The Most Popular Alcoholic Drinks in Every State

By May Wilkerson 03/16/16

A recent survey polled 700,000 Americans and found out that across 42 states people are wild for whiskey.

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The Most Popular Alcoholic Drinks in Every State
Skye Gould/Business Insider

Beer and wine may be the most popular tipples in the USA. But lots of Americans still love their hard liquor. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 21% of U.S. drinkers prefer liquor to wine and beer. But exactly which liquor varies from state to state.

An app called BARTRENDr, which tracks and analyzes users’ drinking habits, used data from its 700,000 users to identify the most popular liquor in each state. 

Business Insider created this graphic map to illustrate the findings:

Graphics courtesy of Skye Gould/Business Insider

It seems that most of America is wild for whiskey: in 42 states, the top liquor choice was whiskey. Fireball and Jack Daniel's are tied for the top brands—fifteen states, including Ohio, Arizona and Maine, prefer Fireball, and 15, including Texas, Vermont and Hawaii, prefer Jack.

Jack Daniel's, which has been flying off shelves since the ‘50s, is arguably the world’s most famous whiskey. So its widespread popularity is no surprise. But Fireball is more of a dark horse. 

According to Bloomberg Business, the relatively new Canadian brand is one of the top-selling liquor brands in the country, and "has become synonymous with fun for young hedonists." Fireball, which has about 20% less alcohol than regular whiskey, accounted for $61 million in sales at U.S. gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores in 2013, according to Thrillist. And sales have continued to rise.

Graphics courtesy of Skye Gould/Business Insider

But whiskey isn’t the leading liquor in every state. Coloradans prefer Bacardi Rum. Patron tequila has multi-coastal appeal, as the most popular liquor in Washington and Connecticut. Oregonians also have a taste for tequila, though they prefer Jose Cuervo (which is also the top-selling tequila brand in the world). And fancy Virginians opt for top shelf variety Grey Goose vodka. 

But though their poison of choice differs depending on geography, most Americans seem to share a taste for alcohol. According to a 2013 survey from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 90% of people 18 and older had consumed alcohol in their lifetime and 71% had drank within the last year. Cheers!

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.

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