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People increasingly turn to gin

ginBritish exports of gin reached record levels last year, amounting to nearly £500 million.

The result represents a surge of 12% in one year, up from £474 million the year before, according to figures from HM Revenue & Customs, and a staggering leap of 32% in the last five years.

At the same time, consumption of the spirit has risen among the people in the UK. Domestic gin sales ran to £1.1 billion last year, which amounted to some 34 million bottles, an increase of 12% over 2015.

While the British remain the nation which quaffs the most gin, people in the US have increased their demand. Exports to the US were up 553% in the past decade, reaching £159m in 2015. But it is Spain, boosted by the weakness in sterling, which is Europe’s largest importer of British gin.           

“Britain is by far the biggest exporter of spirits in the world,” said Miles Beales of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). The rocketing of sales has been unparalleled since the association began keeping records, leading the drinks industry to dub 2016 as the “year of gin”.

New distilleries have opened in the hopes of meeting demand, especially for upmarket craft brands. In the past two years, some 100 such ventures have been distilling. HMRC reported that in 2010 there were only 116 distilleries in the UK.

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