Words by: Simon Difford
As in previous years, the following ‘Top 100 Cocktails from 2017’ are based on a combination of the number of visits to individual cocktail pages on this website, frequency of appearance on cocktail menus in bars in Europe, North America and Asia, and search engine stats.
Of the well over 4,000 cocktails on Difford's Guide, the Porn Star Martini continues to reign while the previously dominant Mojito has declined for a second year. All manner of ginger beer-charged Mules continue to do well - particularly the Mexican Mule. Indeed, tequila based cocktails in general are popular, but not as popular as gin. However, the vodka based Bernice at No. 37 is our hottest new entry.
We've not included any in the top 100 but non-alcoholic cocktails are also on trend. If I'm made to include 'soft' mixed drinks then I'm going to put the great British cup of tea in the top ten, just behind coffee (add milk and sugar and you have 3 ingredients = a cocktail!). That said, an Apple Virgin Mojito Cocktail was the 80th most viewed cocktail on Difford's Guide during 2017.
1. Porn Star Martini - the most visited cocktail on Difford's Guide for a third year. Proof that either sex sells or folk like vanilla flavoured vodka and passion fruit.
3. Margaritas and Tommy's Margaritas - continue to drive tequila sales. Tommy's Margarita receives more hits than the classic Margaritas (straight-up, on-the-rocks and frozen) combined on Difford's Guide.
4. Espresso Martini - the first drink by the legendary Dick Bradsell in the top 10. Not actually a 'Martini' at all but this stimulating cocktail is fabulous all the same (yes I know it should be called a 'Vodka Espresso' but consumers love the word 'Martini').
5. Bramble - gin's popularity across Europe helps drive this contemporary classic. This second drink by Dick Bradsell was in 4th place last year but has been knocked back a place by Dick's Espresso Martini.
6. Negroni - It is now more than just bartenders who enjoy this easy to make equal parts bittersweet drink.
7. White Lady - this vintage classic continues to rise up this chart - up from 9th place in 2017, again perhaps helped by the popularity of gin.
8. Mexican Mule - Summer 2016 saw the Moscow Mule climb in popularity but now variations such as this tequila based mule have knocked the vodka-based version back.
9. Manhattan - We've combined Dry, Perfect and Sweet serves to bring the Manhattan in at No. 10 (up one place from 2016), but the Sweet Manhattan is by far the most popular on Difford's Guide (the 19th most visited cocktail during 2017).
10. Old-Fashioned - we've also taken the Maple Old-Fashioned and Benton's Old-Fashioned serves into account to bring the Old-Fashioned into the top ten for another year.
11. Dry Martini - the various styles of Martini such as Vodkatini and Vesper combine to push the Dry Martini near the top of our chart. The Vesper leads the Martini pack on Difford's Guide at 25th (up from 29th in 2016) with my preferred 5:1 ratio at 38th place.
12. Daiquiri - the Hemingway Special helps drive the combined Daiquiri category and this is presently the most popular style of Daiquiri on Difford's Guide at 24th most viewed cocktail during 2017 (down 10 places since 2016).
13. Penicillin - this whisky-based cocktail was the 7th most viewed on Difford's Guide during 2017 (up one place from 2016) and we saw it on many more bar menus.
14. Mai Tai - commonplace on bar menus around the world, helped by the Tiki revival. Trader Vic's recipe is by far the most popular on Difford's Guide and the 20th most viewed cocktail during 2017 (down four places from 2016).
15. Aviation - this gin classic was the 21st most viewed cocktail on Difford's Guide during 2017, up one place from 2016 and three places from 2015. However, back in 2014 it was in 15th place.
16. Gin Basil Smash. This tasty gin based drink is up from 33th place on this chart last year.
19. Bloody Mary - An incredibly popular cocktail in North America and the UK, and even on aeroplanes making the transatlantic crossing between the two. However, it is less popular elsewhere and languished at 151st place on Difford's Guide during 2017 (146th in 2016). Despite this, the Bloody Mary's popularity in pubs and restaurants, and frequency of appearance on menus, leads us to place this brunch classic in our top 20.
20. Snowball - such was the popularity of this drink over Christmas 2016 that we felt it deserved a place in the top 50. Traffic during Christmas 2017 propelled the snowball into the top 20 with the original recipe taking 11th place (up from 23rd in 2017) and my own Snowball recipe at 59th place.
