Brands Report 2021: Vodka

Vodka is the fourth most used spirit in the bars we poll. These days, bartenders want vodkas that can stand up to bold flavours (think the Espresso Martini) and against a wider trend towards flavour, the days of insipid neutral spirits are behind us.

The vodka of choice in the world’s best bars is more likely to be Ketel One than any other. The jointly owned (by Diageo and the Nolet Distillery) Dutch pot still vodka was a top-three choice in more than half of bars polled, with 30% making it their house pour. Ketel One has topped this list for nine years now. Also top of the trending list, it is the vodka to beat.

For a sixth year, Bacardi’s Grey Goose is the runner up. The Cognac-produced brand was found to be a top-three vodka in almost 50% of bars, but the chez-vod in only 10%. Interestingly, Pernod Ricard’s Swedish Absolut (most likely Elyx in this channel) outpaced the Goose in the race for the speed rack with a 12% share, but was slightly less likely (30%) to be among the top three.

Moët Hennessy’s Belvedere was also among the top three in 30% of bars, but hasn’t had much success with house pours (3%). It’s finished fourth for three years straight and looks a steady brand with a third spot finish in the trending list. Stoli (including Elit) jumped a place to retake the fifth spot, where it has ended up for five of the past seven years. The brand was found to be the house vodka in 8% of bars polled, but not often a regular member of the roll call – it was a top-three vodka in just 14% of cases.

A relative newcomer to the list, Tito’s dropped a place and things could get worse for the brand in Europe if the proposed 25% levee on American vodka exports is not repealed in 2021. Both Tito’s and Beluga were house pours in 5% of bars polled, with the former more likely to be part of the supporting cast than the Russian brand. If the top seven are super-premiums, the inexpensive premiums Russian Standard, Wyborowa and Skyy make up the lower reaches of the list.



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.