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Enjoying a good drink at the end of a long day is something people in cultures around the world have been doing for centuries, if not millenia. It started with ancient people turning to wine or beer and, as time went on, libations like whiskey and bourbon became en vogue. This eventually gave way to […]
Enjoying a good drink at the end of a long day is something people in cultures around the world have been doing for centuries, if not millenia. It started with ancient people turning to wine or beer and, as time went on, libations like whiskey and bourbon became en vogue. This eventually gave way to a plethora of mixed drinks utilizing a multitude of exotic ingredients to achieve any number of different flavor profiles.
What this tells us is that as human life has changed and progressed throughout the years, so too has their taste in alcoholic beverages, an evolution that continues to this day. Every year there are certain drinks that capture the imaginations and taste buds of America’s drinking demographic and become prominent parts of hip bar menus across the country.
2018 was no different, with a number of drinks rising to national prominence. Some were entirely new inventions, some were old classics being discovered by a new generation for the first time, and some fell somewhere in between.
As hangover and hydration experts, Hangover Heaven IV Hydration has a vested interest in knowing what people are drinking and how those drinks might affect their bodies. To that end, we decided to see which trendy drinks were the most popular in every state, or at least the most searched for, which gave us a fun and interesting look at the drinks that helped define 2018.
The Most Popular Trendy Cocktails in 2018
Using Google Trends, we were able to find search activity for more than a dozen different drinks that were buzzworthy (and in many cases Pinterest-worthy) this year. Here were the most popular trendy cocktails in 2018:
Whiskey & Water
Jack & Coke
We were able to get data on which of these drinks was searched for the most in every state and Washington, D.C. since January 1 of 2018, and then mapped out the results, showing which trendy drink was the most popular in every state.
The results proved to be pretty diverse, with 13 different drinks proving most popular in at least one state, including one (wine pops) that technically isn’t a drink at all!
Top Searched Drinks By State
As you can see, a drink that has been on the rise the last couple of years, the Moscow Mule, did very well, especially in the center of the country. And while not closely clustered, the medieval staple of mead took the top spot in states all across the country, proving that sometimes what is old can be new again. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a drink that most people had never heard of before the last year or two, the low-calorie hard seltzer, also won a number of states across America.
While the state-by-state analysis would indicate that the United States has very diverse tastes, breaking the country into different regions seems to confirm it. We grouped the states into their traditional US Census groupings to see which alcoholic beverage was most popular in the highest number of states in each region, and the results of that analysis are very illuminating.
A different drink took the regional crown in each section of the country, with the drinks themselves being vastly different from one another. Out West, the aforementioned mead was favored, while the Moscow Mule struck a chord with people in a place that can be reminiscent of Russia in the winter, the Midwest. The Northeast chose to beat the heat while boozing by favoring wine pops, while the Southeast went the opposite direction and turned up the heat on their drinking by opting for delightfully spicy jalapeño margaritas.
When looking at the final numbers, there was a clear winner for the most popular trendy drink of 2018, with mead claiming supremacy in 13 different states, proving it is more than just a punchline in those Bud Light commercials. Although come to think of it, this rise in popularity might be the exact reason it IS the punchline!
Moscow Mules and jalapeño margaritas took silver and bronze in our analysis, winning in eight and seven states respectively. Other drinks we have covered in this article also did well overall, with hard seltzer and wine pops also making their way to the top five.
Interestingly, one of the drinks that served as an inspiration for this study, the buzzworthy frosé, did not do nearly as well as we expected. Despite being a drink that was seemingly everywhere this past summer, the frozen wine concoction only turned up first in a single place, the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jason Burke is the founder of Hangover Heaven and the world's foremost Hangover Doctor! Dr. Burke had the idea for Hangover Heaven after recognizing that certain IV treatments administered in the recovery room could also be used to treat hangovers. When he's not four wheeling in his Jeep or hiking with his kids, he's educating others about hangover cures. Read more about Dr. Jason Burke.