High spirits: Sales of rum set to break £1bn barrier this year

Helen Cahill
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Gin sales have already topped £1bn (Source: Getty)

Rum sales are set to hit £1bn this year as the spirit catches up with the resurgent gin market.

According to figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), Britons bought 34m bottles of rum in 2016, with sales totalling £960m.

Read more: Gin is still in: Artisan gin sales shoot up 50 per cent at Waitrose

This represented a volume growth of five per cent year-on-year in supermarkets and six per cent growth in pubs, bars and restaurants.

If sales continue at the same pace this year, the industry will break the £1bn mark, a barrier gin sales broke last year.

Total spirit sales last year came to more than £10bn, and nearly half of the UK drinkers chose spirits.

Chief executive of the WTSA, Miles Beale, said: “As we have seen a rapid growth in the number of distilleries in the UK, a new wave of UK spirit makers are turning their hand to rum production.

"We are calling on the Government to support our innovative spirit makers by freezing excise duty until Budget 2018 and reviewing its regressive policy of year-on-year inflationary rises in excise duty for the full term of the current Parliament."

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