21. Cantaritos - Millions of Mexicans can't be wrong! This rustic tequila classic was the 9th most viewed cocktail on Difford's Guide during 2017 (up from 13th in 2016). Tequila brands has been surprisingly slow to pick up on this POS opportunity.
22. Dirty Banana - helped by a One Direction blog referring to Harry Styles, this continues to be one of the most visited cocktails on Difford's Guide. Indeed, the Dirty Banana is now our 6th most viewed cocktail.
23. Slow Comfortable Screw Against The Wall - While bars strive to write highfalutin menus with sophisticated drinks made using house-made ingredients, it would appear many consumers are looking for something a lot more basic. This was the 12th most visited cocktail on Difford's Guide during 2017 (up from 15th in 2016).
24. Vieux Carré - another cocktail from New Orleans. The 14th most viewed cocktail on Difford's Guide. Surely bartender driven.
25. Screaming Orgasm - the Porn Star Martini isn't the only lewd named cocktail that proved popular during 2017. Screaming Orgasm was our 17th most viewed cocktail (down from 15th in 2016).
27. Corpse Reviver - This drink has grown massively in popularity, up from 100th place on this list in 2016. Of the various recipes it is the No.2 (Savoy Recipe) that is by far most popular on Difford's Guide, that version alone is our 23rd most viewed cocktail during 2017.
28. Old Cuban. Up two places on this chart and the 26th most viewed cocktail on Difford's Guide during 2017.
29. Whisky Mac - it's great to see this old Scotch whisky based cocktail still so high up this cart. Our 27th most viewed cocktail during 2017, down from 20th in 2016.
30. Southside - a consistent performer over the past few years. We've promoted 4 places since 2016.
31. Breakfast Martini - Up nine places since 2016, this drink has inspired many other marmalade/jam cocktails.
32. Cosmopolitan - Bartenders may have moved on but consumers still appreciate this well-balanced cocktail.
33. Jack's Godfather - Jack Daniel's is one of the world's best-selling spirits brands, people love the almondy taste of amaretto, and they like cola. This drink has all three, a combo that helped make it the 28th most viewed cocktail on Difford's Guide during 2017 (down from 17th place in 2016).
34. Lynchburg Lemonade - Another Jack drink and a consistent performer. Down 3 places from 2016 but still up from No. 41 in 2015 and No. 72 in 2014.
35. Trinidad Sour. Great for sales of Angostura.
36. Mojito - the Mojito fell dramatically out of favour and during 2016 becoming the 76th most viewed cocktail on Difford's Guide. However, during 2017 it recovered to 49th place. Flavoured variations also remain popular and the classic Mojito remains a much requested bar drink. However, perhaps opt for a Royal Mojito with champagne rather that soda - our 140th most visited cocktail during 2017 (out of over 4,000 recipes), up from 149th in 2016.
37. Bernice. The highest chart entry during 2017, this rediscovered vodka classic has come from nowhere straight into our top 40.
38. Gin & It. The rise in popularity of both gin and vermouth has help propel the simple Gin & It from 86th place in 2016.
41. Paloma - up from 56th place in 2016.
42. Mint Julep - a great drink served in a fancy tin. Up from 60th place in 2016 and given the rise of American whiskies this will surely continue to grow in popularity.
43. White Negroni - this has come smashing into the top 50. Negroni variations are trending - this gentian influenced version being the most popular.
44. Long Island Iced Tea - an oldie but up from 85th place in 2016.
45. Brandy Crusta
46. Sazerac - Louisiana's official state cocktail is now also being enjoyed elsewhere in the world, but it's down from 21st place in 2016.
47. Americano - up from 55th place in 2016.
48. Blood & Sand
49. Whiskey Sour - up from 89th place in 2016.
50. Moscow Mule - we noticed a huge resurgence for this drink during 2015. However, during late 2016 and throughout 2017 this vodka based Mule has plummeted while other spirit based Mules have grown, most notably the Mexican Mule. The Moscow Mule only made it to 47th place in cocktail page views in 2016 and dropped to 67th in 2017.
51. French 75 - we've also noticed the vodka based French 76 doing well, while the elderflower based French 77 has fallen in popularity.
