The bestselling classic cocktails at the world's best bars 2024

01 May, 2024

The headline act in our newly launched Cocktail Report, this latest edition of our bestselling classics list is the result of a poll of award-nominated or award-winning bars from around the world.  

50. Gin-Gin Mule

The legendary Audrey Saunders has created more than a few contemporary classics in her time. Perhaps best known is the Gin-Gin Mule, created in New York City around the year 2000, when gin was hardly the most happening ingredient. The ginger beer suggests this is a take on the Mule, as the name confirms, but there’s a whole lot of Mojito here too.

While no doubt helping to popularise gin and, according to some, helping to define an era too, it has also gone on to inspire countless variations, much like it was inspired by classics before it.

49. Jungle Bird

Malaysia’s contribution to the canon of tiki classics, the Jungle Bird doesn’t fall far from the tree, combining dark rum and pineapple juice, but with the welcome addition of Campari. Its original bird-shaped vessel complemented the avian theme of the Kuala Lumpur Hilton’s bar – beverage manager Jeffrey Ong created the drink for the hotel’s opening in 1973.

Rising from the ashes as the highest re-entry on last year’s list, the Jungle Bird has fallen a few places, but lives on regardless in various riffs and twists, with modern bartenders not only switching out its ingredients, but reimagining it in new forms too.

48. Vesper

A good option for Bond fans and indecisive Martini drinkers alike, the Vesper combines both gin and vodka with now-discontinued Kina Lillet. It’s attributed to Ian Fleming, 007’s creator, who named it after agent Vesper Lynd in the first novel in the series, Casino Royale.

Inextricably linked with Bond, it’s no wonder that the Vesper is lower in this year’s rankings than the past two, given it’s been three years since the most recent film was released. While we wait for the next one, there’s no better place for a Vesper than famed Martini specialist Dukes in London’s Mayfair, an old haunt of Fleming’s.

47. Caipirinha

Cachaça, Brazil’s national spirit, is synonymous with the Caipirinha, a good-time cocktail that doesn’t sweat the small stuff when it comes to preparation, or indeed its precise origins. Whether its history is linked with the Spanish flu in the early 1900s, or as a scurvy preventative, it remains as approachable and easy to prepare as ever, with limes muddled with sugar in the glass before adding ice and spirit.

There are countless variations that involve adding an array of different fruits – anything you can think of. Of note is the widespread Caipiroska, with vodka replacing cachaça as the base spirit.

46. Tom Collins

There are as many variations on the Collins as there are origin stories, attributing this straightforward drink of gin (of some kind), lemon juice, sugar and soda water to a varied cast of characters, most, as you’ll expect, named Collins. It’s generally agreed that the Tom Collins was made with Old Tom gin, and many adhere to this today, although it’s not unheard of for London dry to be used.

As for twists, there’s an extended family of Collins out there that’s hard to keep track of. Switch out the spirit, maybe modify one or two of the other ingredients, and name it accordingly.

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