That's the spirit ... cool vodka is still nation's favourite tipple
Gin and tonic might the trendy tipple of choice for many on nights out at the moment, but vodka remains Ireland's best-loved spirit, according to a new report.
It was a strong year for gin and whiskey, which continue to dominate the market.
However, new figures from Drinks Ireland show that even though the sales of vodka only increased by 4.8pc from 2017 to 2018, it is the best-selling drink in the country, taking up 34pc of the Irish spirit market.
An estimated 786,000 nine-litre cases were sold in the country in 2018.
Gin has become the fastest-growing spirit in Ireland with sales up by 32pc, or approximately 585,000 nine-litre cases.
Whiskey is the nation's second favourite spirit, with sales up by 5.4pc and an overall 25pc share of the spirits market.
The value of Irish spirit exports has increased by 10.2pc between 2017 and 2018. Overall, the sale of spirits in Ireland increased by 6.6pc.
"This is the third industry and market report issued by Drinks Ireland Spirits and we are delighted that it illustrates the continued strength of the Irish spirits sector," said Aoife Clarke, Chair of Drinks Ireland Spirits.
"Ireland has a dynamic domestic spirits market and Irish spirit exports continue to grow as this report demonstrates."
Booze exports are now worth over €1bn to the economy, Drinks Ireland said.
"Last year was the first year that spirits exports were worth more than €1bn to the Republic of Ireland's economy," Ms Clarke said.
Irish cream also saw its sales increase by 2.9pc from 2017 to 2018 and scotch whisky took a hard hit, with a decline in sales of 7.6pc across the country.