Brands Report 2023: Liqueurs

The importance of liqueurs to cocktails cannot be overstated, but it’s the classic brands that remain at the forefront.

Campari’s liqueurs list supremacy is inextricably linked to the rise of the Negroni. The Italian bitter liqueur became part of the consumer’s nightlife vocabulary in the last decade or so, according to our cocktail ranking, and around that time Campari – from nowhere – started to top our liqueurs list. That’s eight wins on the trot now.

This symbiosis can’t be downplayed, but other Campari classics, such as the Boulevardier, Americano and Jungle Bird, also contribute, as does its regular use in house cocktails. So, the narrative is that people are drinking the red stuff­ like thirsty vampires and – judging by our Trending list – will continue to do so. But here are the numbers: 21% of our sample of the world’s best bars made Campari their top seller, and 40% said it was one of their top three.

In second it’s another bar-world classic, Cointreau, which is named in much of the industry’s written antiquity. The French triple sec was found to be the top liqueur in 10% of bars and one of the top three most used in 20%. Packing more herbal punch per ml than any other is our third-placed Chartreuse – another cocktail bar classic. This year the supposedly monk-made elixir was a bestselling liqueur in 10% of our sample and a top-three brand in 16%.

Disaronno, in fourth place, is seeing the benefits of a trade-focused strategy and is a product with few brand-driven competitors. When it comes to amaretto, it has to be Disaronno – 13% had it among their top three liqueurs, taking the Italian brand from 10th to fourth this year.

Luxardo (read Luxardo Maraschino in this channel) in fifth is no stranger to this list and was a top three liqueur in 13% of bars, while Mexican chilli liqueur Ancho Reyes ranks its highest yet – 8% said it was among their three bestselling liqueurs.

Briottet, best known for its Crème de Cassis though a brand of more than 60 fruit liqueurs, makes only its second appearance in the Brands Report – perhaps benefiting from its investment in trade education in key markets in 2021 and 2022. Craft co­ffee brand Mr Black debuts this year, Merlet sinks a few places and Fernet Branca’s lowly 10th suggests most consumers don’t share bartenders’ love for it.

How we did it

The Annual Brands Report results are the culmination of a survey of 100 bars from 33 countries around the world which have been nominated or won international awards. The report offers a picture of the buying habits of the world’s best bars – not only which brands sell best, but also what’s trending to indicate the brands that are hot right now.

To view the page-turner edition of the Brands Report click here.

The Brands Report will be serialised on throughout January.