Brands Report 2023: Cocktail Bitters

05 January, 2023

This is a category that has seen little change since we began polling it in 2018, and the leader continues to look indomitable.

Every bar that stocked a cocktail bitters brand stocked Angostura and it was the most popular brand in 83% of our polled bars – that’s the largest category dominance from any single brand that appears in this supplement.

Ango is ever-present in cocktail culture in a way that is difficult to overstate. Three of the top 10 bestselling cocktails call for it and the Trinidadian brand is distributed to more than 140 countries worldwide.

The category at large has swelled with new brands in the last decade, but this list goes to show that when bartenders find a brand they like, change is rare.

Peychaud’s is again the second bestselling brand, the most popular brand in only 3% of bars but second or third choice in 60%. Given its use in classics like the Sazerac or Vieux Carré, it’s a handy bottle to keep around.

In fact, the top four of Angostura, Peychaud’s, The Bitter Truth, and Fee Brothers have been unchanging since we started collecting data for the category in 2018, with Bob’s and Bittermens persistently duking it out for the fifth spot.

It’s not all that surprising. Other than Angostura and Peychaud’s, which are essentially single variety ingredients, modern bitters brands tend to run the gamut on flavour profiles and the choice of brand is a matter of a bartender’s taste.

In two years, Angostura will celebrate its 200th birthday, and whether a contemporary brand can ever threaten its category dominance remains to be seen, but with two centuries of ground to make up, it’s a pretty big task.

How we did it

The Annual Brands Report results are the culmination of a survey of 100 bars from 33 countries around the world which have been nominated or won international awards. The report offers a picture of the buying habits of the world’s best bars – not only which brands sell best, but also what’s trending to indicate the brands that are hot right now.

To view the page-turner edition of the Brands Report click here.

The Brands Report will be serialised on throughout January.

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