In its regular form, it is gin simplicity – a London dry with four botanicals. In its augmented state, Tanqueray 10, it is a force to be reckoned with.
At Artesian, the American Bar and High Five the brand sees serious action, but we could name 33 bars of the 100 polled where Tanqueray is the number one selling gin.
Pernod’s Beefeater is top selling in almost a quarter of our polled bars and performs a similar trick – a standard juniper-forward front runner, flanked by a super-premium embellishment in Beefeater 24 – while Bacardi’s Bombay family, led by Sapphire, scored top gin seller in 11 of our 100.
We could have stopped there. The first three brands are the top picks in 88% of our bars. Take that as you will but it shows that, for all the launches in the category in recent years, bars have glass ceilings through which few gins will pass.
That needn’t be as depressing for the category as it sounds. In the Brands Report we are just measuring the top sellers.
Most bars will have one large brand house pour that is supplied to meet a price point and incentivised to the hilt - but they will also have a few more spots on the back bar for others to fill.
The G&T trend can continue be a driver for the small brands as consumers learn to choose their gin, tonic and garnish. Outside Europe – and particularly in the US – this trend still has some legs.
Hendrick’s is the blueprint for the alternative gin. It will struggle to build volumes in the millions of 9-litre cases like the category big boys, but it remains a gin with a point of difference and, according to our survey, a place on the back bar. It is a brand that knows how to keep its cool 14 years after its launch. This time out it’s the buzz brand of the gin category in 14 of our polled bars.
Not far behind, botanically bountiful Monkey 47 is trending in 11 of our bars – the word clearly spreading from Germany. And glossing over Tanqueray – which is both numerous and fashionable – we have our first London distilled gins in the Trending list.
Sipsmiths gin is spirits historian Jared Brown’s recipe, while Charles Maxwell, the eighth-generation distiller at Thames Distillers, is the man who makes Fords. The distillery is also behind the recent frenzy of London gin brands but, other than Fords, none make our list.
HOW WE DID IT
We spoke to the World’s 50 Best Bars for this poll but in order to have a broader set of results we widened the net to include responses from a total of 100 of the top bars in the world - as voted for by our World's 50 Best Bars Academy.
We asked bar owners and head bartenders from these 100 top bars to name the Best Selling and Top Trending brands behind their bars. For more information about our methodology see here.
Day by day we will take you through the overall Best Selling and Top Trending spirits, and into the categories - from tequila, gin, vodka, rum, liqueurs, Scotch, World Whiskies, Brandy, aperitifs and digestifs, champagne, beer, water and tonic water to the best brands for cocktails.