Brits Have Been Drinking Gin In Record Numbers This Year (For Obvious Reasons)

1.12 billion G&Ts, to be precise

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It's official. 2016 is the 'year of gin'.

British drinkers have been sipping on the juniper-based spirit in record amounts during 2016, buying 40 million bottles, The Guardian reports.

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Figures released by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association showed that bars and retailers sold the largest volume of gin ever this year, with sales surpassing £1 billion for the first time. That's enough to make 1.12 billion gin and tonics, or 28 G&Ts for every person of legal drinking age in the UK.

Our thirst for gin has also sparked a rise in the number of distilleries, resulting in 40 new producers opening up. Popular distiller Sipsmith jumped on the bandwagon early.

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"We launched the first copper pot gin distillery in London for nearly 200 years in 2009, tapping into the consumer desire for provenance, authenticity and ultimately quality," said the brand's founder Fairfax Hall. "Since then a wave of craft distilleries has swept across the country."

Brits aren't the only ones enjoying a gin boom, though. The WSTA also revealed foreign drinkers are importing gin in record amounts, with exports to the US up 553% in the last 10 years.

Apparently it's down to the success of Downton Abbey and Bond films, as well as the growth of Prohibition-style bars, but following Brexit, Donald Trump's victory and an alarming number of celebrity deaths, 2016 might have left many needing a strong drink. It's worked out well for the gin distillers.