What Are You Drinking? Results from Zagat’s Debut Mixology Survey

Americans favor whiskey according to a new poll about spirits, but Google search results show that we still love Bud Lights more

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Jeremy Hudson / Getty Images

You can learn a lot about a country from what it’s drinking—and what its residents say they about their drinking. In its first ever mixology survey, Zagat—the company synonymous with restaurant reviews—found that whiskey is America’s favorite spirit, taking 33 percent of the vote. Vodka came in second at 27 percent, while gin rounded out the top three with 16 percent (full methodology below).

The popularity of the brown liquor has often been attributed to the “Mad Men effect”—the idea that viewers are drinking up whiskey to achieve the aspirational lifestyle of the show’s main character, Don Draper; a September 2011 survey reported that whiskey sales had jumped 13.4 percent in the U.S. over the last year. Manhattans and martinis were also respondents’ favorite “classic” cocktails, tied at 12 percent, according to survey results.

But while we may enjoy answering survey questions like we’re all Don Drapers and Joan Holloways at a cocktail lounge, our Internet search patterns reveal that our taste is probably a little less swanky and a little more sports bar. According to Google, the parent company of Zagat, the top five search results for alcoholic beverages in the last year were the following:

  1. Bud Light Platinum
  2. Slushy Magic
  3. Bud Light
  4. Ciroc
  5. Manhattan cocktail

Which just goes to prove—you can’t judge a nation by what it (says it) drinks.

Zagat methodology
Number of Surveyors: 1,031
Gender: Female – 51% / Male – 49%
Age: 20s – 37% / 30s – 26% / 40s – 16% / 50+ – 21%
Regions: Northeast – 41% / West – 20% / South – 25% / Midwest – 14%