close-up photo of liquor bottles in rack

People will all have their favourite spirits. This could depend on the taste or the strength. Your favourite might be someone else’s most hated. But which spirit is the most popular of all time?

Fentiman has collected insightful data to rank six spirits in order of popularity based on the following categories:

  • Search volume
  • Instagram followers
  • Twitter mentions
  • Media mentions

Each spirit has been given a final score to determine where each one places on the popularity scale, as well as discovering which one takes the crown.

1)     Vodka

Vodka places first for the most popular spirit with a final score of 10.36. In fact, vodka received the top score in all categories except media mentions, in which it came third. So it’s clear that the spirit is a popular choice amongst social media users. Perhaps its subtle taste, which makes it a versatile choice for pairing with other drinks, is the reason behind its popularity.

2)     Gin

Gin places second in the ranking of the most popular spirits with a final score of 7.70, and does so among the categories, apart from placing third for Twitter mentions and taking the first spot for media mentions. London dry gin is the most commonly used alcohol in cocktails, and the fourth most common ingredient overall, which is perhaps why gin is the second most popular spirit.

3)     Rum

In third place is rum with a final score of 5.90. Although this type of alcohol is ahead of whiskey, cognac, and liqueur, it places fourth in most of the categories, except from the average media mentions where it takes the second spot with a score of 9.86. It might not be as popular on social media as the top two spirits, but it still demonstrates why it earned its place on the list with its popularity in the media.

4)     Whiskey

Whiskey places fourth on the list with a final score of 3.55. But why has this spirit not been placed any higher? Well, it has the third-highest score of the six spirits for the number of Instagram followers, yet the lowest for Twitter mentions. Whiskey tends to be expensive, particularly when purchasing an older bottle – so perhaps the price tag has been a deterrent for consumers.

5)     Cognac

Cognac doesn’t appear to be the first pick of spirit for alcohol enthusiasts with a final score of 3.14 at fifth place. Why? It scores low among the categories, particularly the search volume and media mentions where it has the lowest score. However, it has the second-highest score when it comes to Twitter mentions. Rappers like Drake, Jay Z, and 50 Cent often make references to the alcohol, particularly one brand: Hennessy. So perhaps their listeners are taking to Twitter to show support, hence the reason for its high score for mentions on the platform.

6)     Liqueur

In last place is liqueur with a final score of 2.31. This spirit didn’t score close to the top in any of the categories, but what is the reason for this? Well, the most popular types of liqueur are normally associated with Christmas, such as Baileys, so it’s not typically the first choice for alcohol shoppers outside of the festive period.

Mixing your favourite spirits

The results indicate that vodka and gin are noticeably more popular than the other spirits due to sharing similarities in flavour.  Gin is essentially a neutral spirit, like vodka, but with a flavour of juniper berries – and the similarities between the two means that they work well as mixers. Whilst vodka mixers tend to be fruity, gin mixers can be something as simple as unflavoured tonic water. But if you love both of these spirits, you can often choose a range of mixers that work with both of them.

Fruity soda water is the perfect choice to have with both your gin and your vodka – if you prefer your drink to be extra flavourful, then you could choose a spirit that is flavoured. Alternatively, if your choice would be a flavoured spirit and a plain mixer, you could stick to a regular tonic water. Google witnessed a spike in searches over the past 12 months for the term ‘flavoured gin’ between 18th July – 24th July 2021, suggesting that the warmer months enticed consumers for fruitier alcoholic drinks. However, they can be enjoyed all year round, as data demonstrates that the highest point for searches of the term ‘flavoured vodka’ was between December 5th-11th.

Despite there being several spirits to choose from, it seems that the most popular choices are defined by their versatility and subtle flavour – making them perfect choices for mixing. But, either way, there is a spirit out there for everyone, regardless of their popularity.