The world’s biggest-selling liqueur brands

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12th July, 2021 by Melita Kiely

Liqueurs were a must-have product last year as consumers embraced at-home cocktail making. But which million-case brands proved to be most popular?

Gone are the days when liqueurs were shunned to the back of the drinks cabinet and dusted off once a year at Christmas.

Thanks to continued innovation, producers have reinvigorated the category and created a wealth of high-quality liqueurs for consumers to seek out and enjoy.

The Covid-19 pandemic presented the perfect opportunity for liqueur brands to tap into the do-it-yourself cocktail-making trend, and become staples of home bars around the globe.

The million-case-selling liqueurs, overall, fared pretty well in 2020, with the majority seeing a spike in volumes, despite facing on-trade closures among other challenges.

Over the following pages, we count down the top eight best-selling liqueur brands of 2020.

Data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied to The Brand Champions 2020.

Liqueurs Brand Champion 2021: Malibu

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21st June, 2021 by admin

The pandemic helped boost demand for homemade cocktails as consumers were forced to stay indoors and recreate the bar experience at home. As such, interest in liqueurs has risen, and consumers have stocked up their home bars with different ingredients.

One bright star of the category was Pernod Ricard’s rum liqueur Malibu, which walked away with the title of Liqueurs Brand Champion 2021. The brand continued its upward trajectory, recording 14.3% growth to 4.4 million cases in 2020.

Malibu’s ‘spirit of summer’ positioning has helped brighten the mood for consumers during the pandemic, according to Monica Jungbeck, Malibu’s head of brand creative. The brand unveiled engaging social media campaigns, including the influencer‐driven #CoconutChallenge, which asked consumers to create dance videos on visual platforms such as Instagram.

“Malibu brought a bit of sunshine to consumers and gave them a platform to experience and share summer vibes, even if they had to be shared virtually,” says Jungbeck.

Furthermore, the brand’s redesign in 2019 helped build momentum. “Our unique and distinctive white bottle and palm tree logotype are two of the most recognisable visual assets in the drinks category,” says Johan Radojewski, Malibu’s vice‐president of marketing.

“Our redesign was aimed at strengthening those to ensure better standout on shelf and, of course, building on the consistency that has been critical for Malibu’s design from its inception in the late 1970s.”

Radojewski also notes that the brand’s recipes on the redesigned label helped position Malibu “in line with recent trends towards lighter and more refreshing drinks and cocktails”.

While the UK and the US remain Malibu’s key markets, the brand has also seen “encouraging” results in South Korea and Brazil.

Malibu will also release its latest flavour, watermelon, in the UK following its debut in the US.

In addition, the brand has moved quickly to develop its presence in the burgeoning ready‐to‐drink sector, says Arnaud Malinconi, Malibu’s brand director. “We have accelerated in recent years, with innovations and range extensions like Malibu Piña Colada across Europe and the launch of Malibu Splash in the US last year.”

Malinconi adds: “We are confident that we have the recipe for success from a brand, communication, portfolio and innovation standpoint to continue building on the momentum we have.”

Looking across the rest of the category, the only other brand to report a double‐digit increase was Stock Spirits’ Żołądkowa Gorzka. The brand rose by 19.3% to 1.8m cases, its third year of growth.

Diageo’s cream liqueur brand Baileys saw its sales decline for the first time in five years, dropping by 4.6% to 7.1m cases. Meanwhile, orange-flavoured liqueur Cointreau slipped by 7.8%, and Pernod Ricard‐owned coffee liqueur Kahl.a rose by 3.2%.

South African drinks group Distell declined to provide 2020 figures for Amarula liqueur, which saw its sales drop by 13.5% to 1m in 2019. The firm was affected by multiple alcohol bans in its home market.

