brands report 2022 vodka

Brands Report 2022: Vodka

06 January, 2022

Just as Ketel One was on the precipice of completing the perfect 10, in swoops Grey Goose to snatch the vodka crown.

So what happened? Well, sure the sample of bars polled evolves from year to year, taking in new perspectives, but it always has – and Ketel One has been number one for nine rankings straight. The thing that appears to have changed is that Ketel One’s grip on supremacy has slowly been loosening – in the 2020 list 32% said it was their first choice, in 2021 it was 30% and for 2022 we are down to 22% – leaving the door ajar. That’s critical because, unlike the Bacardi-owned, Cognac-produced Grey Goose, the Diageo/Nolet Distillery-owned Dutch vodka isn’t as strong outside of the house pour. It was a top-three vodka in bars we polled in 45% of cases, whereas Grey Goose was a top-three serve in 61%.

It looks like Grey Goose’s reps have had a good year, but looking at the trending list, Ketel One hasn’t lost its cool. Meanwhile, Pernod Ricard’s Absolut (often its Elyx in this channel) made gains – if not in position. This year it was the go-to in 14% of bars polled (12% last year) and on the podium of vodkas in 34% of bars. Its house-pour performance pushed it ahead of Moët Hennessy’s Belvedere, which, while part of the vodka cast in 35% of bars, as last year, was rarely the primary pour – in only 3%. 

So, while the top two changed order this year, positions three to six stayed the same. It’s a fair old drop from Belvedere to Stoli in fifth. The Latvia-produced brand, which leads with Elit at the pointy end of the bar channel, has finished fifth in six of the last eight lists. Our data suggests an opposing strategy to Belvedere, with more onus on house pours – 9% of respondents had Stoli on the speed rack. Though unlike the Polish-produced brand, an all-or-nothing approach seems to be at play – it was among the back-up vodkas in 4% of cases.

Tito’s, the Texan vodka, took sixth again, with 6% making it their house, while Beam Suntory’s Haku made its debut (10% had it as a top-three choice), following appearances in the last two trending lists. Beluga dropped to eighth with a similar performance, while Diageo’s Smirnoff and Cîroc – two brands not particularly associated with the high-end bar cocktail channel – complete the top 10.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

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

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.