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Once December rolls around, we’re all familiar with just how quickly Christmas can sneak up on you. Despite the warmth, cheer, and merriness the holiday season brings, when it comes to gift giving, you’ll need all the help you can get to trek through the mayhem that takes over retail stores, malls, and websites everywhere, especially if you’re a last-minute shopper.
But have no fear; even last-minute gifts can bask in their glory. Leveraging Fobi’s insights platform, big data tools, and AI stack, we collected data from hundreds of liquor stores across Canada to help you uncover the most popular alcoholic drinks specifically in the month of December and in 2022 overall.  Whether you need a quick yet thoughtful gift for a party, present, or even at the dinner table, we’ve got you covered from wine and spirits to coolers and beers. 


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (For Liquor Stores too)

We all know that December is usually the highest revenue-generating time of the year for most businesses, but did you know that it’s also the top-selling month for liquor stores too? December sees a significant increase in total revenue compared to the rest of the year, especially during the first two weeks leading up to Christmas.  See below showing the spike in sales for Christmas 2021.

Overall Christmas Favourite – Top Categories by Revenue

In December, wine and spirits contributed to the sales volume more than any other month. Contributing a combined 63% of total revenue across categories including beer, grocery (snacks, non-alcoholic drinks sold in liquor stores), and refreshments and coolers, it looks like you can’t go wrong with wrapping up a nice bottle of wine or spirits.


Top Spirits Brands 

When in doubt, a good spirit will always make a great gift, especially if it comes with an inside joke (come on, we’ve all had those moments). Giving you the energy you need to carry yourself from party to party and dinner to dinner, Christmas is the perfect time to bring out the gins, rums, whiskeys, and liqueurs.


The category winners are:

1. Alberta Pure

2. Smirnoff

3. Bacardi

4. Crown Royal

5. Captain Morgan

Over half of the spirits market is dominated by vodka and rum, with the top 6 brands making up 53% of total sales.

Tip: Tis’ the season for a warm, spiked cup of rum and eggnog or hot chocolate with Baileys Irish Cream liqueur!


Top Wine Brands 

If your holiday plans are looking a little fancier or, ironically, might just be a cozy night in, look no further than a nice bottle of wine. No matter the occasion, novices and connoisseurs everywhere can appreciate the subtle touch of a red, white, rosé, or bubbly. Here are the top wine brands you can’t go wrong with.

The category winners are:

1. Jackson Triggs

2. Copper Moon

3. Bodacious

4. Peller Estates

5. Hester Creek


If the liquor store is too packed for your liking or out of stock, you can also find these top three wines at your local grocery store.

Tip: Pair your glass of wine with some cheese, crackers, and olives - charcuterie is a fan favourite!


The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Coolers & Beers

While spirits and wines might be the go-to beverages of choice for the holidays, we can’t forget about two other beloved categories. In fact, despite being the highest-selling category in the month of December, Spirits and Liquor only contributed to 7% of sales in 2022 overall, while red and white wines placed third and sixth in revenue at 8% and 6% respectively.

So if you’re looking for some drinks to last you throughout the holidays and well into the new year, coolers and domestic beers may be the way to go. 


Top Cooler Brands 

The category winners are:

1. White Claw

2. Nude

3. Hey Y'all

4. Nutrl

5. Mike's

Does this surprise you? 3 of the top 4 brands are flavored seltzers. Looks like a hint of bubbly never hurt anybody.


Top Beer Brands 

The category winners are:

1. Budweiser

2. Old Milwaukee

3. Coors

4. Lucky Lager

5. Sleeman


In Closing

There you have it—the data has spoken! Christmas is a busy time of the year, and trying to find the perfect gift doesn’t make it any easier. But with all of the options available when it comes to liquor, there’s sure to be something on this list that will help you to become one of the best gift-givers in the room.

Looking for something specific for your dad? Check out our Father’s Day breakdown for the top beverages Dads everywhere are drinking.

Happy Holidays!

Lauren Wong
Post by Lauren Wong
December 13, 2022