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Martinis overtake Moscow Mules in US bars

The Margarita remains the most popular cocktail in the US on-trade, while Martinis have overtaken Moscow Mules for the second spot.

The Margarita continues to be the top-selling cocktail in the US on-trade

CGA by Nielsen IQ’s latest cocktail tracker revealed the top-ranking cocktails in the US on-trade.

Cocktails boosted average earnings in the on-trade in the fourth quarter (Q4), compared to the previous quarter (Q3), by 7% to US$11,400. CGA attributed the rise to both traffic (up 6%) and check value (up 5%). Cocktails are now US$1 more expensive than last year on average.

Martinis have grown in popularity, now surpassing the vodka-based Moscow Mule for the second spot in CGA’s top 10 cocktails in the final quarter of 2022.

CGA’s previous quarterly tracker highlighted the strong performance of the Espresso Martini, which entered the top 10 in 2022.

In the last 12 weeks to 31 December 2022, the Espresso Martini’s value velocity climbed by 26% compared to Q3 and soared by 83% year-on-year. CGA noted the cocktail nearly doubled in velocity over the past year.

Old Fashioneds and Manhattans benefitted from colder weather, gaining velocity in the last quarter, compared to Q3, at the expense of summer-based cocktails, such as the Mojito and Piña Colada.

Whisky, gin and vodka-based cocktails experienced double-digit gains in the last three months of 2022, compared to Q3.

Rum-based cocktails remain slightly ahead of Q4 2021, highlighting stronger summer sales than in winter.

Andrew Hummel, client solutions director – North America, said: “Our latest tracker results demonstrate the changing dynamics of the category, and the influence of changing consumer preferences and drinks choice has on velocity performance.

“Seasonality also plays an important role and it’s crucial to align preferred serves with key occasions, which complement the seasons, to ensure a winning cocktail strategy in 2023.

“Despite rising check value, consumers continue to opt for cocktails when prioritising visits out to bars and restaurants.”

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