Bolstered by booming premium vodka and whiskey volumes in 2006, spirits sales jumped by 6.3 percent to $17 billion in the United States.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States brown goods such as Scotch and Bourbon were up 4.6 percent to $5 billion, while vodka soared by 11 percent to $4 billion. Top shelf liquor brands lead the way, with a 17.5 percent sales increase, outpacing gains by well brands.
Spirits are quickly gaining a greater share of stomach among American drinkers. They now account for 32.8 percent of all alcohol spending. Beer still leads the way with 50.7 percent of the spending last year, but beer is down from 55.5 percent in 2000. Wine holds a 16.6 percent share of the market, up slightly.