Liqueurs (figures: million 9l-case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 %+/- Baileys Diageo 6.5 6.9 7.1 7.4 7.1 -4.6% Malibu Pernod Ricard 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.9 4.4 14.3% De Kuyper Beam Suntory/De Kuyper 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.3 -4.7% Lubelska Stock Spirits Group 1.3 1.5 1.5 1.9 1.9 -2.5% Żołądkowa Gorzka Stock Spirits Group 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.5 1.8 19.3% Kahlúa Pernod Ricard 1.5 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 3.2% Choya Choya Umeshu 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.3 7.3% Cointreau Rémy Cointreau 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.1 -7.8%

A refreshing toast to Canada’s summer season

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Share this Story: A refreshing toast to Canada’s summer season

A refreshing toast to Canada’s summer season Photo by supplied /;

Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.

Article content Take one Canadian summer, blend in some sunshine, fresh ingredients and ice – and you have the perfect recipe for a refreshing cocktail.

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Article content Canadians take their short but stunning summer season seriously, with long-weekend get-togethers, picnics, parties and barbecues – especially after the long lockdown the country has been living with for more than a year. So bring on the sunshine and enjoy the following cocktails, perfect well past Labour Day! We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

tap here to see other videos from our team. Try refreshing your browser, or A refreshing toast to Canada’s summer season Back to video Photo by supplied /; Maison No. 9 The name and inspiration behind this delightful rosé is none other than Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum recording artist, Post Malone, who recently introduced Maison No. 9 French Rosé to Canada. Malone’s love of the Mediterranean lifestyle and rosé wine in particular was the impetus for this latest creation. The following two cocktails courtesy Maison No. 9;; @Maison9wine

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Article content 2 oz. Maison No. 9 1 oz. vodka 0.75 oz. lime juice 0.5 oz. simple syrup 3 oz. watermelon juice Tajin seasoning (a Mexican-inspired herb blend; optional for glass rim) Ice Add vodka, lime, simple syrup, and watermelon juice. Shake with ice. Rim glass with Tajin. Pour ingredients into a glass. Add in wine. Serves 1. The Maison No. 9 Rosé Sangria “Rosé is for when you want to get a little fancy” – Post Malone. 1 bottle favourite rosé wine 1 cup fresh watermelon juice 1/2 cup favourite vodka 2 oz. simple syrup Garnish: Chopped watermelon slices, cherries, strawberries (sliced), 1 jalapeño sliced thin Mix all ingredients into a pitcher. Place in fridge for at least 20-30 minutes until cold. Add ice and stir. Optional mint garnish. Add additional jalapeño if you would like a little more heat to your drink.

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Article content Photo by supplied / Courtesy Northern Keep Vodka Keep It Together Northern Keep is a Canadian-made vodka, crafted from winter wheat and Canadian rye, which are harvested right in the nation. Plus the company is all about protecting the land – through a partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), every bottle sold helps to protect 5 square feet of ecologically significant land. Serves 1. Courtesy Northern Keep Vodka @northernkeepvodka.#NorthernKeep #TrueNorthern 1 oz. vodka 1 oz. honey syrup (1:1 honey and water, combined together over low heat) 3 strawberries (diced) 3 lime wedges 8-10 mint leaves Soda water Muddle mint, strawberries, limes and honey syrup in a Highball glass. Add ice, vodka and fill with soda. Stir to bring muddled ingredients up from bottom of glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

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Article content Photo by supplied / KitchenAid Mango Margarita Take the classic blended margarita and give it a tropical spin, using fresh or frozen mango as the base. Serves six. Courtesy 2 large fresh mangoes 1/2 cup fresh lime juice 3/4 cup favourite tequila 1/2 cup Triple Sec liqueur 1/4 cup superfine sugar 3-1/2 cups ice cubes Garnish 2 Tbsp. superfine sugar 1-1/2 Tbsp. fine sea salt 1 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. EACH ground cumin and ground cayenne 1 tsp. lime zest 1 lime, cut into six wedges Peel and slice mango, and remove as much pulp as possible; place in blender. Add lime juice, tequila, Triple Sec, sugar, and ice. Blend until thick and slushy, with no ice chips remaining, about 15 seconds. To garnish: Have ready 6 margarita glasses or goblets. In a small wide shallow bowl or plate, combine sugar, salt, dry spices, and lime zest. Moisten rim of each glass with a lime wedge, dip rim in sweet and savoury mixture, turning glass back and forth until rim is evenly coated. Repeat to coat each rim. Pour margarita into each prepared glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Serve immediately.

