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Brands Report: Liqueurs
Published:  09 January, 2018

Now bitter is back as a consumer taste, bars are feeling the love for Campari, finds Hamish Smith

Campari wasn't always catnip to bartenders. Its success from 2016-2018 as the top liqueur in the Brands Report is undermined by some fallow years – between 2010 and 2013 it didn’t even feature on our lists. Then, it was a bottle gathering dust on the back bar, now those bottles are so regularly replaced they never lose their gleam.

Bitter is well and truly back for consumers and the Negroni is a flag-bearer of the trend. The cocktail was second in our compilation of the 50 most popular classic cocktails in the world’s best bars for the third year running, and its gin-less cousin, the Americano is in 37th.

Now drinkers are familiar again with its taste, Campari is a regular ingredient in cocktails across the spectrum. Indeed, it is the first choice liqueur in a third of the bars we polled and one

of the top three in more than half.

Campari has completed the double – it is the Top Trending liqueur too; 16% of bars attested so.

The monk-made Chartreuse has always been a bartender brand – at least since the renaissance (the cocktail renaissance, that is). It has been the second most likely dispensed liqueur in our polled bars in each of the past four years. This year, just under a quarter of bars said it was in their top three best-selling liqueurs. And likely this herbal liqueur will remain a favourite – Chartreuse’s monastical production means it is unlikely to upscale quickly, go mainstream and shed its cult kudos.

Aperol, another Italian bitter liqueur, has benefited from the Aperol Spritz in many markets and channels, though the top-end cocktail bar will see less of the action.

The Aperol Spritz has finished outside of the top 10 classics in each of the last four years we’ve been bothering the world’s best bars with questions. Nonetheless, Aperol is viewed as a bitter ingredient for cocktails – and if there’s one things bartenders love…

Elsewhere, it’s the usual roll call of classic liqueurs – both bitter and sweet.

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Methodology

The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.