No matter if you’re a fancy scotch, cheap vodka, or tequila shots kind of person, pretty much every adult that doesn’t completely abstain from alcohol has a favorite type of liquor. But do liquor preferences vary across the country? In this campaign, we analyzed Google Trends search interest data from the last year to determine the most popular type of liquor, liquor brand, and celebrity liquor brand in each U.S. state.
The Most Popular Liquor Type in Every U.S. State
According to our results, Americans like a lot of different types of liquor. In fact, out of the 14 different types of liquor we ran a keyword search for, 11 are the most popular type of liquor in at least 1 state. This even includes less common liquors like Nevada’s most popular liquor, absinthe, and Utah’s most popular liquor, vermouth.
While a lot of different liquors are the most popular in at least 1 state, for many of the staple liquors, 1 state is as far as things go. For example, gin is only the most popular liquor in Washington, D.C., rum is only the most popular liquor in Hawaii, brandy is only the most popular liquor in Wisconsin, and bourbon is only the most popular liquor in Kentucky (though if bourbon is only going to be #1 in 1 state, it makes sense that it’s Kentucky!).
The Most Popular Liquor Overall
While staple liquors like gin and rum aren’t the most popular liquor in more than a single state, whiskey and vodka apparently run the entire country. Whiskey or vodka is the most popular liquor in 33 different states, and if we break it down by region, whiskey is popular in the West (Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming), in the South (Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia), and in the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota), while vodka dominates the Northeast (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island).
When we zoom in on specific liquor brands, however, the popularity of various types of liquor begins to change. For example, Hawaii isn’t the only state that appreciates rum after all as, according to our results, the coconut rum Malibu is the most popular brand of liquor in most states. But the discrepancy between the popular types of liquor and the popular brands of liquor doesn’t stop there. Of the other most popular liquor brands, Appleton Estate is a rum, Hennessy is a cognac, and Jose Cuervo is a tequila — only Ciroc fits in the whiskey/vodka category.
The Most Popular Celebrity Liquor Brand in Every U.S. State
The tides turn back in the favor of whiskey and vodka when we look at celebrity liquor brands, however, as UFC fighter Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey and Dan Aykroyd and John Alexander’s Crystal Head Vodka are the most popular celebrity liquor brands on a state-by-state basis.
Diving deeper, we found that celebrity brands and overall liquor types matched up in several states. In California, while tequila won as the most popular liquor type, Elon Musk’s Tesla Tequila also reigned supreme. On the other hand, gin and Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin both ranked #1 for search volume in Washington, D.C.
New Yorkers also showed loyalty to DeLeón Tequila, the brand of none other than Harlem native and rapper P. Diddy. It was no surprise that Tennessee was true to Knoxville-native Kenny Chesney, with Blue Chair Bay Rum reigning supreme in the country star’s home state.
Every State’s Favorite Liquor Types and Brands
Hover over your state to see its most popular type of liquor, most popular liquor brand, and most popular celebrity liquor brand!
We determined keywords for liquor types and liquor brands using information from popular alcohol-based websites Vine Pair and The Spirit Business. The celebrity liquor brands were determined using a list from Esquire. In all, there were 150 keywords used — 14 liquor types, 73 popular liquor brands, and 63 celebrity brands. The Google Trends data used to determine the popularity of each type, brand, and celebrity brand of liquor in each state comes from the last year (February 2021 to February 2022).
So what can we take away from this study? Well, the most popular type of liquor in most U.S. states is whiskey, but vodka is a close second. Meanwhile, staple liquors like tequila and rum aren’t the most popular liquor in nearly as many states, so the gap between whiskey and vodka and the other liquors is quite large.
Rum does have its moment in the spotlight though, as the most popular brand of liquor in most states is Malibu, followed by Appleton Estate — both well-known brands of rum. The heavy-hitting whiskey and vodka duo regain their footing when we look at celebrity liquor brands as Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey and Dan Aykroyd and John Alexander’s Crystal Head Vodka are the most popular celebrity liquor brands on a state-by-state basis. All in all, however, Americans love a variety of liquor, as 11 of the 14 liquors we looked at are the hard alcohol of choice in at least 1 state.
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