Welcome to the year’s first edition of Just Drinks’ digital magazine. 

While Campari’s move for Courvoisier was the most striking piece of spirits M&A in 2023, Cognac didn’t always attract the brightest headlines last year. 

Cognac has been one of the sector’s success stories in the last two decades but demand has faltered in the two major markets – the US and China – and the road to recovery remains unclear. In this issue, we explore what might lie ahead in the US – and find distillers have faith there will be an upturn in pretty short order. 

Elsewhere, we hear from NZ group Indevin about the challenge of shipping wine around the world and discuss the strategy at Pronghorn, the Diageo-backed accelerator funding Black-owned, emerging, spirits brands. 

And, while alcohol-free beer might present opportunities for growth for the industry’s multinationals, we report on why the category’s second-largest territory – Japan – might be a difficult market to crack for overseas brands.

Dean Best, managing editor