2017 broke all records. 47 million bottles of gin were bought in the UK in 2017. Gin is now a £1.9 billion industry in the UK alone, with WSTA predicting that to be £2 billion by the end of 2018, growing a further 37.2% by 2021.
In case you didn’t realise it the UK is in the middle of another gin craze.
To correspond with WSTA figures Pulsar have recorded 2 million conversations about gin across social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this year. With the UK leading the chatter and almost half the conversations starting in London, followed by Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Dublin, Liverpool, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
According to the figures over 3000 images of gin are shared on social media every single day. That’s 3000!!! Instagram is the perfect platform for sharing your ginny pics. All you need is a decent phone, preferably with a good editing app and away you go.
So what time exactly it is?
So now that we’ve established there really is a gin o’clock, at least in social media terms, what time exactly is it? Well according to Pulsar it is 7 pm on a Friday evening with 874 posts about gin recorded at that time.
But the statistics also reveal that we start talking on social media about gin as early as 3.30pm on a Friday. No surprises there as we gear up towards the weekend. On a Saturday it starts a little later at 5.30pm. Perhaps we are busy shopping and catching up with friends. And on Sunday it peeks at 7.45pm.
Whichever way you look at it, for most of us gin o’clock starts when you pour that fragrant liquid into an ice-filled Copa de Balon followed by a fizzing tonic and garnish of your choice.