Brands Report: Bartenders' Choice

03 January, 2018

The Bartenders’ Choice list is the anomaly of the Brands Report - which otherwise deals in what’s selling best and what’s trending in bars - and instead looks at the spirits top bartenders personally prize.

Here we are concerned with what the bartender likes above and beyond the customer and commercial persuasion – you can think of it as desert island drinks. With every spirit in the world to choose from, it’s surprising a collection of brands garners so many followers.

Tanqueray has been chosen as the bartender’s top tipple in five out of six years – 18% of polled bartenders named it in their top three spirits. Quite incredible – this is a brand that transcends its category.

Plantation is another that feels the love – it’s the second year the brand has been named the second most favoured bartender brand. This year 16% of the sample admitted they were smitten with the rum brand from Maison Ferrand.

Next in line came Campari, which, despite being a classic, has taken its time to chart well in this list. Perhaps the classic bitter liqueur is a grower– this year it made 10% of polled bartenders’ top threes.

Ketel One has certainly been the most-liked vodka in a category that hasn’t seen much love in recent years – it took 9% of the vote. Meanwhile Del Maguey assumes its usual top-half position in the love list, narrowly finishing fifth.

It may now be owned by Pernod Ricard, but it’s Ron Cooper that gets the credit for bringing this brand – and mezcal more generally – into bartenders’ lives. Monkey 47 is another cult brand now owned by Pernod Ricard which has managed to keep its cool, while Nikka’s limited supply over the past year has only made bartenders want more.

Skipping down, we have a tequila from agave doyen Tomas Estes. He’s long been an advocate of the concept of terroir in tequila and Ocho remains his best line of argument.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.

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