Food & Drink

The Top 10 Best-Selling Liquor Brands in the World

Mark Yocca / Supercall

Americans tend to have a pretty limited view of worldwide drinking. As much as we love our bourbon and Frosé and Tito’s, none of those things even register on the global scale of booze. In fact, you likely haven’t even heard of the top-selling alcohol brands in the world. Here, the top 10 booze brands across the entire globe, based on the most recent complete data of cases sold in 2016.

Mark Yocca / Supercall

10. Tanduay

Spirit: Rum

Country of origin: Philippines

Sales (cases): 16.60m

The rum industry that was developed in the Caribbean in the Colonial era was based on sugar cane brought to the islands from across the world, in part from tropical Southeast Asia. The Philippines remains one of the largest sugar markets on planet Earth so it makes sense the country would also be home to one of the largest rum producers and 10th largest spirits brand in the world.

9. Bacardi

Spirit: Rum

Country of origin: United States

Sales (cases): 17.23m

Yes, Bacardi used to be made in Cuba, but after the Cuban Revolution ousted the Bacardi family, the distillery was moved to Puerto Rico. Now, Bacardi is the top rum brand in the world, beating out Tanduay. But you still won’t find the American brand in Cuba, where a government-run version remains entrenched.

8. Johnnie Walker

Spirit: Scotch

Country of origin: Scotland

Sales (cases): 17.40m

Diageo is one of the biggest spirits brands in the world, and their flagship scotch absolutely crushes the competition. With exclusive bottlings popping up all over the globe, especially in duty-free shops, the brand basically represents scotch to much of the world.

7. Royal Stag

Spirit: Whisky

Country of origin: India

Sales (cases): 17.99m

India is a huge whisky market (as is evident from many of the top contenders on this list), which exploded in the 1990s. Royal Stag, aka RS, aka Seagram’s Royal Stag (the brand was previously owned by Seagram’s before it was acquired by Pernod), is a huge seller in the region for owner Pernod Ricard. But it’s not as big as …  

6. Imperial Blue

Spirit: Whisky

Country of origin: India

Sales (cases): 18.01m

The other Indian whisky from Pernod Ricard (and another acquisition from Seagram’s) is even bigger than Royal Stag. It sold a whopping 18 million cases in 2016.

5. McDowell’s No. 1

Spirit: Whisky

Country of origin: India

Sales (cases): 25.50m

The name McDowell’s (and sister brand Bagpiper) reveals the looming shadow of Scotland on the Indian whisky market. You may not see the name in the international market, but any drinker in India will recognize the brand immediately.  

4. Smirnoff

Spirit: Vodka

Country of origin: United States

Sales (cases): 25.50m

Like Bacardi, Smirnoff is a brand you might think is made abroad, but actually it’s produced right here in the ol’ USA. While the vodka tastes like the good stuff straight from Russia, it’s an all-American brand. The most Russian thing about this top selling vodka is its branded Moscow Mule.

3. Emperador

Spirit: Brandy

Country of origin: Philippines

Sales (cases): 28.00m

While Western brandy makers might take issue with the term “brandy” being applied to Emperador’s products (which are cut with a neutral sugar cane spirit), they certainly can’t argue with the numbers. Emperador outsells any other “brandy” brand to claim the bronze medal overall.

2. Officer’s Choice

Spirit: Whisky

Country of origin: India

Sales (cases): 32.85m

Number two on the list is—guess what—another Indian whisky. Officer’s Choice, aka OC, isn’t just an officer’s first choice in whisky; it’s also the first choice for about 40 percent of drinkers in India.

1. Jinro

Spirit: Soju

Country of origin: South Korea

Sales (cases): 71.97m


People in South Korea drink a lot of soju—and we mean a lot. There’s soju available at business meetings, family events, pretty much every waking second, all of which combine to make Jinro a breakaway in the race for biggest booze sales. The brand more than doubles its nearest competitor in sales, absolutely trouncing the entire world.