There's something decadent about a really good liquor. Rarely are suave, sophisticated, or rich figures in the media portrayed with a bottle of beer in their hand; rather, they have martinis (see James Bond), or Cosmopolitans (see Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City). Realistically speaking, however, for the struggling students and young professionals among us our habitual and frequent drink of choice is beer or wine, perhaps given its relative cheap price in comparison to its higher-percentage counterparts.
An annual survey on America's alcohol consumption habits by Gallup in 2013 concluded that the most popular drink amongst eighteen to twenty-nine year olds in the United States was beer, with a considerable 41% stating that it was their preferred drink. The same survey, however, also showed that 28% of the same age group was a fan of liquor, which shows our attraction to a good spirit. This is a 15% increase in liquor fans within about a decade, with the 1992-1994 Gallup survey showing that only 13% of this age group considered spirits their favourite alcohol.
In keeping with the expansion of the worldwide consumption of different liquors, Drinks International set up a Millionaire's Club, the sole purpose of which is to rank the biggest-selling brands in the global spirits industry. To be deemed eligible for inclusion on the list, brands must achieve minimum global sales volumes of one million nine-litre cases within the space of a year, which is no mean feat. Surprisingly enough given this stipulation, the 2013 Millionaire's Club list manages to include one hundred and seventy-six brands. And who were the top 10 winners? Here they are...
10 Pirassununga 51, 18.5 million cases
9 Johnnie Walker, 18.9 million cases
At number nine is Johnnie Walker, which sold almost nineteen million cases within a year. A type of scotch whiskey, Johnnie Walker is owned by the Diageo company. It has numerous different and distinctive labels, including black, red, and gold. John Walker was born in 1801 near Kilmarnock, a town in East Ayrshire, Scotland. By the year 1825 Walker was the lucrative owner of a grocery shop, and sold everything from writing paper to his own whiskies.
8 McDowell's No. 1, 19.5 million cases
7 Tanduay, 19.6 million cases
6 Bacardi, 19.8 million cases
5 Ginebra san Miguel, 23.8 million cases
4 Lotte liquor, 25.4 million cases
3 Smirnoff, 25.8 million cases
2 Emperador, 31 million cases
1 Jinro, 65.3 million cases
The number one best-selling liquor in the world is a brand of soju named Jinro, which sold sixty-five point three million cases worldwide in just one year. Owned by Hite-Jinro, Jinro soju is a clear spirit traditionally made of rice and tastes sweet and light. The drink's incredible popularity is often linked to its medium-proof level, which means that establishments that are not fully liquor licensed can legally sell it, despite its close resemblance to vodka. There's also the fact that it's incredibly cheap, at least in Korea; the drink can cost as little as the equivalent of one US dollar.
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