The World’s Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2020

06 January, 2020

30. Gin Fizz 

The Gin Fizz has lost a little of its sparkle, falling 12 places this year. ‘Fizz’ was fi rst referenced in the Jerry Thomas Bartender’s Guide 1887 edition, which included six recipes. The Gin Fizz is the most popular of the fi zz family and contains gin, lemon juice and sugar, topped with carbonated water.

29. Last Word 

Entering the list for the first time is an old-timer which was lost for 50 years. The gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice cocktail was first published in Ted Saucier’s 1951 cocktail book Bottoms Up! It then re-emerged in 2004 in the hands of Murray Stenson of Zig Zag Café in Seattle.

28. Pisco Sour 

Pisco Sour, the 1920s Peruvian cocktail, is down four places. Victor Vaughen Morris, an American bartender, opened his bar in Lima in 1916 and subsequently surprised friends with the Pisco Sour, a mix of Peruvian pisco and American sour. There are lots of versions of this classic but the basic recipe is three parts pisco, one part simple syrup, one part lime juice, egg whites and a dash of Angostura bitters.

27. Bee's Knees 

A good example of a classic re-entering the repertoire, the Bee’s Knees entered the list last year and is already up into the top 30. Created in the Prohibition era, the Bee’s Knees was originally invented to disguise the smell and taste of dubious homemade spirits, or ‘bathtub gin’. The recipe is two parts gin, ¾ lemon juice and ¾ honey.

26. Bramble 

Another neo-classic from Dick Bradsell that’s on the rise is the Bramble – a mix of blackcurrant and gin. Bramble, the Edinburgh stalwart bar of the same name (and formerly of The World’s 50 Best Bars), calls for London Dry gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and Merlet Crème de Mures. Up 11 places this year.

25. Americano 

The Americano, originally known as the Milano-Torino, is a regular in the middle places of this list. Essentially a lightweight Negroni, the Americano is intended for popular consumption among restrained Italians and booze-shy millennials. Simply sub the gin for soda in your Negroni spec and you have it, the 25th most popular classic at the world’s best bars.

24. Corpse Reviver 

Harry Craddock’s Corpse Reviver has dropped down a little after a huge upsurge last year. The original recipe, known as Corpse Reviver #1, uses cognac, calvados, brandy and vermouth, but the Corpse Reviver #2 is just as popular, if not more, and uses gin. Either way, Craddock recommends you drink one before 11am. But that does depend on what you have planned.

23. Mai Tai

This kitsch classic of tiki culture has been swept along by the tropical revival and come ashore in many of the world’s best bars. That said, the Mai Tai drops down two places, with 12% of bars saying it was part of their top 10 but mostly this is part of the support act rather than a volume cocktail. A classic loved by bartenders in their less serious moments.

22. Amaretto Sour 

The Amaretto Sour seems to be in the midst of a mini revival, rising a further three spots this year – 13% of those polled said it was among their top 10. Mostly part of the occasional repertoire, say our respondents, but amazingly, two bars claimed it to be their bestseller. The recipe? It’s two shots of amaretto, lemon juice and egg white, while Angostura bitters is optional.

21. Sazerac 

Dropping 10 places this year is the Sazerac. This boozy libation is a top-10 classic in 15% of polled bars. Purists use cognac and so did bartenders in the 1850s, until phylloxera ravaged French vineyards and the American Civil War made the sourcing of cognac not the first thing on their minds. So whiskey, rimmed with absinthe – this is not a session beverage.

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