Diageo is toasting the release of The IWSR’s Top 50 International Spirits Brands list, holding on to the top spot and boasting the largest grower in the top ten.

The list of top spirits brands in 2010, released this week, places Diageo's Smirnoff as the top brand, with the drinks giant's Johnnie Walker coming in at number three, posting the largest growth of any brand in the top 10. Bacardi's namesake rum brand was the filling in the Diageo sandwich at the top of the tree.

Johnnie Walker posted volume growth of around 1.2m cases in 2010, according to The IWSR. Diageo owns four of the top ten international brands.

Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club was one of the fastest-growing brands on the list, growing 12.4% in 2010. A further five brands in the top 50 grew by more than 10% in 2010: Jameson, Fernet-Branca, Blenders Pride, Russian Standard and Eristoff.

There are three new entrants to this year’s list as they broaden their international availability. CEDC’s Green Mark vodka, which sells primarily in Russia, and Ukrainian vodka Khlibniy Dar, owned by Bayadera Group, both entered the top ten, at positions four and nine respectively. Edrington’s Brugal joined the list through increased presence in travel retail.

To qualify for the list, a brand has to post sales of over 20,000 nine-litre cases in at least three geographical regions – including travel retail as one region. The brands are then ranked on their global sales volumes in nine-litre cases.

Graph showing Top 50 international spirits brands by IWSR