How many types of liquor are there + right 4u

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There are many different liquors also known as spirits across the world these days with a variety of different quality and of course different prices. As with any other beverage there is certainly a bias towards certain types of liquors by region or area which are usually steeped in history and tradition whether it’s a vodka from Russia, a Bourbon from Kentucky or a single malt whisky from Scotland tradition has shaped the past but what about the future? You would not have mentioned Japanese and whisky in the same sentence at one point in time however now of course Japanese whiskies are winning all kinds of hearts and awards. Things change over time as the world becomes smaller but also as tastes change and technology plays its part in the distilling process and consistency.

The reason  I mention this is like most other industries the landscape is continually evolving and new products are being developed on an ongoing basis and to answer the question of how many types of liquor there are is a constantly changing.

What are the main types of Liquor?

The more traditional types of liquors include Brandy, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Whisky, Bourbon, Cognac, Sambuca, Anise &  bitters with more country / regional specific types such as Soju, Baijiu, Cachaça, Raki, Chinese wine & Pisco. One could therefore answer the question how many types of liquor there are by collating the above types which are 16 main types. Of course there are many different variations of some of these categories such as Raki known in Turkey which is called Arak in the Levant Countries.

Within the Whisky sector this can be further split into different styles as shown below with links to some recommendations of some wonderful brands to purchase:

[Click on the whisky Country above that you are planning to purchase]

Or click here if you are based in North of South America

The different whiskies have different characteristics and are distilled with differences such as scotch whisky is distilled twice whereas Irish whisky three times therefore the end result is a smoother finish.

In a further article we will carry out a deeper dive into the Whisky cateogory and the key differences between the regions and blends.

Throughout the many distilled spirits available today there are only six base liquors that form the foundation of the majority of cocktails which are brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey are each unique and have distinct styles within themselves.

What are the fastest growing brands in all categories?

It is one thing to understand what are the largest top selling brands which I cover later but its also interesting to note what are the fastest growing as this dictate’s trends but can also relate to a distiller’s strategy to drive certain brands but if no one drinks the product it obviously doesn’t become a trend.

Brand Owner Category Overall volumes
Men’s Club Diageo / United Spirits Brandy 2.0
Royal Green ADS Spirits Indian Whisky 2.0
Bozkov Stock Spirits Group Rum 1.7
Bangalore Malt John Distilleries Indian Whisky 5.1
Stareyshina Alvisa Brandy 1.1
White & Blue Alcobrew Distilleries Indian Whisky 2.1
Talka Roust Vodka 2.3
Gordon’s Diageo / United Spirits Gin 6.5
Kozatska Rada Bayadera Group Vodka 1.5
Royal Challenge Diageo / United Spirits Indian Whisky 5.6
Aperol Gruppo Campari Bitters 4.9
Imperial Blue Pernod Ricard Indian Whisky 22.7
Hornitos Beam Suntory Tequila 1.3
Pervak Global Spirits Vodka 1.2
Martell Pernod Ricard Cognac 2.6
El Jimador Brown-Forman Tequila 1.3
Hendrick’s William Grant & Sons Gin 1.3
Royal Stag Pernod Ricard Indian Whisky 21.6
Don Julio Diageo Tequila 1.5
Tullamore Dew William Grant & Sons Irish Whisky 1.3
volumes year 2018 and shown as millions of 9-litre cases


You could say that out of the list above the Indian whisky brands are certainly on the move upwards  with six brands listed followed by three vodka brands which as comparison products couldn’t be any further apart in taste and indeed color.

What are the top selling liquor Brands?

Some of the brands and types of liquor may surprise you below based on how far your tastes have travelled, for example

the top 4 brands in the top 10 are Soju which is a clear, colourless distilled beverage of Korean origin which is usually consumed neat, and its alcohol content varies from about 16.8% to 53% ABV (alcohol by volume).

