When customers shop on Drizly, they typically choose a particular item they want to purchase and then decide which store to buy it from. Understanding which product subcategories and products customers add to their carts when they start by purchasing spirits can help retailers optimize their online inventory and boost order values as well as help brands improve marketing efforts. 

Year-to-date, the top five spirits subcategories on Drizly are whiskey, vodka, tequila, liqueurs/cordials/schnapps, and gin, with tequila, brandy, and ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails gaining share year-over-year. BevAlc Insights explored basket-building data from Drizly orders to examine the subcategories and SKUs that consumers add when these top-selling and fast-growing spirits are added to cart first.

Whiskey Purchasers Reach for Soda Mixers

When Drizly users purchase whiskey first, they are most likely to add red wine, vodka, bourbon, white wine, or light lager to their baskets second. Jameson is currently the platform’s top-selling whiskey brand.

However, “extras” — non-alcoholic inventory items — comprise half of the top 10 specific products that Drizly users add to baskets when whiskey is purchased first. “With Coca Cola, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Diet Coke, and ice among the top whiskey add-ons, this suggests a consumer preference for whiskey-and-soda mixed drinks,” notes Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights.

Top SKUs Added to Whiskey-First Baskets on Drizly

  1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  2. Coca Cola
  3. Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  4. Diet Coke
  5. Ice
  6. Bulleit Bourbon
  7. Bud Light
  8. La Marca Prosecco
  9. Jameson Irish Whiskey
  10. Sprite

With Vodka, Ice Is Key

When Drizly users purchase vodka first, they are also likely to purchase within the white wine, red wine, flavored vodka, vodka, and bourbon subcategories. Tito’s is the top-selling vodka brand on Drizly.

But all but three of the most-purchased items in vodka-first baskets are non-alcoholic. “Ice tops the list for vodka add-ons, suggesting customers are seeking ice-cold pairings for this spirits category,” says Paquette. Like they are for whiskey purchasers, mixers are also popular for vodka buyers, but they trend towards lighter sodas (Sprite, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Canada Dry Club Soda) and juices (Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail, a key ingredient for a vodka-cranberry or Cosmopolitan). 

Top SKUs Added to Vodka-First Baskets on Drizly

  1. Ice
  2. Sprite
  3. Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  4. Canada Dry Club Soda
  5. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  6. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  7. Coca Cola 
  8. Diet Coke
  9. White Claw Hard Seltzer Variety Pack Flavor Collection No. 1 
  10. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

Tequila Purchasers Are All About the Margarita

The top five basket additions for Drizly orders that begin with tequila are vodka, red wine, white wine, bourbon, and margarita mix, and the best-selling tequila brand on Drizly is Casamigos. “Predictably,” says Paquette, “margaritas drive tequila orders. Top add-ons include classic ingredients of the cocktail like margarita mixes, ice, Cointreau, and limes.”

Top SKUs Added to Tequila-First Baskets on Drizly

  1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka 
  2. Ice
  3. Cointreau
  4. Lime
  5. Jose Cuervo Classic Lime Original Margarita Mix
  6. La Marca Prosecco
  7. White Claw Hard Seltzer Variety Pack Flavor Collection No. 1
  8. Tres Agaves Margarita Mix
  9. Bulleit Bourbon
  10. Canada Dry Club Soda

Liqueurs, Cordials, and Schnapps Yield Many Spirits Opportunities

“A wide variety of liquor types are sold as add-ons to liqueurs, cordials, and schnapps, with vodka, tequila, rum, and whiskey falling within the top 10 add-ons,” says Paquette. Top-selling subcategories added to liqueurs, cordials, and schnapps include vodka, red wine, white wine, liqueurs, cordials, and schnapps, and bourbon, but the top 10 SKU list indicates far greater variety.

Top SKUs Added to Liqueurs/Cordials/Schnapps-First Baskets on Drizly

  1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  2. La Marca Prosecco
  3. Baileys Irish Cream Original
  4. Kahlua
  5. Espolòn Tequila Blanco
  6. Bacardi Superior White Rum
  7. Ice
  8. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
  9. Bulleit Bourbon
  10. Martini & Rossi Rosso Sweet Vermouth

Beyond liquor SKUs, retailers also have an opportunity to sell other liqueurs, cordials and schnapps products; it sits at no. 4 within the most-paired subcategories. “Drizly customers also like to pair these items with other liqueur, cordials, and schnapps products in the same order,” says Paquette.

RTD Cocktail Drinkers Explore Within the RTD Space

When consumers reach for RTD cocktails first, they’re largely sticking to lighter flavors; white wine, hard seltzer, and vodka are all among the top-selling subcategories paired with RTD-first purchases. “We have seen a clear overlap of hard seltzer and RTD consumers — as found in our recent Consumer Report, the majority do not even know the difference between the categories — so it makes sense that those are sold together,” says Paquette. “Further, many top-selling RTDs are vodka-based and lighter flavors, so it’s fair to assume these consumers would seek similar flavors in their orders.”

However, the most-paired subcategory with RTD cocktail purchases is, in fact, RTD cocktails. “RTDs are ordered together more often than any other liquor category on Drizly,” says Paquette. “This suggests that retailers can cross-sell within the category across brands and products.”

High Noon, Drizly’s top-selling RTD brand, dominates the list of SKUs added to carts after an RTD purchase, with Cutwater and White Claw making their way onto the list as well.

Top SKUs Added to RTD-First Baskets on Drizly

  1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  2. High Noon Pineapple Hard Seltzer
  3. High Noon Watermelon Hard Seltzer
  4. High Noon Peach Hard Seltzer
  5. Ice
  6. High Noon Grapefruit Hard Seltzer
  7. High Noon Black Cherry Hard Seltzer
  8. Cutwater Tequila Margarita
  9. High Noon Hard Seltzer Variety Pack
  10. White Claw Hard Seltzer Variety Pack Flavor Collection No. 1