With summer set to make an appearance any day soon, Claire Spreadbury rounds up her favourite gins for the season ahead.

The world has gone a bit nuts for gin.

It appeared to reach fever pitch a couple of years ago, when all manner of gin festivals started springing up, new flavours began appearing on supermarket shelves everywhere, and no kitchen was complete without a couple of balloon glasses for when gin o'clock rolled around (non-officially any time from 2pm, I believe).

But since then, the spirit has continued to soar. And now, new research has found that over the last 12 months, gin was mentioned every four seconds on social media. We might just be obsessed.

The results of a new social-listening survey by Whitley Neill Gin have revealed our favourite tipple was tagged 8.4 million times on Twitter last year. It was more talked about than David Beckham (mentioned 1.9 million times, in case you were wondering), The Beatles and Wimbledon. I mean, who doesn't love a selfie with a large glass of G&T in hand?

Sales are continuing to rise, too. According to the Wine And Spirit Trade Association, Brits bought almost 60 million bottles of gin in 2018, up 38% on the year before.

"Gin has officially established itself in the British consciousness and around the world," says Leanne Ware, senior marketing manager at Whitley Neill Gin. There's been a clear shift towards flavoured gins too, which are creating an incredible amount of conversation online, she says.

"The data tells us that 'gin o'clock' is now a global movement. There's a dedicated moment in each day whereby people enjoy a gin. How amazing is that? It shows that in the UK, gin is a firm British icon alongside fish and chips, Big Ben and red buses, while being a truly international spirit."

Stuart Ekins from Gin Mare agrees. "We are clearly in love with gin as a nation and the boom doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. Be adventurous and bring out the botanicals you like best by adding fresh fruit or herbs. You can even elevate the flavour a bit more by adding some fruit liqueurs."

So, what better way to celebrate than with yet another gin? There's a multitude of new concoctions out just in time for summer - here are some of our favourites...

1. Hendrick's Midsummer Solstice Gin (limited edition), 70cl, currently reduced to £30 from £35), Sainsbury's

2. Sipsmith Orange & Cacao Gin, 50cl, currently reduced to £22 from £25, Tesco

3. Hayman's Gin Liqueur, 70cl, £28.95, Master of Malt

4. Kokoro Blueberry & Lemongrass Gin, 20cl, £12.50, kokorogin.com

5. Hyke Gin, 50cl, £24, Tesco

6. Stranger & Sons Gin, 70cl, £34.95, Master of Malt

7. Dingle Original Gin, 70cl, £34.99, ginspiration.uk

8. Marylebone Orange & Geranium Gin, 50cl, £25, Sainsbury's

9. Kopparberg Premium Gin Mixed Fruit, 70cl, £20, Asda

10. City of London Six Bells Lemon Gin, 70cl, £34.95, Master of Malt

11. Whitley Neill Pink Grapefruit Gin, 70cl, £20, Asda

12. Liverpool Rose Petal Gin, 70cl, £40.99, ginspiration.uk

13. Adnams Limited Edition Lemon and Tamarind Gin, 70cl, £29.99, adnams.co.uk

14. Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin & Tonic, £8 for four 275ml bottles, Asda