The Holiday Beverage That Over 40% Of People Say Is Their Favorite

The holidays are here, ushering in the unofficial binge season, which extends from Halloween all the way through New Year's Day. Not only do we have a plethora of sweet treats — and even a few savory ones —  but we also have a bevy of seasonally appropriate beverages with which to wash down all these festive snacks.

Of the numerous beverages out there, which one is your favorite? Do you go a-wassailing among the leaves so green? Probably not, unless you live where palm trees sway (in which case, Mele Kalikimaka to you). Perhaps you enjoy decking the halls with a glass of eggnog in hand, or maybe a peppermint mocha in that iconic red cup is more your kind of thing. Maybe you are even "doing the Dew" with a Merry Mashup this year. Whatever wets your whistle, it is always fun to find out how our preferences stack up against other people's. As part of a newly-adopted end-of-year tradition here at Mashed, we surveyed 656 people and asked them to pick their favorite holiday beverage. Everybody's favorite drink, in an absolutely not-shocking victory, was ... the exact same beverage that came out on top during out fall favorite survey, as well.

Hot chocolate is the undeniable favorite

As soon as the leaves start falling, it seems as if everybody everywhere (especially in the alternate universe that is social media) busts out the mugs of hot chocolate and starts snapping photographs while holding these in gloved hands (working in striped socks and a fireplace earn bonus points). They also get to bickering about whether marshmallows or whipped cream make the best topper, although who knows, there could even be a few oddballs out there who prefer to drink their hot chocolate plain and unadorned. Plus there is always going to be a Bailey's Grandma — she's Wine Mom's mom — waving a bottle and asking if you would like a little something-something to booze up your beverage.

However you like your hot chocolate, if you would choose it as your absolute favorite wintertime drink, you are in good company. More than 40 percent of our survey respondents, 265 people in all, are in complete agreement with you.

Another fall favorite made a surprise showing

Eggnog, a beverage which has plenty of fans, as well as a fair number of detractors, made a strong showing, finishing second with nearly 21 percent of the vote (136 people). The number three pick, which came in with 13 percent of the votes (85 people), was kind of a surprise: Pumpkin spice latte still seems like more of a fall beverage, or possibly even a summer thing as these drinks seem to get pushed out earlier and earlier each year. Still, Starbucks does continue to feature this autumn-themed drink on their menu long after Thanksgiving pumpkin pies are a distant memory. So, if they say PSLs are now a winter thing, well, who are we to argue? They would probably sell plenty of iced PSLs in July if they ever thought to add those to the menu. (You are welcome for the idea, Starbucks.)

Yet another autumnal drink, warm apple cider, came in at number four, garnering 11 percent of the votes (73 people, in total). Way down the list were three hot and boozy candidates: hot toddies received just under 5 percent with 32 votes, mulled wine came in a little over 4 percent with 28 votes, and dead last was wassail, with just over 1 percent of the vote. Who would have thought 8 people out there had ever even tried the hot mulled punch, much less formed such a favorable opinion as to put it at the top of their list? It is a strange world we live in.

Some people voted for 'none of the above'

And speaking of strange... well, actually, none of the write-in favorite beverage suggestions we received were all that off-the-wall, except, perhaps, for the person who answered "custard." While they were likely thinking of something more along the lines of a Culver's concrete, if you need a spoon to consume it, is it really a beverage? But that is a debate for another time. Anyway, we received a fair number of the usual naysayers who said they did not approve of any of our choices or do not care for seasonal beverages in general. We also got votes for Diet Coke, coffee, tea, fruit punch, and several of Starbucks' seasonal offerings: peppermint mocha, peppermint hot chocolate, and chestnut praline latte.

By far the largest category of "other" votes we received involved booze that has not been heated up: beer, whiskey, rum, margaritas — and even a wee dram of single malt from the isle of Islay. It would seem that the main takeaway from this survey, besides hot chocolate's enduring popularity, is that booze, like revenge, is a dish — er, drink — best served cold.