The distilled spirits industry has surpassed 200 million cases for the first time in 2012, according to the Beverage Information Group’s Liquor Handbook 2013.

New laws made spirits more accessible for purchase and as a result distilled spirits consumption rose 3.5% to 205.6 million 9-liter cases last year.

Modernisation of liquor laws, coupled with increased advertisement on television, led the public to be more accepting of the distilled spirits industry.

Rum, vodka, straights and cordials & liqueurs lead the pack in broadcast advertising.

Except gin, which was down 0.1%, and prepared cocktails, which decreased 3.3%, all categories posted increases in 2012.

Retail dollar sales for distilled spirits grew at a faster rate than case sales, influenced by the popularity of high-end spirits among on-premise outlets.

Total on-premise retail dollar sales were up 6.3% with spirits showing a 5.9% gain, reaching $37.3bn in 2012.

Beverage Information Group senior research analyst Adam Rogers said: "Today’s consumer is more adventurous and willing to try new brands and flavors. Their preferences have shifted to sweeter taste profiles and the distilled spirits industry has developed products to cater to them."

Total consumption is projected to go up by 3.5% to 212.8 million 9-liter cases by the end of 2013.

Every category, with the exception of prepared cocktails, is expected to increase.

The 2013 Liquor Handbook includes consumption and projection information by category and by market, tracks leading brands and reports historical data of the US.

The Beverage Information Group, a division of Specialty Information Media, serves all segments of the beverage alcohol industry through Cheers, Beverage Dynamics and StateWays magazines, Handbooks, Beverage Research and