The continuing renaissance of Plymouth gin took another major step forward this week when it became part of the Maxxium portfolio. The move is a direct result of Swedish company Vin and Sprit's decision to buy 25% of Maxxium and move its premium vodka Absolut into the portfolio. The two brands have been part of the same range in the UK since Plymouth joined Seagram's Ideal Brands portfolio in February 1999. A year later V&S bought a 50% share in Plymouth. The sale of Seagram to Diageo and Pernod Ricard gave V&S the opportunity to look for a new distributor. This is the latest stage in the remarkable turn round in the fortunes of the gin since it was languishing in Allied Domecq's long tail of brands in the early 1990s. When it was bought by a consortium led by entrepreneur John Murphy in 1996 it was selling 4,000 cases a year. In 1997 Murphy brought in the current chief executive Charles Rolls and since then the growth of the brand has been dramatic. This year Rolls expects the brand to sell 52,000 cases. He said: "We have been waiting for this to happen and it is extremely good news for us. "Our intention is to go along with Absolut round the rest of the world.It has worked very well for us in the UK and we have demonstrated what we can do with the brand. "Plymouth and Absolut will strengthen Maxxium's portfolio in the UK." Maxxium is a global distribution business created by the joint operations of Jim Beam Brands, Rémy Cointreau and Highland Distillers. {{DRINKS }}