Annual Report: Tonic Water and Water Top 10s

22 January, 2016

What water and tonic water do they stock at the world's best bars? Here are our top tens.



According to our poll, no brand commands its category like Fever-Tree.

Its grip on the world’s best bars has only tightened since last year, with 73% of bars stocking the tonic and more than half of the 100 saying it was their best seller.

It seems so obvious. Premium gin needs premium tonic and Fever-Tree provides the answer.

With the US still a relatively recent hunting ground for the newly listed company, growth looks set to continue.

This is born out by the trending list, which says, in almost 60% of bars that sell tonic water, Fever-Tree is the brand of the moment. 

The old stalwart brand Schweppes may have lost some of its higher-end accounts since the premium wave struck, but it is affordable and recognised and has recently introduced premium SKUs.

Of our 100 elite bars, 44 said they stocked it as one of their top three tonics, though only 28 named it as their top pour. 

Fentiman’s, another early premium player, is a solid third among the best sellers in the world’s best bars, with about 10% registering the brand through their tills, while 1724 continues to show presence in our poll, aided by the buoyancy of its partner brand Gin Mare, which features in our gin lists. 


As the long-time sponsor of our cousin The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, San Pellegrino has an infinity with the on- trade. In the high-end bar market, it is also king, with about half of those that stock branded water plumping for Pellegrino. 

Though as the free table water movement has become established in hospitality-forward bars, the still bottled water market has been affected.

About a third of bars polled mainly use tap or filtered water and if a new trend towards self-carbonation gathers speed, this sector could be impacted too. 

But for the majority of bars, bottled water provides a branded, profitable solution to customers’ hydration needs.

Acqua Panna has displaced Perrier as the second most likely water in our 100 elite bars, but this could be reversed next year if the Trending list is anything to go by. 


The Best Selling list is based on bottles sold while the Top Trending list refers to on-trend brands that are being requested right now but are not necessarily sold in high volumes.

To find out more about how we carried out the survey and collated the results read How We Did It

Check out the other lists here:

LiqueursWorld WhiskiesTequilaGinUS WhiskeyVodkaBrandyRumScotch, Bartenders' Choice.

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