In an article published by Forbes India, it is highlighted that India has a rich tradition of producing and enjoying alcoholic beverages, dating back many years. The country’s history in the industrial-scale crafting of alcohol goes as far back as the early 19th century, when the British established the first modern distillery in Kanpur in 1805, primarily to produce rum for their troops. As the 20th century dawned, India had 14 distilleries, a number that remarkably grew to 40 by the time India gained independence.

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Fast forward to the present day, and the alcohol industry in India has experienced exponential growth. The production, imports, and consumption of alcoholic beverages have surged, making this industry worth an estimated $50 billion annually. According to a report by Statista, alcohol consumption in India is projected to reach 5.91 billion liters in 2023 and is expected to rise further to 6.21 billion liters in 2024.

Recently, a prominent platform that assesses bars and their offerings unveiled a comprehensive report ranking the top consumer brand choices in almost two dozen different categories. These categories encompass Vodka, Single Malt, Gin, Wine, Beer, Rum, Aperitifs, Mixers, and more. The report’s findings were derived from a survey conducted among 125 of the country’s leading bars. The respondents included bar owners, head bartenders, and bar and beverage managers from establishments with at least six months of operational history.

Apart from naming the leading brands, the report also delved into the most favored cocktails related to various types of spirits. This showcases the ongoing innovation by Indian bartenders as they create unique and memorable drinking experiences. Moreover, the report offers insights on the consumption patterns in major metropolitan areas such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, and the state of Goa.

Radhakrishnan Nair, co-founder of 30BestBarsIndia, emphasized the substantial growth in the bar industry across major Indian cities in recent years. He pointed out that this growth aligns with the expanding choices for consumers, not only in alcoholic beverages but also in non-alcoholic categories, as well as an increasing number of brands in each category. Nair stated that the aim of the survey was to gain an understanding of how consumers are responding to these dynamic changes.

Here are some of the standout brands that secured top rankings in various alcohol categories:

Premium Indian Whisky:

  • Woodburns
  • Royal Challenge
  • Blender’s Pride
  • Signature
  • Royal Ranthambore

Blended Scotch:

  • Johnnie Walker
  • Chivas Regal
  • Monkey Shoulder
  • Ballantine’s
  • Dewars

Indian Single Malts:

  • Paul John
  • Amrut
  • Indri
  • Rampur
  • Godawan

International Single Malts:

  • Glenfiddich
  • The Glenlivet
  • Talisker
  • Glenmorangie
  • Laphroaig

International Whisky (Non-Scotch):

  • Jameson
  • Jack Daniels
  • Jim Beam
  • Hibiki
  • Toki

And similarly, top brands were recognized in other categories including Gin, Rum, Vodka, Beer, Wine, Sparkling Wine, Cognac & Brandy, Amaro/Aperitif, Liqueurs, and Mixers, as well as a notable brand in the Water category:

Vodka:

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  • Grey Goose
  • Absolut
  • Smirnoff
  • Ketel One
  • Belvedere

Gin:

  • Bombay Sapphire
  • Greater Than
  • Tanqueray
  • Hendrick’s
  • Roku

Rum:

  • Bacardi
  • Old Monk
  • Captain Morgan
  • Short Story
  • Flor de Cana

Water:

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  • Himalayan
  • Veen
  • Perrier
  • Kinley
  • Evocus

This report not only showcases the vibrant landscape of India’s alcohol industry but also provides valuable insights into the preferences of consumers, offering a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of beverages in the country.