The biggest spirits stories of 2020

14th January, 2021 by Nicola Carruthers

Hand it to Tito’s


A surprising revelation came at the start of this year, when Tito’s Handmade Vodka overtook Diageo powerhouse Smirnoff as the best‐selling spirit in the US in 2019. It was the first time in more than a decade that Smirnoff had not reigned supreme in the US.

Preliminary figures from the IWSR US Beverage Alcohol Review database showed Tito’s grew by more than 20% in volume in 2019. Vodka was the largest spirit category by volume in the country. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey was the third‐best‐selling spirit in the US last year, followed by Sazerac’s whisky liqueur Fireball and Diageo’s Canadian whisky Crown Royal.

The data showed total alcohol consumption in the US grew by 0.3% in volume in 2019, reversing the decline it registered in 2018. By value, total alcohol consumption reached US$167 billion – a rise of 2.5%. Spirits consumption was up by 2.3% in volume, led by growth in mezcal (40%), Japanese whisky (23.1%) and Irish whiskey (8.6%).

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