Sales of gin in the UK were over £1.6 billion in a year, and combined with exports, was worth more than £2 billion, according to a market report from the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA).

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The latest WSTA market report, released to coincide with the trade body’s annual conference today (18 September), shows that gin sales in the UK during the 12 months to the end of June 2018 were worth around £1.6 billion, up 38% on the previous year.

Export sales were £532 million in the same period, according to HMRC figures, bringing the total in at more than £2 billion.

Gin has proved itself to be just the tonic for the government’s ambitions to grow exports of premium British products,’ said Miles Beale, CEO of the WSTA.

‘On top of that the gin boom in the UK has allowed our talented and innovative British distillers to invest and grow their businesses creating new jobs and boosting the British economy.

‘If gin continues to grow at this rate there’s no reason why the industry can’t set its sights higher, we could be talking about a £3 billion gin empire by the end of 2020.’

Gin has some distance to go to rival Scotch whisky, however, which saw exports alone valued at a record £4.36bn in 2017, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

Years of growth

The combined yearly values of gin sales in the UK and British gin abroad has more than doubled in the past five years, the WSTA said.

Exports of British gin exceeded £500 million in 2017.

And the number of UK distilleries has also doubled in the past five years; an increase which has been largely attributed to the rise in popularity of gin.

The UK drinks trade has also had a boost in sales thanks to the heatwave across the country this summer.

By July, Waitrose reported a 26% increase in gin sales year on year, as well as significant increases in wine sales, thanks to the spell of hot weather than began in May.