A HAMPSHIRE gin distillery is relocating to cope with rising demand.

Gorilla Spirits Company is opening of its new distillery and visitor centre in Upton Grey near Basingstoke, moving from Four Marks, near Alresford, where it has operated since 2015.

Founder and managing director Andy Daniels said: “We had tremendous support from our customers and the community in Four Marks but we desperately needed more space and were unable to expand on the site.

"Our new site is approximately eight times larger and so as well as having expanded production facilities we’ve also been able to create a fabulous visitor centre”.

Scheduled tours of the distillery are held regularly and offer guests a chance to get behind the scenes of the working distillery, learn about how Gorilla creates its award-winning spirits and get to taste some too.

Cocktail Masterclasses are also held regularly where guests learn how to make a range of cocktails.

Gorilla Spirits Co. donates £1 to gorilla conservation for every bottle it sells and every one of its current products have been awarded medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

The company’s products can be found both online and at many specialist wine and spirits stores including Waitrose, Majestic Wine and many independent stockists.

Nationally gin sales have seen a "staggering" boost to reach a record 73 million bottles last year, figures show.

Sales broke £2 billion in 2018 - almost doubling in two years, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) annual market report.

Previously unpublished figures show that sales of gin in the first quarter of the last two years peaked in March in the run up to Mothering Sunday, suggesting it is a popular gift for women.

Between January and March 2017, gin sold in UK supermarkets and shops reached 6.4 million bottles, of which 2.6 million (41%) were sold in March, while the same period last year saw 52% sold in March.

The latest figures show that sales of gin over the 12-week Christmas period were up 40% on the same time last year.