Top tipples – Icons of the cocktail bar

To mark this week’s World Cocktail Day we consider the most popular drinks as ordered in bars across the world

May 13th is officially known as World Cocktail Day. Marking the publication date of the first definition of a cocktail on this day in 1806 when a New York newspaper allegedly defined a cocktail as “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitter”.

Drinks International, the magazine focused on the global spirit and drinks market, has surveyed bars around the world for many years to assert which are the best-selling cocktails. While we wait for the top choices of 2023, here are last year’s winners.

Negroni – Invented in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni in Florence, but very much on trend in 2023. The top seller in the surveyed bars is a perfect mix of bitter flavours – made up of gin, Campari and vermouth this is  bang on trend.

Old fashioned – Said to have been invented in honor of a distiller, this is an absolute timeless classic composed of bourbon, sugar, bitters and an orange twist.

Dry martini – Needs no introduction and made famous by a certain famous agent of the British Secret Service. A refined and elegant choice. As the hero in Ernest Hemmingway’s World War 1 story A farewell to arms said: ”I had never tasted anything so cool and clean. They made me feel civilized.”

Margarita – According to Drinks International the Margarita is a mainstay in the listing of the world’s most popular cocktails. Hailing from Mexico where it was invented in 1942, the refreshing cocktail is made of Tequila, orange liqueur and lime and optional salt rim. Many variations have since been launched including frozen margaritas.

Daiquiri – Allegedly the world’s best selling rum cocktail, the daiquiri is a mix of lime juice, white rum and sugar shaken and served cold; perfect to be enjoyed in the sunshine.


Tina Nielsen

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