DI Annual Bar Report: Vodka

09 January, 2017

There's no change at the top but 'craft' vodkas are mixing things up, says Holly Motion. Here are the top ten vodas from the world's best bars.

Once again Ketel One bags top vodka honours. Diageo’s super-premium offering can also claim to be the best selling vodka in the World’s Best Bar, Dead Rabbit in New York.

And it is the best selling vodka at an Italian bar with more than 1,000 libations on the menu. Its owner, molecular mastermind Dario Comini says Ketel One is the “most serious” vodka. Bellboy’s Ariel Leizgold says of the best selling, top trending vodka in the Tel Aviv bar: “Ketel One is the best vodka I know.”

From two to 10, the best selling vodka chart is pretty much unchanged. Belvedere and Stolichnaya have switched places this year and Skyy joins the ranks.

It’s worth mentioning Aylesbury Duck. For a small brand in a category of giants, maintaining its place in this list for a third year is quite something. In terms of trending, ‘craft’ in its rather contentious form has changed the order of merit.

Tito’s (can we call it handmade vodka?) continues its ascent up the list and Chase is a new face among a familiar throng. 

The pricier products still dominate with Beluga, Grey Goose, Belvedere and Diddy’s Cirôc peppered throughout the top 10. Stolichnaya is still a big seller but it’s fallen down the popularity stakes for another year.

Outside these pages, the vodka category is a one-horse race. Diageo’s Smirnoff outsells its closest rival, Absolut, by more than two to one.

When it comes to the best bars in the world, 25.7m-case Smirnoff doesn’t get a look in, whereas Absolut (11.1m) is the all-time achiever.



The Drinks International Annual Bar Report looks to gauge the buying habits of the best bars in the world by conducting a survey of their owners, head bartenders and bar managers.

The bars that took part – what we refer to as the best bars in the world – are a sample of 108 bars that finished in the top 250 places of the World’s 50 Best Bars survey, now owned by William Reed Business Media. Given the depth and scope of The World’s 50 Best Bars poll (voted for by 476 global bar experts) we feel this is the most credible place to source our sample of bars.

In each instance we asked the bartender to rank their three best selling products in each category, giving us an indication of the brands that are selling best.

As we know, a best selling brand, even in the best bars in the world, earns its place on more than taste, so we also wanted to know the brands that are not necessarily doing huge volumes but have cool-appeal right now. This is where the Trending brands come in. These are the brands customers are increasingly asking for, perhaps because of word of mouth, or even on bartenders’ recommendations.

For more on the methodology see How we did it

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