More than one and a half million bottles of tequila were sold in Britain in the 12 months to September 2021: up 36% on the same period the year before. The value of tequila sales have now reached £33m ($43.5m).
As well as being an important cocktail ingredient, the spirit has become a popular sipping drink enjoyed on its own.
Liqueurs have seen a similar increase with sales up 27%, the equivalent of over 44 million bottles sold worth £561m ($740m). Colourful liqueurs have proved popular for creating cocktails on social media or during cocktail making Zooms.
Top selling spirits: vodka, whiskies, gin, liqueurs and rum
With the hospitality sector locked down for much of the 12 month period, sales of more traditional spirits have shifted to the off-trade. Vodka (selling over 102 million bottles) remaining the most popular spirit to drink at home followed by whiskies (almost 86 million bottles) and in third place gin (over 73 million bottles).
After five years of growth, gin sales saw a slight dip this year: down -1% in volume and -2% in value. This is followed by liqueurs in fourth place; and rum in fifth place (up 13% in volume, selling over 37 million bottles).
Brad Madigan, Managing Director, Campari Group UK, said the increase in cocktail making is illustrated by increased interest in Aperol Spritz.
“We know that changing consumer occasions have translated into different alcohol purchasing habits over the past year,” he said. “Easy-to-create cocktails at home have experienced a real boost – in the first eight weeks of the year, we saw a 70% increase in online searches for Aperol Spritz compared to the same period in 2020, as consumers sought to recreate the iconic, Aperol Spritz serve in their own homes.
“Aperol registered very positive, double digit growth in the first three quarters of 2021 here in the UK to reflect this, as the brand continues to benefit from sustained home consumption. We’ve also seen a strong performance by Campari over the same period, benefiting from home mixology trends and the popularity of the Negroni – the 7th most searched for cocktail according to Google’s UK search data.
“Regardless of whether enjoyed at home or in bars and restaurants, it’s clear cocktails are a much-loved part of British culture – and we hope to see the continued support of the spirits industry next year and beyond.”