Bacardi sold 19.11m 9-litre cases last year, while the United Spirits-owned McDowell’s finished just 100,000 cases short, at 19.01m cases, according to The Millionaires’ Club list, which launches in June.
If current growth rates continue into 2014, Bacardi - sales of which shrunk by 3% - will be usurped by McDowell’s No.1 Celebration which put on 7% of volume growth.
Tanduay was Bacardi’s major competition in 2012, reaching within 200,000 cases, but this year the Philippine brand suffered because of difficult trading conditions in the wake of typhoon Haiyan.
The brand’s volumes dropped almost a third in 2013, from just short of 20m cases to about 14m cases.
Though the decline was the result of an isolated event, back-to-back years of similar trading from Tanduay and fourth place Captain Morgan could see a switch in places.
Captain Morgan passed through the 10m case barrier in 2013 with sales of 10.3m cases and growth of 5%.
Despite flat sales, Havana Club regained fifth spot in the rum ranking from Brugal, which dropped 14%.