Diageo last week took a majority stake in Seedlip, a nonalcoholic spirit sold as an alternative to gin — a move seen by analysts as the drinks company’s attempt to grab more of the growing teetotal market. The young are more abstemious than their elders, and manufacturers and marketers need to keep up.

For those of us who don’t drink or, in my case, only occasionally, a reduction in others’ drinking, along with a fall in the antisocial consequences, is a welcome development. At a wedding in Italy, I marvelled as a group of Italian and French guests partied under a hot afternoon sun and late into the night, without anyone staggering or slurring in the way they would inevitably have done in the UK.

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