Absolut has shipped its 1 billionth bottle of vodka. The Swedish vodka distiller announced that the bottled, which has a golden cap, left its plant in Ahus, southern Sweden, last week.

In a statement, vice president of manufacturing at V&S Absolut Spirits Krister Asplund said: "Since the first bottle was shipped to the US in 1979, a billion bottles have left the plant. That's an incredible figure. If you put all those bottles in a line, they would circle the earth - two times."

Last year, global shipments of Absolut increased by 7.7%, reaching 72.5m litres. According to the list of the world's largest spirits brands published by the American market analysis company and trade publication Impact, Absolut has strengthened its position as the world's third-largest international spirits brands and put more distance between itself and fourth place.

V&S Absolut Spirits, a business area within V&S Group, is the brand owner and producer of Absolut Vodka, Absolut Peppar, Absolut Citron, Absolut Kurant, Absolut Mandrin and Absolut Vanilia.