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These are the 10 most popular cocktails in the U.S.

The ten most popular cocktails might surprise you

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You might not realize it, but there was a time when Americans weren’t so into cocktails. You couldn’t visit seemingly any city or town and find a few cocktail bars to visit. Your best option was a swanky hotel bar or a local bartender who happened to know how to make a whiskey sour. This all changed during the cocktail renaissance of the early aughts. More bartenders and drinkers got excited about rediscovering long-forgotten drinks while breathing new life into some that they took for granted.

Fast-forward to today, when bartenders are the new celebrity chefs of the world, and cocktail bars continue to pop up everywhere from Bakersfield to Baton Rouge. Wouldn’t you like to know what cocktails drinkers enjoy more than others in this now mixed-drink-saturated country? Thanks to NielsenIQ, you can.

Yes, NielsenIQ is more than just a company that tells you how many people are watching your favorite sitcom or watching the Super Bowl. They work with many different types of data.

Cocktail data

Whiskey cocktail
Bon Vivant/Unsplash

NielsenIQ started tracking cocktail data for the first time in 2015. Since then, the most popular cocktail overall in the U.S. shouldn’t surprise you. It’s available at every chain restaurant and Mexican cantina from coast to coast. It’s the classic lime and tequila-forward Margarita. Now, you’re probably wondering how exactly the company knows this.

No, they didn’t send out a booklet to random cocktail drinkers like some ratings companies have done for TV or movies. Instead, they compiled data from over 10,000 restaurants and bars. They’re a 50/50 split between independent and chain restaurants. They polled 75% dining-centered and 25% drinking-centered establishments, according to Forbes.

The 10 most popular cocktails in the U.S.

Crowd of people toasting with cocktails
Helena Yankovska / Unsplash

Now that you know how they find the data, you’re probably wondering about the other cocktails that made the list for 2023. Did your favorite drink you make to impress friends, family, and potential dates make the list? Well, we won’t make you wait any longer. Below, you’ll find the ten most popular cocktails in the US, according to NielsenIQ data. Keep scrolling to see them all. As a bonus, we ranked them from 10-1 to add to the excitement.

10. Bellini

Laura Kennedy/Unsplash

9. Mimosa

Tori Lawrence / EyeEm / Getty Images

8. Spritz

Aperol spritz drink
Goskova Tatiana / Shutterstock

7. Long Island Iced Tea

long island iced tea
Westend61/Getty Images / Westend61/Getty Images

6. Mojito

Tatyana Vega / Unsplash

5. Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned
Pylyp Sukhenko/Unsplash

4. Espresso Martini

Skrewball peanut butter espresso martini sitting on a silver serving tray.

3. Moscow Mule

Victoria Kondysenko / Shutterstock

2. Martini

Thomas Hetzler/Unsplash

1. Margarita

Olha Tatdot / Unsplash

If you’ve been interested in home bartending but never tried it before, now is the time. You have the list of the top ten cocktails. A simple online search will give you their exact recipes. Grab a shaker and the correct ingredients and spirits and get started. You’ll be amazed that so many complex, flavorful, balanced cocktails require very few steps or ingredients to create. Also, it doesn’t take a Master’s Degree in Mixology (is that a thing?) to craft amazing cocktails at home.

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Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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