Brands Report 2015: Best Sellers

In the best selling ranks, muscle matters. 

Diageo’s Tanqueray and Ketel One take spots one and four, Pernod takes second (Havana Club), third (Beefeater), seventh (Jameson) and eighth (Absolut), while Bacardi has places five and six with Bombay and its eponymous rum. 

For most bars, even at this level, there are relationships to uphold, contracts to adhere to, so house pours will naturally be the bigger brands that offer the best packages. But because profitability and incentives are factors doesn’t mean bartenders don’t have a choice. 

If stocking Tanqueray was just about the dollar, it would feature highly in our Bartenders’ Choice ranking.

Diageo has pulled off the hardest trick with Tanqueray, bridging quality and affordability, and is repeatedly one of the best sellers in top bars. You can see this in our All-Time Leagues (from 2010-2015).

It helps that gin is in. Lui Bar in Melbourne tells us: “We sell a lot of gin cocktails, with Tanqueray 10 as our house pour”.

Meanwhile Linje Tio in Stockholm stocks best selling brands Tanqueray, Havana Club, Absolut and Jameson and tells us: “This is what we pour. If we put them in a cocktail that’s on the menu, it increases sales.”

Tanqueray was by far the biggest seller in the bars polled, with Havana Club a distant but worthy second, up from fifth last year. At Keefer Bar in Vancouver, Ketel One, Havana Club and Beefeater are all among the best sellers. Keefer Bar says these brands are used in its best selling cocktails and also offer “sponsorship packages for events”. 

At Little Red Door in Paris, Beefeater is the best selling gin but it’s not down to finances. “We pick our spirits for their taste, not because of contracts of any kind, which gives us a lot of freedom in what we do.”

One notable absentee is Johnnie Walker. For all its scotch category dominance it is less likely than Irish whiskey Jameson to be one of our polled bars’ top, cross-category pours.

We should point out that in this list we asked each bar to tell us their single best selling spirit. So if you’re scratching your head as to why Jameson makes our top 10 Best Selling spirits but is fourth in World Whiskies, there is an explanation. In a good number of bars polled Jameson was the best selling spirit across the board, whereas Woodford Reserve, Yamazaki and Maker’s Mark weren’t. 


We've spoken to 38 of the World’s 50 Best Bars for this poll and in order to have a broad set of results we widened the net to include responses from a total of 100 of the top bars in the world - as voted for by our World's 50 Best Bars Academy.

We asked bar owners and head bartenders from these 100 top bars to name the Best Selling and Top Trending brands behind their bars. For more information about our methodology see here.

Day by day we will take you through the overall Best Selling and Top Trending spirits, and into the categories - from tequila, gin, vodka, rum, liqueurs, Scotch, World Whiskies, Brandy, aperitifs and digestifs, champagne, beer, water and tonic water to the best brands for cocktails.