Sainsbury’s is tipping gin as a top-selling spirit this Christmas.

The supermarket has carried out research that found that one in three people are planning to buy a bottle of gin over the festive season – predominantly 18 to 24-year-olds.

A fascination with “all things British”, partly thanks to this year’s Royal Wedding and the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012, have helped drive the spirit’s popularity, as have scenes of characters drinking gin in popular TV programmes such as Downton Abbey and Mad Men, Sainsbury’s said.

BWS head Andy Phelps said: “We’ve been aware of gin’s growing popularity for some time now and we’ve noticed a trend towards changing tastes in gin, and London dry gins with more pronounced citrus notes are performing well. 

“At Sainsbury’s we’ve come up with some really distinct flavoured gins to quench our customers’ thirst this Christmas. Our Taste the Difference Blackfriars Gin is the only supermarket brand to win a trophy in the gin category at the International Spirits Challenge 2011. In fact, all three trophy winners – the others were Tanqueray and Hendricks – are stocked at Sainsbury’s, as well as Sloane’s Gin, which is sold exclusively at Sainsbury’s, showing our commitment to bringing the very best quality gins to our customers.”

Waitrose has also seen a massive increase in gin sales, particularly at the top end. 

It recently introduced four boutique gins – Diageo’s premium, lime-flavoured Rangpur version of Tanqueray, artisanal London-based producer Sipsmith’s sloe gin, Greenall’s premium Bloom brand and Berry Bros & Rudd’s No 3 – bringing its gin range to 27.