It is important for bar owners to be knowledgeable of what drinks are trending in each given year. This allows your business to become more adaptable to ever-changing customers preferences. Doing so also allows you to keep a better tab on your inventory spending.
Drink’s International, a trade publication for the alcohol industry, does a lot of the heavy lifting for bar owners with their yearly listicle of the year’s most popular cocktails. They survey 108 bars in the running for the World’s Top 50 Best Bars list and get the inside scoop from the bar managers doing the dirty work.
Below are the top 7 drinks from the list in order along with the recipes for each drink, just in case your bar is not currently featuring one of them.
- Old Fashioned
What can I say? Old habits die hard. This drink is enjoyed around the world and has a special place in American lore.
Recipe: 1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 Sugar cube, few dashes plain water. Place sugar cube in old fashioned glass and saturate with bitters, add a dash of plain water. Muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Garnish with orange slice, and a cocktail cherry. Serve over ice.
This apértif (drink served before a meal) has made a major comeback thanks to pop culture hit shows like “Master of None”.
Recipe: 1 oz (1 part) Gin, 1 oz (1 part) Campari, 1 oz (1 part) Sweet red Vermouth. Stir into glass over ice, garnish and serve.
Daiquiris seem like a drink that only retired Floridians enjoy. But, when made properly, they can be the most popular item on any bar menu.
Recipe: 1 1/2 oz White rum, 1/2 oz Simple syrup, 1 oz Lime juice. Pour all ingredients into shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain in chilled cocktail glass.
It is hard to imagine a bar menu that does not include a Manhattan. Especially, if the bar specializes in whiskey.
Recipe: Maraschino cherry (Garnish), Dash Angostura bitters, 2 oz Rye or Canadian whisky, 3/4 oz Sweet red vermouth. Stirred over ice, strained into a chilled glass, garnished, and served straight up.
- Whiskey Sour
Hopefully you noticed that three of the top five drinks on this list are whiskey based. This drink is simple, reliable, and perfect for whiskey lovers and haters alike.
Recipe: 1 1⁄2 oz bourbon, 3⁄4 oz fresh lemon juice, 3⁄4 oz, simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar), 1 cherry (optional). Shake with ice. Strain into ice-filled old-fashioned glass to serve “on the rocks.”
- Dry Martini
This drink is elegance personified.
Recipe: 1/2 oz (1 part) Dry vermouth, 3 oz (6 parts) Gin. Straight: Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain in chilled martini cocktail glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel onto the drink, or garnish with olive.
You are not a bartender if you don’t know how to make a proper margarita. Tequila is one of the most well-known and craved spirits in America.
Recipe: 2 oz Tequila, 1 oz Lime juice, 1 oz Cointreau. Rub the rim of the glass with the lime slice to make the salt stick to it. Shake the other ingredients with ice, then carefully pour into the glass (taking care not to dislodge any salt). Garnish and serve over ice.