British gin exports smashed all records last year with sales overseas worth almost half a billion pounds, according to new figures released by the HMRC.
New figures released by HMRC show British gin exports hit a new high in 2016 with over £474m worth of gin shipped to 139 different countries.
UK gin exports have seen a meteoric rise and since 2012, adding the equivalent value of £227m in just five years. Volume sales have also risen by 36%.
If current trends continue, exports of gin are expected to hit the £500m mark by the summer of 2017.
Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “The quality of the gin combined with the world’s love for brand Britain has seen British gin breaking records both at home and abroad.
"It is fantastic to see the quintessentially British spirit supporting a wider industry with gin themed gifts now selling like hot cakes.
"Britain is by far the biggest exporter of spirits in the world. We want the government to get behind British business by supporting its spirit industry to help it reach its potential.
"The UK has the 4th highest excise duty rate on spirits in the EU, making British gin’s achievement more impressive.
"A modest 2% duty cut is a winning tonic that would boost the UK drinks industry, its employees and consumers as well as generating additional revenue to help public finances.”
The latest sales figures taken from UK shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants also confirm that gin sales are continuing to boom at home, with total sales close to £1.1bn last year.
Over one third of the bottles, more than 12 million bottles, sold in 2016 were during the festive season in the 12 weeks to New Year - compared to 9 million bottles sold over Christmas 2015.
44 new distilleries also opened in 2016 meaning that exactly 100 new licences have been issued in the last two years.
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