Eric Clapton has admitted at the height of his alcoholism he would drink a self-made potent cocktail to mask just how much booze he was sinking.

The 72-year-old music legend managed to kick his addiction to drink and his abuse of prescription drugs, cocaine and heroin many years ago and in 1998 he founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering addicts.

Clapton openly admits his binge drinking at its worse was out of control and he would often mix super-strength Carlsberg Special Brew lager with spirit vodka creating a strange brew to satisfy his insatiable thirst for alcohol.

In an interview on UK station BBC Radio 2, he shared: ''For at least 20 years I was a basket case, and that is putting it lightly. I drank more than you can imagine, a Special Brew with vodka. It looked like you were just drinking larger, but in fact, you weren't. But I think my past is probably my greatest asset ... I drank alcoholically and it got worse and worse. I grew up with a lot of people in my village, who drink a lot every night, but they don't go home and drink. I belonged to that group, so when it came time to stop, I had to find out how to grow up really.''

However, the 'Layla' hitmaker believes his battles with substance abuse were beneficial to his blues inspired rock music as he was able to channel his struggles and pain into his songs.

Clapton - who is a three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a solo artist and as a member of The Yardbirds and also Cream - added: ''There is no doubt. I went into a cave of self-pity and despair and the only thing that was the light at the end of the tunnel was this music.''

Clapton's career and life is documented in new documentary film 'A Life in 12 Bars'.