World's 50 Best Bars Brands Report: Vodka

best vodka

For the second installation of the Brands Report, we quizzed the class of 2013 on the vodka brands moving through their bars. Overall we polled 100 of the top 250 bars that our academy voted for in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2013 survey. We asked which are best sellers and which are catching the imaginations of consumers in the trending list. 


Ketel One has retained its top spot for the second year of the World’s 50 Best Bars brands report vodka list – testament to Diageo and the Nolet family’s continued efforts to tell the Ketel One story to a discerning audience of bartenders.

Grey Goose has risen from fourth to second place and the vodka’s presence is likely to grow as the brand focuses more on ingredients and provenance.

Its latest marketing campaign in London, for example, featured an artisanal bakery selling bread made from the same wheat used to produce the vodka.

Svedka and 42 Below have fallen off the list to be replaced by Finlandia and Skyy. Interestingly, these have long been bastions of the flavoured beverage.

Finlandia makes a handful of classic, fruity vodkas and Skyy’s Infusions range is largely fruity, with the exception of ginger and coconut.

Absolut, Russian Standard, Wyborowa, Stoli, Smirnoff and Belvedere remain in the list for a second year, though they have all switched position.


As usual, the trending list attracts some smaller, craft brands and there’s a new bird bobbing around on the vodka lake. A

ylesbury Duck hails from The Eighty Six Co, based in New York but working with distillers around the world. Aylesbury Duck is a winter wheat vodka continuously distilled in copper-lined column stills from the 1940s. Canadian glacial water makes the cut and wheat comes from a farm in the Western Rockies, near Calgary.

Sounds like a bartender’s dream story. No surprise – all four of Eighty Six’s spirits (rum, gin, vodka and tequila) were launched last year, following “conversations within the bartending community”. Indeed, you’ve already met Fords in the gin list - expect big things from this company.

Both Tito’s and Sipsmiths are trending for a second year and neither hail from vodka’s traditional eastern European heartland. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is from Texas and Sipsmith’s is distilled in London.

Tito Beveridge uses a copper pot still, as does Sipsmith. Is this a trend within the trending section? 

To see how we did it, go to page 2.