LONDON: The UK, the world’s biggest exporter of gin, has shipped the national spirit worth a record 390 million pounds last year.
Exports of UK gin have risen by 37 per cent in the past five years, with sales to 139 countries bringing 1.76 billion pounds to Britain’s economy.
The UK is the biggest exporter of gin in the world and 70 per cent of the country’s gin production goes to discerning drinkers overseas, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said.
In 2014, the country exported enough gin to make over 1.6 billion gin and tonics.
Gin-lovers worldwide will toast with a classic British gin and tonic as exports of UK’s national spirit reach a record 390 million pounds, Truss said yesterday while marking the ‘World Gin Day’.
The British spirit has become the sophisticated tipple of choice for cocktail fans the world over, featuring in specialist gin bars from Melbourne to Madrid.
Today there are more than 35 established micro- distilleries across the UK, and new ventures are springing up every month.
Welcoming the latest export figures, Truss said: “Our gin will be enjoyed around the world this weekend thanks to the vision and innovation of our distillers, who have pioneered a global revival of this quintessentially British drink.
“It’s fantastic to see so many new British businesses making first-rate products for export, contributing to our long term economic plan and helping to build a strong economy here in the UK,” she was quoted as saying by a government statement.
Nicholas Cook, the Director General of the Gin Guild, which lists the details of 80 different types of UK gin in its online ‘Ginopedia’, said: “Gin is a firmly-established part of British culture, dating way back to the early 17th century and some of our distilleries have been producing gin since then.
Gin is the latest in a long list of export successes for the UK-food and drink exports were worth nearly 19 billion pounds last year.
Food and drink remains the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector, with the food chain contributing 103 billion pounds a year to our economy and employing 1 in 8 people.
Meanwhile, Juniper, which by law must be the dominating flavour for a drink to be classed as gin – has been in decline in England for decades, thanks to milder winters, air pollution and hungry rabbits, The Guardian reported.