British drinkers have made 2016 a "record-breaking year for gin," according to new figures.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said in its latest Market Report that total gin sales topped £1 billion this year for the first time, making 2016 "the year of gin." This includes sales of the spirit in licensed premises such as pubs and clubs, as well as sales in supermarkets, shops and off licenses for home consumption.
The WSTA said that "more and more customers are choosing premium products, like gin, as their chosen tipple." In fact, the equivalent of 40 million bottles of gin were sold in the UK last year, which works out as 1.12 billion gin and tonics drunk either at home or out at pubs and clubs.
We can only speculate as to the reasons behind gin's growing popularity. Have people been turning to "mother's ruin" as Brexit Britain seems to become ever more topsy-turvy?
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the WSTA, said in response to the new figures: "There are many reasons why people may not feel like celebrating 2016 but the WSTA are pleased to give you something happy to reflect on - 2016 can now be remembered as the ‘Great British Gin Take Off’."
"We hope that [the] government supports our innovative gin makers," he added. Nearly 100 new gin distilleries have opened in the UK over the last two years - something well worth raising a glass to.
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