52. Hanky Panky
54. Charlie Chaplin Cocktail - a sloe gin based classic that's new to this chart.
55. Army & Navy - up from 86th place in 2016.
57. Missionary's Downfall - The Tiki revival has pushed this up from 80th place in 2016.
58. Vodka Collins
59. Zombie - up ten places since 2016.
60. Piña Colada - up from 68th place in 2016.
61. Blazer (Blue Blazer) - up from 63rd place in 2016.
62. Mary Pickford - up from 72nd place in 2016.
63. Gin Sling - we're surprised to see this Sling well ahead of the Singapore Sling.
64. Russian Spring Punch - yet another Dick Bradsell cocktail in the top 100. The Russian Spring Punch is consistently in our top 60/70 most visited cocktails year after year.
65. Jamaican Mule - this Mule is down from 53rd place in 2016.
67. Tom Collins - up from 75 in 2016.
68. El Diablo - a new entry by an old drink.
69. Jammie Dodger - up from 76 in 2016.
70. Pimm's Cup - down from 39th place in 2016.
72. P.S. I Love You - you'd feel a lemon calling out this order at a bar, but it's not a bad drink and is very popular on Valentine's Day.
73. Eclipse - a bourbon based fruity new entry.
74. Bobby Burns - a new entry for this classic.
75. Martinez - of the many recipes with genever the Martinez is by far the most popular on Difford's Guide. Sadly, down from 23rd place in 2016.
76. English Garden
77. Brandy Alexander
78. Singapore Sling
79. Fish House Punch - a new entry. The punch bowl is on trend!
80. Caipirinha - the 2016 Olympics helped drive this cocktail to 38th place that year.
81. Fitzgerald - a new entry for this gin cocktail by Dale DeGroff.
82. Absolutely Fabulous - down from 52 in 2016.
83. Sidecar - down from 67 in 2016.
84. Flaming Ferrari - up from 90 in 2016.
85. Sweet Martini - new entry.
86. Gimlet - down from 82nd place.
87. Spritz - we've grouped Aperol Spritz and Spritz al Bitter (our favourite) together but the popularity of both has waned since 2016 when the Spritz came in at No.16. Views on Difford's Guide during 2017 placed Aperol Spritz as our 98th and Spritz al Bitter at 102nd most viewed cocktail. My own Parma Violet Spritz was close behind at 110th.
88. Bronx - new entry.
89. Final Ward - the most popular of the Last Word riffs.
90. Alaska - we have two recipes for Alaska on Difford's Guide but the Savoy Recipe is the most popular. Down from 51st place in 2016.
91. Vodka Sour - new entry.
92. New York Sour - new entry.
93. Honeysuckle Daiquiri - new entry.
94. Nuclear Daiquiri - new entry.
95. Fat Tire - a new entry for this aged rum and amaro cocktail.
96. Left Bank Martini - a new entry and my only cocktail to squeeze into the top 100.
97. Passion Fruit Cocktail - people like passion fruit (see No.1) but this cocktail is down from 73rd place in 2016.
98. Milano Torino - new entry.
99. Dark 'n' Stormy - down from 66th place in 2016.
100. Gin Garden - up from 91st place in 2016.
Irish Coffee - perhaps due to the popularity of Irish whiskey we noticed a jump in this warming drink's popularity. However, this growth appears restricted to the USA. Down from 48th place in 2016 and now outside our top 200 cocktails.
White Russian - popular since its 1998 cameo appearance in The Big Lebowski this drink enjoyed a resurgence in 2016 and made it to 18th place. It's now languishing at 122nd place.
Pickle Back - one of the most popular shots of 2013, left the top 50 during 2015 but came back in 2016 to be our 21st most viewed drink. It has now dropped to 125th place.
Abbey Martini - Occupied 41st place in 2016 and now relegated to 143rd position.
Bellini - crashed from 64th place to 129th place. Given the present popularity of Prosecco we'd have expected better of the Bellini
Alabama Slammer - from 65th place down to 215th.
Acapulco - at 74th during 2016 and now outside top 200.
Ace - down from 79th place to 175th but who'd have guessed this pink gin drink was so popular?
Champagne Cocktail - formerly at 81st place and now outside top 200 cocktails.
Bee Sting - 83rd place in 2016.
Pisco Sour - 84th place in 2016.
Alessandro - 87th place in 2016.
After Eight - 88th place in 2016.
Anejo Highball - 92nd place in 2016.
Fireball - 93rd place in 2016.
Batida de Coco - 94th place in 2016.
The Bird is the Word - 95th place in 2016.
Affinity- 96th place in 2016.
Adam & Eve - 97th place in 2016.
Agent Orange - 98th place in 2016.
Raspberry Mule - 99th place in 2016.