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Top five spirits categories by volume in US

There were some strong growth spurts when it came to spirits sales by volume in the US, but which category was the top seller in 2023?

Which category was the biggest seller by volume in the US in 2023?

Total spirits sales were flat in 2023, a year described by the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus) as a ‘reset year’.

In volume terms, spirits sales in the US rose by 1.2% to 308.8 million nine-litre cases, while value sales increased by 0.2% to US$37.7 billion.

“The spirits sector showed resilience in 2023, navigating through the choppy wake of the pandemic and maintaining our market share lead of the total beverage alcohol market,” said Discus president and CEO Chris Swonger.

“The phenomenal sales growth we saw during the pandemic was unprecedented and unpredictable but also unsustainable, and now, the spirits market is recalibrating.”

Scroll down to discover the five biggest-selling spirits categories by volume in the US last year.

5. Rum


The category failed to maintain its 2022 volume sales, experiencing a 5.7% decline in 2023 compared with the previous year. However, it was the fifth biggest-selling category in the US last year, selling 22.7m cases.

4. American whiskey

American whiskey

While the category’s value sales were up, volumes slipped slightly for American whiskey last year. The 0.4% decline took whiskey’s volume sales to 31.1m cases.

3. Tequila and mezcal


The agave-based spirits surpassed American whiskey by value in 2022, and in 2023 they also overtook the category by volume. Combined, Tequila and mezcal volume sales rose by 5.7% in 2023 to reach 31.6m cases.

2. Cocktails and RTDs


Including pre-mixed cocktails and spirits-based RTDs (ready-to-drink products), this category is the second biggest-selling category in the US by volume (and fifth by value). Sales rose by almost a quarter last year, up by 24.3% to reach 62.5m cases. It was the fastest-growing category in the US last year.

1. Vodka

vodka in glasses with lavender

Vodka retained the top spot in 2023 as the biggest-selling spirits category by volume. However, the category did experience a 2.6% decline, which took its nine-litre-case sales to 74.9m.

Discus also revealed the top five biggest-selling categories by value.

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