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Bars reveal their top 10 best-selling classic cocktails

January 24, 2020
By Alana House

Drinks International has revealed its Top 50 World’s Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2020 list and it features some interesting everything-old-is-new-again trends.

To compile the list, the website asked bartenders from 127 of the best bars in 38 countries around the world – all of which have won or been nominated for global awards over the past year – to rank their 10 best-selling cocktails.

Drinks International notes: “While the top 20 cuts a similar figure year to year, the shifts happen lower down the order, with neo-classics such as the Tommy’s Margarita, Pornstar Martini and older classics including the Last Word and Southside making inroads this year.’

In December 2019, Pernod Ricard put its faith in the Aussie revival of the Pornstar, with Absolut vodka launching the Pornstar Martini On Tap, a first of its kind globally for the brand; while Bacardi brought the creator of Tommy’s Margarita, Julio Bermejo to Melbourne in October as guest judge for the final of 2019 Patrón Perfectionists Cocktail Competition.

“We’ve seen classics drop out of favour – this year the likes of the White Russian, Long Island Iced Tea and Hanky Panky were made less than the year before,” Drinks International noted. “So, while slow moving, there is an evolution in the classics that are frequently made. This is interesting to the drinks maker, but critically important to the brand.”

1. Old Fashioned 

It’s the sixth year in a row that the Old Fashioned has topped the classic cocktails list. Drinks International notes: “The Old Fashioned shows no sign of waning – indeed, this American whiskey classic is picking up pace, says our poll. Almost 35% of bars said it was their top selling classic.”

Negroni drinkers; craft gin; classic cocktails

2. Negroni 

It’s also been six years that the Negroni has been the number two – 13% of bars said it was their number one classic and it was among the top three served in 42% of bars.

3. Daiquiri 

“Bartender favourite the Daiquiri is the most ordered rum drink in the world’s best bars, up a place this year,” Drinks International noted. “Interestingly only 6% said this was their top classic, but 27% named it in their top three and almost a half in their top 10 most-made.”

4. Dry Martini

The Dry Martini gained two places this year. It was among the top five classics in just under a fifth of polled bars, while just under half said it figured in their top 10.

5. Whiskey Sour 

The Whisky Sour was down from third to fifth place this year. But was a top-10 classic in just under half of the bars polled.

Espresso martini; classic cocktails

6. Espresso Martini

Up one place into the top six, its been a meteoric from 2017 when the Espresso Martini was at no.27. This modern-age classic was found to be the number one cocktail in 6% of bars and a top-10 serve in almost 40%.

7. Margarita 

The Margarita is the top tequila classic in the Drinks International sample of the world’s best bars. It was in the top three in almost 10% of those polled.

8. Manhattan 

Around 37% of bars put it in their top 10.

9. Mojito 

This Cuban classic is a top-10 classic in about 30% of top bars.

Aperol Spritz classic cocktails

10. Aperol Spritz 

The Aperol Spritz may be a new sensation in Oz, but it was created in the 1950s. It remains in the top 10, though it’s down a place from last year. Just under 30% of bars named it in their top 10.

Click here to read more about the world’s best-selling classic cocktails

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