81% Of People Agree That Pumpkin Spice Lattes Are Not The Best Fall Drink

Fall is pumpkin spice season, right? (Or wait, maybe it's summer...) You'd think from the near-ubiquity of the PSL each year once Labor Day rolls around that all of us were guzzling them down on a daily basis. Still, popularity has its arc, and every rise has its fall. First there were celeb chefs coming out to diss the pumpkin spice trend, and by now, it seems this basic beverage may be on the wane with the rest of us, as well.

In order to determine the true fave fall beverage, Mashed surveyed a random sampling of 555 people around the country and asked them to pick from a list of popular seasonal beverages. Not only did PSLs fail to nab the top spot, but they didn't even come in a close second. Or a distant one, at that. Instead, they were way back in third place, earning just 18.92 percent of the vote.

Hot chocolate came out on top

Everyone's favorite fall drink turns out to be — ta da! — everyone's favorite winter drink, as well. Hot chocolate was the top pick of 35.68 percent of those surveyed, though we're betting the other 64.32 percent wouldn't turn up their noses at a mug, either. (The great whipped cream vs. marshmallows debate, however, is something that will have to be shelved for another time.) In second place was apple cider (either cold or hot), earning 27.75 percent of the vote.

Coming in at fourth and fifth places after those PSLs were a couple of more adult-type beverages: Mulled wine earned 7.21 percent of all votes cast (in this case, hopefully by those 21 and up), while pumpkin-flavored beer nabbed 6.31 percent. Apple cider of the hard variety didn't get a breakout category of its own, but it's quite possible that some of those cider swiggers preferred something with a bit more kick than the stuff that's sold in the supermarket juice aisle.

As always, we got a few write-ins

A total of 4.14 percent of the people responding to our survey didn't care for any of the choices we offered, or at least didn't like them enough to call them a favorite pick. Instead, they opted for "other." Some liked coffee. (One person, possibly a Californian or Floridian, specified "iced coffee.") Some liked tea, although the tea lovers tended to be more particular: "Chai Tea Latte Spiced," "spiced hot tea," "Constant Comment Tea," and "Hot tea with cream." A couple of loyal Starbucks fans gave that chain a shout-out, with votes for "Salted caramel mocha Frappuccino" and "starbucks pumpkin spice latte" (wait, wouldn't that fit under the PSL category we'd already offered?), while one hot chocolate lover specified that theirs had to be "peppermint hot chocolate" to make the cut.

An unsurprising number of people voted for some type of booze, too: "Beaujolais," "Hennessey," "beer" (presumably non-pumpkin-flavored), "Bourbon, neat," "Orange Margarita," and the oddly specific "A Manhattan with a dark chocolate mint afterwards." And not one but three opted for an early start to a subsequent season by giving the nod to eggnog.