January 19, 2018 – Drinks International, an influential British publication, surveys the best bars in the world every year to find out who is drinking what. Some trends are surprising.
The Number One spirit favored by patrons of these elite establishments is Gin. While the Gin is definitely growing in the U.S., Vodka still rules the white spirits category. The best selling Gin is Tanqueray which took top place in Bartenders’ Choice as well as Best-Selling Gin. Since the European/UK market dominates the number of establishments polled, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. And as the survey authors note, in the real world of everyday drinkers and shoppers, Gin is outsold by many other spirits.
However, American Whiskey being chosen as #2 is a surprise, again thinking about the breakdown of markets. Bulleit was the international choice for cocktails and drinks calling for American Whiskey.
Rum made third place followed by Vodka #4 with Ketel One being the favorite brand; Tequila #5, dominated by Don Julio. No surprise to see Johnnie Walker leading the Scotch whisky in sixth place.
Mezcal’s popularity in seventh place was a surprise, especially since Tequila is still finding it way in some international markets. However, in the U.S., Mezcal has been on a tear.
Brandy/Cognac, Japanese Whisky and Pisco rounded out the ten most popular at #8, #9 and#10 respectively. Pisco? Bartenders in this country have no idea what it is.
Drinks International also canvasses elite bars for the top 50 cocktails being served around the world. The 10 most popular cocktails were:
Well, it’s good to know what our betters are drinking and what to order when cruising the bars of the world, but we do take umbrage with how the regions were assigned weight. Europe got 39 percent of the investigation, Asia 28. Australasia (which includes New Zealand) accounted for 13 percent. North America, which covers the U.S.A. and Canada, was just 10 percent. That strikes us as ridiculous. The remaining 10 percent was equally divided between Latin America and Africa/Middle East.
Results may have been skewed this year because the magazine expanded its survey reach to include “…winners and nominees from The Word’s 50 Best Bars 1-100, Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, Asia’s 50 Best Bars, Drink Magazine’s Bar Awards, the Mixology Awards, the Class Bar Awards, Australian Bartender Awards and the Time Out Awards from various markets around the world.”
Okay, these are legit sources but we still feel it is ridiculous that the relatively small market of Australasia was weighted more heavily than the behemoth United States and Canada market.