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Article content Photo by supplied / KitchenAid Sagey Honey Pineapple Blended Cocktail A taste of the tropics for a hot Canadian summer day. Makes 4 cocktails. Courtesy 4 cups frozen pineapple 2 oz. lime juice 4 oz. favourite vodka 1/4 cup honey sage syrup (recipe to follow) 1-1/2 cups ice Sage honey syrup: Add ½ cup honey and ½ cup water into a saucepan along with 5 sprigs of fresh sage. Heat on medium high heat until mixture comes to a bubble, then reduce to medium and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes then discard sage. Cool completely. Cocktail: Place frozen pineapple, vodka, lime juice and honey syrup into blender. Blend on smoothie setting and allow to run until designed smoothie consistency is reached. Serve immediately and garnish with a toasted sage leaf.

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Article content Photo by supplied / Tia Maria Tia Café Colada This cocktail, courtesy of Tia Maria ambassador and Canadian bartender Aaron Male, capitalizes on the new popularity of Coff-tails (coffee based cocktails). Serves 1. 1.5 oz. favourite coffee-flavoured liqueur 1 oz. rum (Flor de Caña 7 yr rum suggested) 2 oz. pineapple juice 1 oz. coconut water 0.25 oz. lemon juice Garnish: Pineapple fronds, coffee beans Shake all together with ice and pour into tall glass with ice. Garnish with pineapple or pineapple fronds and coffee beans. Photo by supplied / Martini Rosso Vivace Vivace Refreshingly tropical thanks to the inclusion of Martini vermouth (; adapted from a recipe from Serves 1. Note: Can be made with non-alcoholic Martini Vibrante aperitif

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Article content Ice 2 oz. red vermouth (Martini Rosso suggested) 1/2 a passion fruit 2 oz. grapefruit juice Ginger beer to top Garnish: Half a passion fruit Pack a high glass with ice. Cut a fresh passion fruit in half and scoop pulp from one half and place into high glass. Pour remaining liquid ingredients. Give a gentle stir to mix and garnish with other half of the passion fruit. Photo by supplied / Grey Goose Fresh Cut Fritz Refreshing, easy to create, and perfect for a summer picnic. Serves 1. Courtesy Grey Goose ( @greygoose). 2 oz. vodka 2/3 cup soda water 1 Tbsp. fresh red grapefruit Splash white vermouth Red grapefruit wedge Thyme sprig Build first four ingredients over cubed ice in a wine glass. Garnish with red grapefruit wedge and thyme sprig.

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Article content Photo by supplied / ; Grand Margarita This refreshing cocktail pairs sour, bitter and a touch of sweetness for a smooth cocktail. Serves 1. Recipe courtesy Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge; Salt Lime, halved 1 oz. favourite orange-flavoured liqueur 1 oz. favourite tequila (Espolon suggested) 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice 1/2 oz. agave nectar or simple syrup (Optional) Ice cubes Lime garnish Fill a wide, shallow dish with fine salt. Cut a lime in half at width and rub around half of rim of a margarita glass. Cut a thin, crosswise slice from one of lime halves for garnish. Holding glass upside down, dip wet half delicately into salt. Shake rest of ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into glass and apply lime garnish to rim. Photo by supplied / Romeos Gin The Inspiration Adapted from a recipe courtesy Romeo’s Gin;; #artofgin. 1 ½ oz. gin ¼ oz. almond-flavoured liquor 2.5 oz fresh cucumber juice (you can use a juicer or grate half a cucumber and pore through a sieve) ¼ oz. lavender syrup ¾ oz. lemon juice Garnish: 1 slice of dehydrated lemon, lavender and dill Stir all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake lightly and strain the liquid into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a small sprig of fresh dill, lavender and a dehydrated lemon slice.

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