Brands Report 2021: Rum

The past couple of years have been tougher than usual for Bacardi, with Hurricane Irma sweeping through the Caribbean in 2017, the end of its distribution partnership with BrownForman in 2019 and then the outbreak of Covid-19.

However, its reign as the bestselling rum in the Brands Report continues into 2021. It is the third year in a row that the Bermuda-based behemoth has topped the bestselling list and in 2020 it was the house pour in a quarter of the world’s best bars and a top-three choice in 15%. As well as being one of the oldest premium rum brands on the market, Bacardi’s initiatives with the on-trade, such as its $3m fund back in March at the outbreak of Covid-19, will have resonated well with bars during these troublesome times.

It’s not just Bacardi that has replicated its success from 2020 – the top three is identical to last year, with Havana Club and Plantation completing the bestselling podium. Pernod Ricard’s flagship premium rum, Havana Club, continues to influence the elite on-trade with 20% declaring it their go-to pour. Since its two appearances at the top of the list in 2013/15, the Cuban brand has been close behind Bacardi, with just 5% of the first choice votes separating the Caribbean giants this time around.

Meanwhile, Plantation’s cult following remains tight among the industry’s top bartender community a er its decision to rebrand in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. So it’s little wonder that, while the Maison Ferrand brand was the number one choice in 17% of the bars polled, Plantation is once again the top trending rum and Bartenders’ Choice for a third consecutive year. Below the top three the competition heats up, with just 3% separating the remaining seven brands in terms of being the first choice rum behind the bar. However, the fourth highest in the list, Diplomatico, beat Diageo’s similarly sweet-pro led super-premium Ron Zacapa, having been more popular than the Guatemalan brand across the board.



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.