The 30 Most Popular Liquors In The World
Drinks International released its annual list of the most popular liquor brands around the globe, featuring spirits from far and wide and peeling back the curtain on drinking trends across the world. Among the top 30 liquors worldwide, vodka and whiskey brands are particularly well-represented, while only two gins make the cut.
Read below to see the alcohol brands the world drank in 2021.
The Top 30 Liquors
This German digestif is most commonly consumed as a shot, best served very cold. By forging new partnerships, Jäger is slowly but surely rebranding itself as a craft liqueur — a foil to its hard-partying reputation.
28. Gordon’s Gin
The legacy of Gordon’s Gin dates back to its creation in 1769. Today, Diageo reports that a bottle of the spirit is sold every six seconds. The brand has expanded from its classic gin to innovate new creations, such as a “Gin & Lime” popsicle.
27. Morosha Vodka
This premium Ukrainian vodka is crafted from the mineral water of the Carpathians. The water that serves as Morosha’s base is naturally pure, having flowed through silicate rocks.
This Seagram’s whisky, launched in 1995, is one of the most popular blended whiskies in India. It features a heavy aroma with touches of fruit, wood and peat. The brand of Scotch whisky joined Pernod Ricard’s other brands in 2001.
25. McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration Rum
McDowell’s, a Diageo-owned brand, is India’s best-selling rum. Over 52 million cases of McDowell’s products are sold annually, across 20 countries. By volume, McDowell’s is the largest selling spirits brand in the world. Its No.1 Celebration variety is a dark rum aged in oak casks.
24. Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky
George Ballantine founded this Scotch whisky company in the early 19th century, which steadily grew in popularity in Scotland, the U.K., and eventually the States. Ballantine’s Finest, one of its most popular varieties, burst onto the scene in 1910 and remains popular over a century later.
When you think of Irish Cream, you probably think of Baileys. As the world’s first and best-selling cream liqueur, Baileys sold over 2 billion bottles in 2021.
Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky aged in a variety of casks, a perk of looser rules around whisky production up north compared to the States. Because of this, Crown Royal — which offers traditional whiskies as well as flavored varieties such as peach, vanilla, apple and maple — embodies a variety of flavor profiles born out of different types of wood casks.
21. Hlibny Dar Vodka
Hlibny Dar vodka, produced by Ukraine’s Bayadera Group, tops sales of the category in its home country. Bayadera Group boasts a widely-distributed portfolio of spirits and is the largest alcohol holding company in Eastern Europe — exporting its products to 45 countries.
The world’s best-selling Irish Whiskey was ironically founded by a Scottish legal clerk. Only one Jameson distillery is in operation today, located in Cork, Ireland.
19. 8PM Whisky
Another popular Indian brand, 8PM is the flagship whisky from mega-distillery Radico Khaitan. The brand was featured in 2001’s LIMCA Book of Records for selling one million bottles in the year it launched, becoming the first liquor brand to do so.
18. Zubrówka Vodka
The secret ingredient in this Polish vodka is something you may be hard-pressed to find in any other spirit: a vanilla-scented plant called bison grass. Not only is the vodka infused with an ingredient that’s banned in the U.S., each bottle contains an actual blade, the easiest way to distinguish Zubrówka from its imitators.
17. Khortytsa Vodka
In 2019, this Ukrainian vodka brand sold upward of 176 million bottles domestically and to its export market of more than 87 countries. This global reach has placed the spirit among the top three best-selling vodkas in the world.
16. Jim Beam Whiskey
Bourbon giant Jim Beam has been on the global market for more than two centuries, and little has changed about its production in the interim. The distillery has used the same proportion of corn, rye, and barley since the brand’s inception, and the palate of its original flavor evokes brown sugar and orange.
15. Absolut Vodka
Iconic for its stripped down branding and unconventional (albeit successful) marketing campaigns, Absolut has been a mainstay on the American spirit market since 1979. Its logo was considered unconventional at the time of its release, as its divergence from more traditional Russian-inspired bottle designs dominant in the market made it stand out from the crowd.
14. Haywards Fine Whisky
This Indian Whisky is another member of Diageo India’s portfolio. Together, Haywards, McDowell’s No.1 Celebration, and McDowell’s No.1 accounted for five percent of Diageo’s net sales in the Indian-made foreign liquor category (IMFL) in 2021, according to its annual report.
13. Captain Morgan Rum
This spiced rum’s namesake doesn’t just exist in lore. In fact, Welsh-born Sir Henry Morgan was enlisted by the Queen herself to guard Spanish interests in the Caribbean sea. The ruthless and successful sailor led a group of pirates, eventually using his riches to buy land in Jamaica. The rum, according to Captain Morgan, tastes of vanilla, brown sugar, dried fruit, and warming spices with hints of oak.
12. Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
Famed whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s is not only a popular spirit, but also a destination — attracting over 300,000 visitors to its Tennessee distillery annually. The brand has begun to diversify its portfolio recently, debuting canned whiskey cocktails in 2022.
In a sea of single malts, Johnnie Walker is a proudly blended Scotch whisky. Johnnie Walker reportedly created the blend in an effort to produce a more consistent Scotch — a response to the growing popularity of the single malt category.
The Top 10 Liquors
10. Bacardi Rum
Though its label designates it Puerto Rican, this spiced rum was actually born in Cuba. Previously the world’s best-selling rum, Bacardi has since been eclipsed by Tanduay.
9. Royal Stag Whisky
A member of global beverage giant Pernod Ricard’s portfolio, Royal Stag whiskey blends locally-sourced grain spirits and imported Scotch malts. The whiskey, distributed globally and finding its largest audience in India, is produced in Nepal.
8. Officer’s Choice Whisky
Officer’s Choice, like its predecessor on this list, is an Indian whisky composed of both Scotch malt and Indian grain. Its parent brand, Allied Blenders & Distillers, debuted Officer’s Choice in 1988 and has seen its progressive growth in popularity in the decades since.
7. Emperador Brandy
Leading the worldwide brandy market, Emperador is Filipino in origin. Emerperador was the Philippines’ first brandy label upon its release in 1990 and has steadily grown in popularity since.
6. Tanduay Rum
Tanduay has held onto the title of the world’s most popular rum for four consecutive years. The Filipino rum is named for the location of its first distillery, Isla de Tanduay.
5. Imperial Blue Whisky
Imperial Blue Indian whisky is the largest brand by volume in Pernod Ricard’s portfolio, which acquired it in 2002. Its sub-$10 price point and smooth flavor make it a go-to for imbibers around the globe.
The most popular vodka in the world, Smirnoff has long been recognized for its smooth taste and texture — beating out the competition in blind tastings. While its unflavored variety is its most popular offering, Smirnoff’s flavored offerings (33 of them, to be exact) and its Smirnoff Ice malt liquor soda have cemented it as a household name in both the vodka and RTD arenas.
3. McDowell’s No.1 Whisky
Diageo giant McDowell’s takes the cake in the whisky category, with its signature No.1 variety landing at the number three spot in terms of popularity in 2021.
2. Ginebra San Miguel Gin
Ginebra San Miguel makes only one of two gins featured on this list, produced in a family-owned distillery in Manila, Philippines. Having entered the scene in 1834, Ginebra has successfully made a name for itself over nearly two centuries.
1. Jinro Soju
With one makguli and nine soju offerings, Jinro is the top-selling spirit brand in the world. Consumed both straight and in cocktails, Jinro is the quintessential soju in Korea and beyond, making its signature green bottle an emblem of the spirit.