The world of spirits is wide and vast.

When you’re trying to plan your bar’s roadmap through stocking the right liquor, it can be tough to navigate. Where exactly do you start? Where’s the safe beaten path, exactly? And how far can you stray from it?

We’re here to show you where our users went in their liquor checklist to hopefully give you enough context to make some smart decisions for your beverage program. There are also some interesting deviations in previous data and expectations that correlate with trends in the industry.


The Continuation of Craft

A popular practice when building a beverage program is centering around well-marketed spirits. Not only are these liquors aggressively marketed towards bars, but these spirits are also recognized and asked for specifically on a much more frequent basis overall by consumers.

That is reflected in the data we’ve collected, as some of the top-selling spirits prominently feature commonly known spirits by consumers, like Jameson Original and Patron Silver Tequila.

However, a surprise chart-topper is Tito’s Handmade Texas Vodka. The Austin-based distiller has established their reputation within the industry on not only the high quality of their vodka, but also its ease of use in cocktailing. One of our BevSpotters, Dylan Freehauf, a former Beverage Director at Rye Tavern, noted that the fact that this brand was able to beat out Ketel One and Grey Goose on our list demonstrates the continued trend of craft cocktailing in both bars and the ordering of bar-goers.

This trend is also supported by the odd mainstays of the list, in the forms of Fernet Branca and St. Germain. Fernet Branca, a standard industry liqueur to shoot after your shift, is commonly used in cocktails like a Toronto or Hanky Panky. St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur, is also a key ingredient in cocktails like a French Gimlet or Rob Collins.

The King of Russia

Vodka stands out prominently on our graph as well, as three of the top four selling liquors are one of our favorite combinations of water and ethanol. Vodka has always been a chart-topper in popularity since the 50’s and 60’s, but there are a couple reasons that could explain the dominance of this spirit in our customers’ orders. Besides the commonplace ordering of vodka/sodas and vodka Martinis at bars, it could also be said that vodka has arguably the easiest flavor (i.e. very little to none) to work with when concocting cocktail recipes.

Check out more industry trends for beverage programs by subscribing to our blog below. Also, let us know what else in our data stuck out to you in the comments section.