The surprising states that drink the most spirits in the U.S.

Lately, there's been quite a trend of researchers tracking alcohol consumption in the U.S. on a state-by-state basis, although it's unclear as to which states get the bragging rites — the ones that come out on top or the ones on the bottom. At any rate, we've had data on which states are the most likely to drink while working from home (Hawaii, followed by New Hampshire), which ones get the earliest start on their day drinking (West Virginia, with Delaware, Idaho, Michigan, and Montana all tied for the number two spot), and which state drinks the most wine (would you believe it's Idaho?).

This latest survey shows the amount of hard liquor each state is drinking. While the numbers compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism don't reflect the most current trends, as they only track alcohol consumption up through 2018, it's nonetheless always "fun" to see how your state stacks up, isn't it? Well, if you're dying to know the top booze-consuming state in the union, we won't keep you in suspense any longer. Drumroll please... and the award goes to the hard-drinking, "live free or die" state of New Hampshire!

How much booze these states are drinking

Vinepair, which put the NIAAA data into a user-friendly infographic, reveals that New Hampshire residents knock back, on average, 2.04 gallons per year. The place and show spots go to Delaware (1.69 gallons) and the District of Columbia (1.68 gallons) respectively, with Nevada coming in at number four (1.46 gallons). North Dakota rounds out the top five, with 1.33 gallons of nothing better to do.

So which states are the least boozy, or perhaps just the ones that prefer beer and wine to the harder stuff? Oddly enough, the state at the very bottom of the list is not Utah. No, it's actually West Virginia, which is also the state that starts drinking the earliest. Early start, early stop? Who knows, but mountain staters only put away 0.47 gallons per person annually — even Utahns can and do top this, consuming, on average, 0.57 gallons. Ohio (0.62), Arkansas (0.64), and Oklahoma (0.65) are also pretty abstemious.

All told, residents of all 50 states (plus DC) guzzle 570 million gallons of hard liquor every year, and this doesn't even count the 914 million gallons of wine and 6 billion (yes, billion with a "b") gallons of beer we're drinking as well. As some great American orator (probably not the real Abraham Lincoln, despite Movie Fanatic's attribution) once said: "Party on, dudes!"