This Is the World’s Best-Selling Cocktail

A survey of 100 global bars found that we're really digging this classic bitter gin tipple

Negroni cocktail with shadow. A recent global survey of bars found that the negroni was the world's best-selling cocktail
The Negroni is a classic cocktail that hits on a bunch of modern trends
Jamie Grill / Getty Images

We love Negronis. But the espresso martini might be here to stay.

Those are some of the findings from The World’s Best-Selling Classic Cocktails 2022, an annual list put together by Drinks International, a global drinks journal that also runs the International Spirits Challenge. The long-running publication recently asked 100 bars around the world to rank their best-selling cocktails.

Some findings, which sadly don’t include The Pink Squirrel:

  • After eight years in second place, the Negroni finally unseated the Old Fashioned as the number one global cocktail. “This bitter ruby serve has ridden the wave of the classic cocktail trend, the bitter-drinks trend, the gin trend, the aperitivo trend, the Italian bartenders taking over the best bars trend — everything was carrying it forward,” as the publication notes. It was the number one drink at over a quarter of the bars surveyed and in the top two at more than half of the establishments.
  • The formerly-maligned Aperol Spritz is now at sixth place, and was named a top-five classic in a quarter of bars surveyed.
  • The espresso martini is on the rise. It’s jumped from no. 23 from the first list to no. 7 for this year. The magazine thinks the recent craze actually started after the untimely death of bartender and espresso martini creator Dick Bradsell in 2016. (“The story goes that it was first made for a customer to ‘wake her up and f-ck her up,’ which, as a lot of the best yarns, probably involves a little creative license,” as the article admits.)
  • The highest ranked gin drink is the dry martini (#3). For tequila, it’s the margarita (#4), for rum the daiquiri (#5) and Scotch it’s the Penicillin at #13.

And finally, to really prove that this is a global list, the Americano comes in at #13 — it’s a “sensible Negroni … simply sub the gin for soda in your Negroni spec and you have it.” It’s also up nine places this year, and was actually the first drink ordered by James Bond in Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale.


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