The International Bartender’s Association (IBA) recognizes 77 “official” cocktails, from the classic martini to the trendy Aperol spritz. Here at 1point21 Interactive, we wondered if there were noticeable trends in when and where people are interested in these cocktails.
To do this, we selected some of the 77 IBA official cocktails, plus a few of our own favorites, and ran them from Google Trends. Although Google does not share the raw numbers of how many searches there were for a given term, they do provide “popularity scores” that allowed us to compare search interest cocktails across locations and over time.
Which Cocktail is the Most Popular and Where?
We first wanted to know what the most popular cocktail was overall. The answer was unequivocal: in nearly all of the United States, the margarita reigns supreme. In fact, only five other cocktails made the list in any DMA (Designated Market Area) region: the Martini in six, the Mimosa in three, the Mai Tai in two (Hawaii and Northern Maine are practically the same places), and the Bloody Mary and the Daiquiri in one DMA each.
As with any classic, the margarita has inspired countless spinoffs. The most popular of these are the frozen margarita, the skinny margarita, and the strawberry margarita. Michiganders buck the trend, however, and search for the blue margarita above all others.
Cocktail Popularity by Time of Day
On to our next question: when are cocktails the most-searched-for?
Unsurprisingly, nearly all cocktails peak in Google search interest in the evening hours. The mimosa is the only cocktail we studied that peaked in the morning rather than the evening. Even the Bloody Mary, a brunch mainstay, sees slightly more searches in the evening than during the day.
Cocktail Popularity throughout the Year
Cocktails also cycle in and out of interest across the entire year.
Some cocktails, like the Mint Julep or the Irish Car Bomb, see sudden spikes in interest around associated holidays and events (such as the Kentucky Derby or St. Patrick’s Day).
Others are more seasonal, building in interest as the weather warms and dropping off in the fall. Summer favorites like the gin and tonic or the daiquiri follow this pattern.
And finally, there’s a whole category of Thanksgiving-and-Christmas cocktails: the entire bottom half of our chart is made up of those that maintain low-interest levels throughout most of the year before spiking once in November and again in December. Most of these are cozy and warming–whether via temperature (like hot buttered rum) or via brown liquors like whiskey.
Holiday Specific Cocktails
The seasonal patterns of cocktail searches brought up another question: do holidays have specific cocktails associated with them?
To do this, we looked to see which cocktails saw the strongest increase in search interest on each of nine holidays.
Some of the results are expected: of course, margaritas rise in popularity on Cinco de Mayo and Irish car bombs spike on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, Irish Car Bombs are the most ‘holiday-ey’ cocktail there is.
Others, not so much. We’d never even heard of Halloween’s Angel Face ( although it apparently dates back to 1919), but its ingredients of apricot and apple brandy do sound lovely on a fall evening.
Of course, everyone is mulling their wine on Thanksgiving and buttering their hot rum on Christmas, right?
|Cocktail||Holiday||Holiday Interest||Average Interest||Pct Diff|
|Irish Car Bomb||St. Patrick||99||3||3115%|
|Hot buttered rum||Christmas||58||4||1430%|
|Champagne cocktail||New Years||73||6||1285%|
|Aperol spritz||4th of July||82||14||601%|
|Margarita||Cinco De Mayo||87||20||435%|
Closing Thoughts and Fair Use
Again, Google Trends data was used to approximate the popularity of each cocktail on this list. If your favorite drink appears less popular than you expected, don’t blame us – blame Google users.
Of course, any discussion of alcoholic beverages should come with this statement: If you decide to try any of the cocktails mentioned in this analysis, please do so responsibly. Keep in mind that just because Mimosas – for example – are popular at noon, doesn’t mean it’s ok to have a dozen on your lunch break.
If you would to share or republish any of the information or charts contained within this post, please do! We simply ask that you link back to this page to credit our work.