When Drinks International interviewed bartenders at the 100 top bars around the country to find out the most popular cocktail orders of 2016, there were a few upsets. For example, Jerry Thomas’s dangerous Blue Blazer cocktail made the list despite the fire hazard, and the somewhat obscure Caipirinha cracked the top 50 in the wake of the Rio Olympics. But the winner came as no surprise to anyone. The most popular cocktail of 2016 is the Old Fashioned.
A simple combination of whiskey, bitters, sugar and an expressed citrus twist, the Old Fashioned was one of the most popular cocktails for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, but it was nearly forgotten by the 1990s. Thankfully, it returned to prominence in the early 2000s, and has finally reclaimed its rightful seat as the king of cocktails, as proven by the recent poll.
While cocktail trends come and go, the classics, it appears, are here to stay—the Negroni and the Manhattan fell just behind the Old Fashioned on the list. Whether we’re sipping one by the fire or as a nightcap at the end of a long day, the Old Fashioned will always be on the menu.