Fans Told Mashed Their All-Time Favorite Liquor - Exclusive Survey

When it comes to drinking liquor, people can be very particular about their drink of choice. While some prefer cocktails and mixers, others prefer to just drink things straight. Then there's the endless debate about the actual type of alcohol in question, which some argue says a lot about your personality. Whether you have a penchant for rum on tropical vacations or love dancing with a glass of Tequila in your hand, everyone has a favorite liquor. 

In a poll, on Mashed's YouTube page, we asked our readers what their all-time favorite liquor "for mixing and sipping" was. Over 12,000 people responded, and with 35% of the vote, it's clear that whiskey/Bourbon is many people's preferred liquor. However, nearly as many people were as passionate about vodka, with the smooth no-frills liquor coming in at 28%. Meanwhile, rum and Tequila both had a respectable run, with 16% and 15% of our readers preferring those two. Finally, gin folks, we're sorry — try to keep things classy on the sidelines. Gin only received 7% of the votes. 

Why do people prefer whiskey more than any other spirit? Well, it's in part due to the large number of variants across the world.

Why whiskey's winning

Whiskey is a grain spirit that's made all over the world, though Americans are most familiar with Scotch, Irish whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, and Bourbon — a spicier variety of the liquor that's aged in new charred oak barrels and distilled primarily from corn. Like Scotch whisky, which is named for where it hails from (Scotland), Bourbon is named for Bourbon County, Kentucky. These differences aside, most whiskeys have a warm, spice-forward flavor that varies in sweetness. 

It's famously easy to drink both alone and in a cocktail like an Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour. For this reason, it's no surprise that this amber elixir has won so many hearts. Derived from the Gaelic phrase for "water of life," whiskey has often topped charts as America's favorite liquor and leads worldwide liquor sales. However, when you get into regional favorites, things get a lot more complicated. A 2022 study found big state-to-state differences. While Tequila claims the top spot in California and Arizona, the South and Midwest largely preferred whiskey and Scotch.

As for whether drinking whiskey makes you smarter and more interesting, that one's certainly up for debate. The morning-after results, however, are indisputable. Whiskey is bound to give you a stronger, longer hangover than lighter-colored spirits.