At least 2016 was good for something (Picture: Getty)
Did you have a G&T, a Bramble or a Gin and Mint this year?
Congratulations! You helped make this the Year of Gin.
2016 might have been quite the sh*tshow in various ways, but for the juniper-based spirit it was 364 days of ascendency.
We drank gin in record amounts, according to new figures released by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
This year was a record breaker, as sales of gin broke the £1 billion sales mark for the first time ever in the UK, six months ahead of forecasts.
UK drinkers downed the equivalent of 1.12 billion G&Ts, with sales growing more than any other spirit sold in UK pubs, bars and restaurants.
Sales are up 19% on last year to a value of £619 million, while the amount sold in shops, supermarkets and off licences is up 13% to a value of £437 million.
This year has seen the largest ever volume of gin sold in the UK.
And this massive boost for Mother’s Ruin has boosted our home-grown gin industry too, with 40 new distilleries opening in the UK between January and November.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: ‘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 government supports our innovative gin makers who have driven an extraordinary increase in UK exports, up 166% since 2000.’
- 40 million bottles have been sold in the UK over the last 12 months
- British gin is now sold in 139 countries around the world, with America, Canada, Spain and Germany buying the most.
- We sold £159 million worth of British gin to the Americans last year
- British gin exports to the US have increased by 553% in the last decade, the report said.
Miles added: ‘We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury.
‘The UK spirit industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with 76% of a bottle of spirits accounted for by tax, the fourth highest duty rate for spirits in the EU.
‘Let’s make sure gin continues to boom in 2017.’