- Drinks International has released its annual list of the best-selling cocktails in the world for 2020.
- This year’s winners include classic cocktails as well as boozy favourites like the Daiquiri, Manhattan, and Gimlet.
- Insider has compiled a list of the top 30 most popular drinks.
Winter may be on the horizon – but it doesn’t mean that it’s time to put away those cocktail sets. As the cocktail world develops and we see more innovation, it’s the classic drinks that keep people coming back.
January saw the release of Drinks International‘s annual list of the world’s best-selling cocktails, alongside their top 100 most influential figures in the bar industry. Although there are many recipes with a twist, the top 10 shows that our old favourites are still at the top of their game.
From sleek Manhattans to curing Bloody Marys, Insider has listed the top 30 ranked in ascending order. See which ones made the cut and which ones you’ve already had the pleasure of downing.
30. Gin Fizz
Falling 12 places this year, the most popular of the “Fizz” family is a blend of gin, lemon juice, and sugar topped with carbonated water. This particular beverage finds its roots in the late 1800s.
29. Last Word
First published in Ted Saucier’s 1951 cocktail book “Bottoms Up!” it was largely forgotten for around 50 years before emerging again in 2004, according to Drinks International. The cocktail is a smooth mix of gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.
28. Pisco Sour
The Roaring Twenties birthed this blend of Peruvian pisco and American sour. The most basic recipe calls for three parts pisco, one part simple syrup, one part lime juice, egg whites, and a splash of Angostura bitters.
27. Bee’s Knees
Created during the Prohibition era to mask the smell and taste of questionable homemade drinks, this particular drink is a combination of two parts gin, 3/4 lemon juice, and 3/4 honey.
Pioneered in 1980s London by British bartender Dick Bradsell, this fruity twist on a gin requires London Dry gin, lemon juice sugar syrup, and Merlet Crème de Mures. The blackcurrant treat has moved up 11 places on this year’s list.
A regular mid-floater on the list, the Americano, formerly known as a Milano-Torino, is perfect for the quintessential lightweight. The version that has made this year’s list is, in fact, gin-free with soda as the substitute.
24. Corpse Reviver
This before 11 a.m. pick-me-up is a creation of British bartender Harry Craddock and comes in two versions. The Corpse Reviver #1 calls for cognac, calvados, brandy, and vermouth, while #2 uses gin instead.
23. Mai Tai
The Mai Tai is classic Tiki culture, and although it’s down two places this year, Drinks International reports that 12% of bartenders said it was part of their top 10.
22. Amaretto Sour
The Amaretto Sour is seeing a revival this year and is slowly climbing its way up the list, up by three places this year. Two bars told Drinks International it’s their best-selling drink, period. The recipe is a simple mix of two shots of amaretto, lemon juice, and egg white with an optional dash of Angostura bitters.
Not for the faint of heart, this loaded cocktail is a straight whiskey rimmed with absinthe. Enthusiasts and seasoned cocktail lovers are known to drink it in its original form – with cognac.
A cocktail with a fruity note, this is a gin infused with crème de violette. Up by nine places, this is the fifth most frequently made cocktail in the world’s best bars.
19. Dark ‘N’ Stormy
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” version of a Moscow Mule, this cocktail is a mix of rum and ginger beer. Perhaps a little too simple to be classed as a cocktail, but satisfying enough for the common sea explorer.
A blend of scotch, lemon juice, honey-ginger syrup, and peated scotch garnished with a piece of candied ginger, this is the highest-ranking scotch on the list.
17. French 75
Courvoisier VS, sugar, lemon juice, and Möet & Chandon champagne are used to create this classy libation popularised by The Savoy Cocktail Book.
16. Clover Club
Another cocktail that was forgotten about until about 15-20 years ago has found a revival in American bartender, Julie Reiner. Her version is served at her Brooklyn bar, which also shares the name of the cocktail, and is a blend of gin, dry vermouth, raspberry, lemon juice, and egg white.
The Boulevardier, named after a 1920s Parisian publication, is a Negroni type cocktail that uses American whisky rather than gin. This cocktail finds itself up five places this year, with a quarter of polled bars serving it in their top 10.
15. Bloody Mary
Up by one place, this classic “hair of the dog” cure is a vegetable-based cocktail complete with celery garnish. Drinks International praised London’s The Connaught bar as having the best Bloody Marys in the city.
13. Tommy’s Margarita
This particular twist on the classic favourite is brought to the world by Julio Bermejo of Tommy’s in San Francisco. Bermejo uses 100% agave tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave syrup.
A quarter of bars have named this as part of their top 10 served cocktails, according to Drinks International. A beverage originally a union of equal parts gin and lime cordial, today’s blend is a comfortable ratio of 75:25 gin to lime cordial.
11. Moscow Mule
Down three places, this sturdy classic has still marked its spot in the top 20. A US favourite, this cocktail is a combination of vodka, lime, ginger, and soda.
10. Aperol Spritz
Despite being down one place, the Aperol Spritz still finds itself in the top 10. This aperitif-style cocktail created in the 1900s by the Barbieri Brothers is a blend of Aperol, prosecco, and a splash of soda.
This Cuban favourite shows that it could never be out of place. It’s the top 10 drink in around 30% of polled bars, which has helped to keep it in this year’s top 10. The classic Mojito is a refreshing combination of white rum, mint, lime, and soda water.
Stylish, sleek. Class in a glass. You cannot go wrong with a Manhattan. It’s bound to bring you New York vibes wherever you may be. Bitters and sweet vermouth are married to Bulliet Woodford Reserve or Rittenhouse.
This fool-proof recipe calls for tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice – often served with salt on the rim of the glass and complete with ice.
6. Espresso Martini
The Espresso Martini has its roots in London during the late 1980s, when Dick Bradsell was approached by a young woman in a club who wanted a drink that would “wake her up, and then f— her up.” Thus this double kick cocktail was made.
5. Whiskey Sour
A top 10 classic in around half the bars polled, the Whisky Sour finds itself down one place form last year but still placing in the top five. Its recipe is simplistic, consisting of bourbon, lemon juice, and a teaspoon of sugar.
4. Dry Martini
A gin lover’s favourite – this elegant blend of one part dry vermouth and six parts gin garnished with an olive has moved up two places this year.
Best served frozen, the Daiquiri is up one place and is cited as being the bartender’s favourite. Cuban in origin, this fun little number’s recipe calls for white rum, lime juice, and sugar syrup – and it’s always shaken before being served.
Coming in at second place for the sixth year in a row, this cocktail is one of the easiest to make at home – which is probably why it’s so popular. It’s also among the top three cocktails served in 42% of polled bars. Simply combine Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin.
1. Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is going nowhere. This classic has been king for six years straight. Around 35% of bars polled placed this American whiskey cocktail as their top-selling one. Traditionally, the recipe calls for either Bourbon or Rye whiskey and one sugar cube, garnished with both an orange slice and a cocktail cherry.
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