The World's Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2022

07 January, 2022

35 Long Island Ice Tea

Yes, really. The Long Island Iced Tea is now up to the dizzying heights of 35. Little is known about the origins of this indiscriminate bucket of booze, but one finger is pejoratively pointed at Robert ‘Rosebud’ Butt from the Oak Beach Inn, Long Island. The recipe is essentially every spirit you can think of, orange liqueur, citrus and cola. It’s only a top-10 tipple in 5% of the bars we polled and, one imagines, they employ a lot of artistic licence.

34 Aviation

Gaining height this year – if only by one place – is the Aviation, which is a top-10 classic in 7% of bars polled. The recipe first appeared in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks, where crème de violette provided an extra floral dimension. This point of difference, the crème de violette, is the reason people love it, and hate it.

33 Vesper

This cocktail’s story is one for the raconteurs, but the drink is less the talk of the town. That said, this vodka-gin-Lillet Martini pulls a chord for some punters, particularly those who like James Bond, a character from which the cocktail was named. Ian Fleming calls for: “Three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.” It’s among our sample’s top 10 in 7% of cases.

32 Old Cuban 

The Old Cuban didn’t feature last year – it’s a young classic, so still has to work hard to play with the big kids of this list. But it has pedigree: invented by New York legend Audrey Saunders in 2004, the Old Cuban is something of a cross between a Mojito and a French 75, taking in aged rum, lime juice, mint leaves, Angostura bitters and sparkling wine.

31 Vodka Martini

Perhaps not as popular as its gin equivalent, the Vodka Martini remains the best way to get your vodka fix – if that’s your poison – as here it comes only with a little vermouth for company. Run-of-the-mill vodkas don’t work here – you’ll need something sturdy. In this martini glass, there’s no hiding. Up 11 places, the drink that also goes by the name Kangaroo, is a top-10 classic in 10% of our bars.

30 Corpse Reviver

Harry Craddock’s Corpse Reviver might need some of its own medicine, having sunk 14 places this year. The original recipe, known as Corpse Reviver #1, uses cognac, calvados and vermouth and Craddock recommends you drink one before 11am for optimal revival.

29 Sazerac

Down nine is the Sazerac, which may be suffering from a move away from boozy, stirred-down drinks. Purists use cognac for the Sazerac and so did bartenders in the 1850s, until phylloxera ravaged French vineyards and the American Civil War made cognac importation something of a second thought. In came whiskey and many today prefer the booze hit to be propelled by the grain, not the grape. Rimmed with absinthe, the aromas are ominous alone.

28 Zombie

This tiki drink of the living dead is still in fine fettle, gaining 16 places this year. Make it by emptying all of your bar’s rum into a large glass along with apricot brandy, lime and pineapple juice. More refined recipes are available, particularly at the world’s best bars, where the Zombie is one of the 10 most-made in 10% of bars.

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