While the world of cocktails may seem to be constantly evolving, year after year it’s the classic recipes that customers continue to demand

Now that the spring/summer season has arrived it’s time to take a fresh look at the Drinks International list of the world’s best-selling classic cocktails in 2019 – and it shows that while bartenders may put a modern spin on old recipes, the desire for established, sophisticated drinks remains. Many including the Aperol Spritz and Negroni are seeing a resurgence in Australia.

The website asked bartenders from 127 of the best bars in 38 countries around the world – all of which have won or been nominated for global awards over the past year – to rank their 10 best-selling cocktails. It then weighted and ranked each drink to compile the list.

The Top 10

  1. Old Fashioned – The Old Fashioned remains champion for the fifth year in a row as the most popular cocktail in the world. This American classic is made by muddling a sugar cube with Angostura bitters, then adding bourbon or rye, a few dashes of water, and finished with a citrus rind.
  2. Negroni – In second place for five years in a row, the Negroni isn’t going anywhere – and 19% of bars say it’s their No. 1 most served drink. The apéritif is made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with an orange peel
  3. Whiskey Sour – In third place on the list for the second year in a row, the whiskey sour is a consistent contender, and in the top 10 drinks at 50% of bars surveyed. It’s made with whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and optionally, a dash of egg white.
  4. Daiquiri – The most popular rum cocktail on the list, the humble Daiquiri remains a favourite worldwide. While the simple, classic recipe calls for white rum, simple syrup, and lime juice, countless variations are created across the globe involving other juices and sweeteners.
  5. Manhattan – Forty per cent of bartenders had the Manhattan, made with sweet red vermouth, rye or Canadian whisky, a dash of Angostura bitters, and garnished with a maraschino cherry
  6. Dry martini – It may be down two spots on January 2018, but it’s still in the top 10 at 35% of bars, and is sure to remain a classic for a while. It’s made with 1/2 oz (one part) dry vermouth and 3 oz. (six parts) gin.
  7. Espresso Martini – Now a well-known cocktail among bargoers, this coffee-based drink (made with vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup) rose two places this year
  8. Margarita – As the most popular classic tequila cocktail on the list, chances are you’ve had at least one variation of the margarita, traditionally made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice and served with salt on the rim of the glass.
  9. Aperol Spritz – In the top 10 for the first time because of its popularity at 30% of the world’s bars, this light, pre-dinner drink is as popular now as it was in the ’50s. Simply add Aperol, prosecco, and a splash of soda to a glass with ice, and serve with a slice of orange.
  10. Moscow Mule – A popular feature of bar carts everywhere thanks to its stylish copper mugs, the Moscow Mule is made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice or wedge of lime and mint leaves.

For a full list of the 50 best-selling cocktails in the world, ranked in ascending order, click here

Written by: Alison Millington for