Brands Report 2015: Vodka

06 January, 2015

For the moment vodka is the best selling international spirit and, despite many bartenders’ snipes, it is also big business in the world’s best bars.

In this category of the Brands Report Ketel One has dominated, taking top spot from 2013 to 2015. 

This year 26 of our 100 bars said it was their top selling vodka, among them Bar l’Apereau in Belgium, Manhattan in Singapore, Ohla Boutique Bar in Barcelona, The Curtain Club in Berlin and Keefer Bar in Vancouver. Amsterdam’s Door 74 named it among the brands that have been “best sellers for years” and one of those that “guests come back for”. 

Ketel One is reaping the rewards of a global on-trade strategy that looks to do more than just offer the standard financial incentives.

Its Fraternity Programme connects with bartenders by offering training courses outside of the world of bartending.

Presentation training is just one of the skills that the Diageo/Nolet family brand feels benefit the bartending community.

This goodwill has clearly been passed on to punters as Ketel One tops the trending charts too in more than a fifth of bars polled.

Baxter Inn in Sydney is just one where the brand is hot stuff right now.

Absolut dominates vodka sales in 16 bars and is the trending vodka in eight of our 100. In Shangri-La’s Lobster Bar in Hong Kong it is the top seller and at the World’s Best Bar, Artesian, AlexKratena says it is the trending vodka brand.

He says the spirits that trend at Artesian are “cool brands” or “quality products” and are marketed well – that’s Absolut to a tee. 

At PDT in New York Pernod’s chameleon vodka is the most requested of its category – further evidence that Absolut is cracking the States.

Bacardi’s Grey Goose remains strong in both selling and trending tables. According to Erik Lorincz, “price,quality and heritage” are key determinators in choosing the American Bar’s spirits offering, of which Grey Goose is the best selling vodka.

Schumann’s of Munich, which puts “quality” at the top of its wish list, also sells more Grey Goose than any other vodka. 

Synergy’s Beluga is trending in seven bars – perhaps a result of a strategy to gain ground in western Europe and the US, while smaller brand Tito’s is spreading its wings beyond its native US. 


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 tequilagin, vodka, rumliqueursScotch, World WhiskiesBrandy, aperitifs and digestifs, champagne, beer, water and tonic water to the best brands for cocktails.

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