Brands Report 2015: Liqueurs

07 January, 2015

As part of a hugely diverse category of a multitude of flavours and uses, it’s natural that the best selling liqueurs differ from bar to bar.

In 9% of our 100 polled bars, Cointreau is the top seller, with Chartreuse the number one liqueur in 8% of the pool and St Germain in 7%. 

Cointreau topped the chart last year too and, as a must-include ingredient in cocktail recipes such as the Margarita and Singapore Sling, is likely to have a spot on the back bar long into the future.

Alfred Cointreau, the brand’s heritage director, travels the bar world with the brand on his back, attempting to further convince bartenders that his is the original and authentic triple sec. 

After a year of absence, Chartreuse reappears in fine fettle. It was the top selling liqueur in more bars than any other in 2013 and comes second on our list this time out.

Bacardi is now behind the Simon Difford-launched St Germain, which is the go-to elderflower liqueur in our polled bars. 

It seems to be as fashionable as it is regularly used, with 20% of bars saying it is their Top Trending liqueur right now. 

With Jamie Oliver flaunting the Bacardi portfolio on his Drinks Tube channel – and new food and drinks TV programme on British television – St Germain is gaining further exposure to the mass market. With this kind of backing and the quaffable Grey Goose cocktail Le Fizz offering a vehicle, it’s likely to move up the Best Selling ranks. 

Brands such as Grand Marnier – an ever-present in our Best Selling lists – and Luxardo Maraschino are heritage cocktail ingredients that bartenders are never likely to want to do without.

William Grant & Sons’ chilli liqueur, Ancho Reyes from Mexico, is perhaps the surprise in the list. It is a hot brand in the US, with PDT telling us it is their most requested liqueur at the moment. After seeing chilli vodka brands come and go, it’s interesting to see a chilli anything find a place in the back bar. 

William Grant will be hoping its newly bought Drambuie can follow and reignite the scotch liqueur category. With spirit drinks from whisky brands proliferating in the US, there has to be an opportunity for the original scotch-based liqueur brand. 


We spoke to the World’s 50 Best Bars for this poll but in order to have a broader set of results we widened the net to include responses from a total of 100 of the top bars in the world - as voted for by our World's 50 Best Bars Academy.

We asked bar owners and head bartenders from these 100 top bars to name the Best Selling and Top Trending brands behind their bars. For more information about our methodology see here.

Day by day we will take you through the overall Best Selling and Top Trending spirits, and into the categories - from tequila, gin, vodka, rum, liqueursScotch, World Whiskies, Brandy, aperitifs and digestifs, champagne, beer, water and tonic water to the best brands for cocktails.

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