In at 16 is Classic Blue which is a Chinese clear, colourless liquor typically coming in between 35% and 60% alcohol by volume (ABV). The qū starter culture used in the production of baijiu is usually made from pulverized wheat grain or steamed rice.

In 19thplace is Pirassununga which is Cachaça which is a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. Also known as Aguardente, Pinga, Caninha, and other names, it is the most popular spirit among distilled alcoholic beverages in Brazil.

One other comment I would make is that the top selling brands could be driven by either sheer number of people that purchase and consume these brands or by tradition or price but one thing is for sure the volumes are staggering.

  Global Brand Name Liquor Global Brand Owner Unit 2018 in 000’s Liters
1 Chamisul Soju Hite Jinro Co Ltd 675,909
2 Niulanshan Er Guo Tou Soju Beijing Shunxin Agriculture Co Ltd 492,358
3 McDowell’s Whisky Diageo Plc 412,516
4 Ruang Khao Rum Thai Beverage PCL 408,741
5 Officer’s Choice Whisky Allied Blenders & Distillers Pvt Ltd 315,595
6 Choumchorum Soju Lotte Group 236,674
7 Emperador Brandy Alliance Global Group Inc 234,261
8 Smirnoff Vodka Diageo Plc 229,961
9 Tanduay Rum Tanduay Distillers Inc 173,838
10 Imperial Whisky Pernod Ricard Groupe 164,803
11 Jing Jiu Liqueur Jing Brand Co Ltd 161,915
12 Royal Stag Whisky Pernod Ricard Groupe 158,920
13 Joeunday Soju Muhak Co Ltd 144,803
14 Bacardi White Rum Bacardi & Co Ltd 144,182
15 Johnnie Walker Whisky Diageo Plc 141,080
16 Classic Blue Chinese Baijiu Sujiu Group 133,359
17 Jack Daniel’s Bourbon Brown-Forman Corp 118,277
18 Original Choice Whisky John Distilleries Pvt Ltd 101,825
19 Pirassununga Cachaça Cia Muller de Bebidas Ltda 100,005
20 Captain Morgan Spiced Rum Diageo Plc 99,594

What would be the right liquor 4u?

The main two factors to decide what would be the best liquor 4u would be to start at smoothness and choose a liquor that you can easily add a mixer to and amend to taste such as:

  • Gin & Tonic
  • White rum & Coke
  • Vodka, Lime & soda

To start with the smoother tastes and adding a mixture you can gradient upwards from there if you are looking for a distinct taste.

If you do decide to move on to a whisky then an Irish whisky may be a better place to start as this is smoother than other whiskies and then of course it’s natural to move on to from a taste perspective to a brandy or a whisky which certainly have harsher tastes but can also be tempered down with a mixer or ice, although a true whisky drinker would frown at the mere thought of adding a mixer to their beloved tipple.

If you are in a celebratory mood then you could start to move into the shooter section which could include Tequila, Sambuca and a number of different types and could include Arak although in the Levant this is commonly drunk when they eat raw meat.

Happy sampling,




data from: Passport 2018 figures / wiklipidia

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  1. Hey Jim,

    Amazing how vast the number of liquors there are. This is the first time I came across an information like this one about many types of liquor.

    As I do not drink wine, beer, or liquor, I could only mention few based on those I see my relatives usually drink. From the list, Tanduay rum, Emperador brandy, Imperial whisky, Johnny Walker whisky are popular in my hometown. There have been times when my uncles would recommend moderate amount of whisky when we suffer from menstrual cramps or from migraine. I haven’t tried but many of my female relatives and friends say they feel relief from those pains when they take a dose of whisky.

    Thanks for sharing this nice article.

    Stay safe and God bless you,


  2. On a very broader view, this is really great to see here and I just really say that I value all you have shared here. Thank you for sharing here. If it is possible, I will try all my best to ensure that I can actually put what I read here to filter out the very best for me when it comes to taking liquor. Thumbs up for sharing here

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