Top ten spirits for cocktails

Hamish Smith crunches the numbers to find out the top ten spirits for cocktails in the World's 50 Best Bars


Now we know the top 50 best-selling classic cocktails and the best-selling aperitifs, digestifs and highballs at The Wolld's 50 Best Bars, we thought we would look at the most popular spirits for cocktails at these bars - whether in classics or bartenders' own creations.

Most of the bars polled said gin cocktails were their best-selling. No surprises – gin mixes well, whether in classics or bars’ own creations. About a quarter of the top 50 cocktails require the junipery spirit. Leading the way among the classics is the Negroni (no.2 in our top 50 cocktails list) and Dry Martini (no.5).

Rum’s second. It’s an ‘in’ spirit for many a mix but the classics have played their part. Tiki drinks have been revived but Cuban classics Daiquiri (no.6) and Mojito (no.8) are still doing good business. 

American whiskey is the third most likely spirit you will find in a cocktail at the World’s 50 Best Bars. It seems it is the most mixable whiskey style and, like gin, has the gamut of classics to call on. With the Old Fashioned, our poll’s best-selling cocktail, and no.4 Manhattan in its ranks, American whiskey will continue to sell better than scotch and Irish when it comes to cocktails.

While the Magarita (7th) will keep tequila turning over, it is a category bartenders have embraced in recent years, far beyond the famous classic. Ask a bartender what he’s got in his hipflask – it won’t be brandy.