The World's Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2022

07 January, 2022

11 Moscow Mule

More of a crowd-pleaser in the US than anywhere else, our poll suggests the Moscow Mule is a top-10 classic in a quarter of the best bars around. Frozen in 11th position from last year, this vodka, lime, ginger and soda drink is something of an every-person drink, prized for its simplicity on both sides of the bar. Essentially, this is vodka’s answer to the Dark ’n’ Stormy and is housed in the kind of copper mugs that make vodka, lime, ginger and soda a happy marriage, even outside of happy hour. 

10 Whiskey Sour

While at one time it was brandy that was mingled most with lemon juice for the Sour, the Whiskey Sour has for some time been the most notable among them. Indeed, in the world’s best bars, the Whiskey Sour is part of the top-10 repertoire in just under a third of our sample. Don’t forget the egg white for added mouthfeel. Vegan alternatives are available and in some bars feel like a safer option.

9 Mojito

When the Mojito became the drink of the holidaying auntie, it lost a little of its street cred in the world’s best bars, but now the Pornstar Martini has taken on the mantel, we see the Cuban classic restore some of its reputation. Let’s not forget the Mojito is a bone fide classic that will be here long after our aunties are gone – it’s a top-10 classic in a third of bars we polled. The trick here is a light-style Cuban rum, the greenery is best in muddled Cuban apple mint or spearmint form and the sugar dissolved (it might need some persuasion).

8 Manhattan

It’s eighth for a third time on the spin for whiskey classic the Manhattan, with a third of polled bars making it among their top 10. This whiskey drink may play second fiddle to the Old Fashioned, but it is an age-old favourite that has given birth to a family of classical spins. While some persist with the notion that the dry (with dry vermouth) and perfect (with dry and sweet vermouth) are of merit, this is not true – Manhattans should come sweet (that’s with sweet vermouth). Let’s head to Manhattan and PDT where Jim Meehan used to make his with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and two dashes of Angostura, stirred with ice, strained into a chilled coupe and garnished with brandied cherries.

7 Espresso Martini

When we first started polling bartenders, this coffee-vodka classic was at No.23 – a familiar drink, but not one you’d find too often in the world’s best bars. But Dick Bradsell’s London-born recipe gathered momentum after the legendary bartender’s untimely death in late 2016. The story goes that it was first made for a customer to “wake her up and fuck her up”, which, as a lot of the best yarns, probably involves a little creative licence. Regardless, the neo-classic, once known as the Vodka Espresso and Pharmaceutical Stimulant, is a top-10 serve in almost 40% of bars polled.

6 Aperol Spritz

In at six, it’s a spritz. Not five years ago, the Aperol Spritz was a mid-table drink in our list, but times have changed – people want light and effervescent and they want to drink all day and still feel OK. All that adds up to a spirit-free spritz. This particular brand-centric bitter-sweet sparkler was named a top-five classic in a quarter of bars, which will please the Barbieri brothers, who invented it in the 1900s, though are now dead. Aperol is obviously the key to this mix, which includes prosecco and a splash of soda.

5 Daiquiri

The Daiquiri is the most ordered rum drink in the world’s best bars – it’s a top-five classic in a fifth of them – yet to this day, no one outside of Spanish-speaking nations has been able to pronounce it. It’s dy-key-ree, not dak-er-ree. In Cuba, where they can say it, you’ll find it made all over (where there is lime and rum, there be Daiquiris), though it has to be said, not always well. Take lime juice, white rum and sugar syrup; shake, serve and repeat – few are able to consume a Daiquiri in the singular: they slip down like a slug on a slide. One last thing: strawberry is a modifying prefix, and has little to do with the classic.

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