Data Reveals the Top Cocktail in California

Summertime is almost synonymous with cocktails. The joy of sipping on a refreshing concoction in the warmer months is unmatched. It’s also the time when Google search interest peaks for cocktails, according to a recent study conducted by alcohol company Drinks House 247.

The study crunched search data from every state over the past 12 months to determine the most popular cocktails in America. And the most-searched cocktail in California? The Negroni.

The Californian Love for Negroni

The love for Negroni isn’t just exclusive to California; the cocktail ranked as the fourth most searched across the United States. This bittersweet Italian classic also gained popularity in New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

For the uninitiated, a Negroni is a blend of one-part gin, one-part vermouth rosso, and one-part Campari, garnished with an orange peel. This cocktail is known for its balanced flavor profile—bitter but sweet, herbaceous yet fruity.

A Shared Love for Old Fashioned and Other Top Contenders

Despite the regional variations in cocktail preferences, the classic Old Fashioned emerged as a unanimous favorite, topping the searches in nine states, including Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

Don Draper would be proud! I happen to love this drink, so I’m happy to see it on the top list.

Close on its heels was the ever-popular Margarita, securing the top spot in eight states, predominantly in the east, such as Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Tennessee.

That’s a little surprising. You’d think the Mexican-cuisine-inspired cocktail would be popular in the Southwest. I guess people back East want to get a taste of another cuisine, or to be transported away from their chilly (and currently, smoky) environs.

Cocktail Preferences Unmask State-specific Favorites

The study also revealed some state-specific cocktail preferences. For instance, Alabama showed a strong interest in Bellini searches, a delightful blend of peach purée and sparkling wine, while New Mexico leaned towards the refreshing tequila-based cocktail, Paloma.

Louisiana and Texas favor the Daiquiri, and Hawaii’s top search was unsurprisingly the tropical Mai Tai. Vodka-based cocktails, like the Cosmopolitan and Martini, led the searches in Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah, and Kentucky, pointing to the nation’s shared affinity for this versatile liquor.

The study looked at cocktails, but mocktails are popular too!

A Diversity of Palates and a Shared Love for Liquor

Reza Zadeh, founder of Drinks House 247, commented on these findings, stating, “The study reveals not just the diversity of cocktail preferences across the United States but also shines a light on the underlying alcohol of choice.”

He added, “From the cosmopolitan appeal of the Cosmopolitan in Nevada, Rhode Island, and Utah to the classic allure of the Martini in Kentucky, it’s clear that vodka is the country’s most universally favored base liquor. Each state enjoys its special cocktail, but a shared love for that versatile liquor binds them.”

It seems that even though tastes and preferences vary across the United States, some trends like the love for a good Old Fashioned or a classic Negroni, and the affinity for vodka remain constant. So, whether you’re in California, sipping on a Negroni, or enjoying a Margarita in Connecticut, remember, you’re partaking in a nationwide summer tradition of appreciating a good cocktail. Cheers to that!

Want to try California’s top cocktail for yourself? Here’s a recipe:

Classic Negroni Recipe


  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth (also known as red or rosso vermouth)
  • 1 orange peel for garnish


  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour in the gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
  3. Stir the mixture for about 20-30 seconds until well chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with large ice cubes.
  5. Twist the orange peel over the glass to express its oils, then drop it into the cocktail for garnish.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Please remember to drink responsibly, and enjoy the bitter yet sweet, herbaceous and fruity flavor of your homemade Negroni!

Note: The Negroni is known for its balance rather than strength, so it’s important to keep the ratios equal for each ingredient. Adjusting one part will often require you to adjust the others to maintain balance.

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Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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