A surge in the juniper-based spirit’s popularity has seen a dramatic rise in the number of craft gin makers setting up business / Getty Images

Bespoke distilleries and gin dedicated bars are making gin the drink of choice

Gin is fast becoming one of Britain’s most popular tipples, with new figures from Waitrose showing sales of the spirit once known as Mother's Ruin have jumped by seven per cent.

The juniper-based spirit has been enjoying a renaissance since 2012 as small-scale gin distilleries open across the country and bars dedicated to artisan gin become increasingly popular. Fifteen micro-distilleries opened by the end of 2014 – three times the number launched between 2008 and 2011.

A number of bigger brands have also responded to the boom by releasing their own special edition or high-end varieties.

Gin is now Waitrose's biggest selling white spirit after the supermarket doubled its range to 52 varieties in the last year.

Sales of British-produced gin have risen by 18 per cent over the past two years, according to figures released by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) in March. British-made gin now accounts for 20 per cent of the world’s supply.

Waitrose said shoppers still enjoy traditional London dry styles but are increasingly choosing the Spanish Gin Mare with its mix of rosemary, thyme and olive.