A hot summer and new flavoured gins drove record sales of the spirit in pubs and bars last year, according to a report by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Gin sales across the on-trade increased 56 per cent year-on-year, passing the £1bn mark for the first time. It is now the second most popular spirit in the UK's pubs, bars and restaurants after vodka, overtaking whiskies and liqueurs for the first time, according to the CGA data.

WSTA chief exec, Miles Beale, said sales were boosted by the 2018 heatwave, when 28 million bottles of gin were sold in the UK on and off-trades in the three month period – more than during the summers of 2014 and 2015 combined.

Pink and flavoured gins have played their part too, bringing in £165m, up 751 per cent on the previous 12-month period.

"Gin is once again breaking records helped by our innovative distillers who have introduced an exciting array of new flavoured, pink and more traditional gins this year. The popular new products combined with a fantastic long hot summer and the excitement of the World Cup has helped boost the category beyond all predictions," Miles said.

Check out The Old Bell Inn, Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, where landlord Phil Whiteman has the world's largest gin collection featuring a £4,000 bottle – the world's most expensive.