Sprightly centenarian Mabel Jackson says the secret to long life is drinking six gin and tonics a day.
As she celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends, Mabel raised her glass and predicted her favourite tipple would see her through years to come.
Fit as a fiddle, Mabel only gave up smoking three years ago on doctors’ advice, but there was no way she was going to stop downing her favourite drink.
She sad: “I have two at lunchtime, one at tea time with a biscuit and then three more during the evening while I do my knitting. I swear the gin keeps me young!”
Mabel, who lives in a residential home in Stowmarket in Suffolk, has been drinking gin for 82 years and even knows how many bottles she had got through in that time.
“I worked it out one night when I couldn’t get to sleep. Instead of counting sheep, I counted gins. You get around 35 measures in a bottle, so as I always have six a day it takes me around a week to get through a bottle. I know this because I buy one every Wednesday from the Co-Op. On that basis I buy 52 bottles a year, making 4,264 bottles since I started. That’s quite an achievement!”
Mabel was married for 55 years to her childhood sweetheart Eric, a farm labourer from Wetherden, but he sadly died from liver disease in 1989. The couple had three children, and Mabel now enjoys visits from nine grandchildren and even three great-grandchildren.
“It’s lovely to see the young ones, but they are quite boisterous and once they’ve gone I definitely need a G & T,” she said.
Daughter Mary Whiteside, 74, of Ipswich said: “Mum has always been a bit of a character. She loves a tipple, and to be honest it seems to have preserved her, like a good pickle.”
This story first appeared in the Suffolk Gazette.