Millennials Are Drinking More Gin and Tonic Than Any of Us

According to new market research, 42 percent of Brits aged 18 to 34 have drunk gin in the past 12 months, compared to 27 percent of over-45s, pushing UK sales to surpass £1 billion for the first time.

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Dec 18 2015, 1:05pm

Photo via Flickr user jenny downing

Think "gin" and your mind may well wander to etchings of debauched Victorian mothers or your Great Aunt Mavis and the afternoon G&T that seemed to creep earlier and earlier with each visit to her cat-harbouring, doily-bedecked bungalow.

Well, those gin-drinker stereotypes may be as outdated as Auntie Mave's Persian cat watercolours. According to a new report from market research agency Mintel, UK sales of the spirit are expected to surpass £1 billion for the first time this year—and it's all down to new Millennial interest.

READ MORE: Millennials Are Spending an Embarrassing Amount on Brunch and Takeaway Pizza

That's right: 18 to 35-year-old Brits—those globalised digital natives with an insatiable appetite for takeaway pizza—are fueling what someone, somewhere has surely dubbed a "ginnaissance."

Mintel's report shows that gin sales have grown by 40 percent since 2010 and are expected to hit £1.3 billion by 2020. This year, Britain will consume 29 million litres of the spirit.

While the rise in speciality cocktail bars and Heston-inspired interest in mixology may have contributed to this, Mintel claims that the popularity of gin among younger drinkers is what's really driving sales. Their research found that 42 percent of Brits aged 18 to 34 had drunk gin in the past 12 months, compared to just 27 percent of over-45s.

Indeed, with independent distilleries popping up in "trendy" areas of Brighton, Liverpool, and London and an infinite number of carefully cynical tweets posted by users with "gin aficionado," in their bio, gin has well shirked its dowdy image.

Plus, when was the last time you went to a bar frequented by young twenty-somethings who weren't sipping Negronis?

Commenting on the findings, Mintel's Senior Drinks Analyst Chris Wisson said: "[Gin] still has certain associations with older drinkers, contributing to it being likely to be seen as an older person's drink and the least likely as a young person's drink. However, our research indicates that gin is in fact now most likely to be drunk by younger consumers, suggesting that it has a chance to forge a dynamic image and move into even more innovative areas."

READ MORE: How a Gin Craze Nearly Destroyed 18th-Century London

It's not just gin sales that are on the rise. Mintel's report also notes an 8 percent increase in sales of vodka over the past five years, allowing the drink to maintain its position as Britain's most popular white spirit. As The Daily Telegraph reports, Brits are also expected to consume £194 million of tequila this year, up 11 percent from 2014.

And to fix the inevitable hangover that comes from all those vodka cranberries, tequila sunrises, and gin fizzes? Well, brunch, of course.

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