The Most Popular Cocktail in Every State

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Cocktails have been around for a long time. The first written mentions of “cocktail” as a beverage appeared in the early 1800s, and legendary bartender Jerry Thomas published his seminal “How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant’s Companion” in 1862. 

In our own time, people have reportedly been drinking more since the pandemic began, and who could blame them? Of course, excessive drinking is harmful to health and well-being, but for most people an occasional drink is something to savor. (To help with your New Year’s resolution, here are 28 low-calorie alcoholic drinks.) 

To identify the most popular cocktail in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the results of data collected by Upgraded Points, a travel site advising users how to maximize their points and miles. The site tracked Google searches for cocktail names by state between March 2020 and March 2021. (Note that the results reflect interest in various cocktails, not necessarily their total consumption.) Main ingredients for each drink are drawn from Liquor.com, The Drink Blog, The Straight Up, and Mix That Drink, and do not include garnishes or other peripheral ingredients. In addition, individual bartenders often customize the traditional recipes.  

The most popular cocktail overall turned out to be the brunch classic the Mimosa, which consists of nothing more than Champagne or another sparkling wine and orange juice. It’s the favorite tipple in six states – Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Next come the rum-based Mojito and Piña Colada, the most popular cocktails in three states apiece. (Where do people drink the most of whatever it is? These are the drunkest states in America.)

Perhaps surprisingly, Sex on the Beach is the most popular cocktail in North Dakota, a state not known for its beaches. Less surprisingly, Hawaii’s favorite is the Mai Tai, a tiki bar classic. The most popular cocktail in Delaware, meanwhile, is the Manhattan, and in Wyoming it’s the Long Island Iced Tea. Go figure. In Massachusetts it’s the Painkiller, which is either a good or a bad thing. Or both.