This Is Each State's Favorite Cocktail

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

A few years back, The New York Times trumpeted the return of "cocktail culture" as something we all needed to see us through the dark days of quarantine. Assuming cocktails ever went away, they couldn't have gone too far – the Washington Times touted their revival back in 2009, while the Wall Street Journal heralds the "cocktail renaissance" they say came in with the new millennium. Okay, we get the point – people like cocktails, whether or not the media is on board the bar cart.

As with all things food- and beverage-related, each region has its own particular preferences. Travel-minded website Upgraded Points crunched the Google data from March 19-December 31, 2020, in order to determine the favorite cocktail of each state, plus the District of Columbia. Interestingly enough, the results were more wide-ranging than might have been anticipated. Only 9 cocktails were chosen by more than one state, while 24 cocktails were stand-alones that were beloved by just a single state (or District). Here is each state's favorite cocktail.


There are just a handful of iconic cocktails where the name basically gives you the entire recipe, or at least the ingredients list. The most famous of these may be the G&T, since it's able to get by on initials alone (though oddly enough, no state picked this drink as a favorite). Right behind it, however, is a drink whose moniker consists of a pair of numerals, or rather, the same numeral repeated two times. Of course, we could be speaking of no other drink than the 7&7, if the title of the slide hadn't already negated any suspenseful buildup here. The 7s refer to Seagram's 7 Crown whiskey and 7-Up. says this drink was a mainstay of every '70s-era basement bar, but it has retained its popularity, and nowhere more so than in Michigan.

As far as a recipe for the 7&7, if you want to do it loose and sloppy, all you need to do is fill a glass with ice –- a tall one, for preference — then pour in as much whiskey as you like (you can sub in any other Canadian-style whisky; we won't tell Seagram's). Top off the glass with 7-Up or a similar lemon/lime soda. If you want a more exact recipe, a proportion of 1 part whiskey to 4 parts soda will make for a flavorful, but not overwhelmingly powerful, drink.

Bay Breeze

The Bay Breeze is one of those classic '80s drinks that revolved around the dynamic duo of cranberry juice and vodka – speculates that a combined effort by the marketing departments of Ocean Spray and the Cranberry Growers Association may have had something to do with this, go figure. The OG vodka/cran drink is the Cape Codder, but its slightly fancier cousins include the Sea Breeze, which adds grapefruit juice, and the Bay Breeze, which brings in a tropical touch with pineapple juice. While we're not sure which "Bay" the drink's name was intended to reference, we're going to guess it wasn't the Chesapeake. Nonetheless, the Bay Breeze is the favorite drink of Washington, D.C., a state whose ocean access comes courtesy of neighboring Maryland.

To mix up a Bay Breeze, you'll take a tall glass and fill it with ice cubes. Pour in one part vodka, one part pineapple juice, and two parts cranberry juice, and stir. If you prefer a more pineapple-forward version, you can go with 2 parts pineapple to 1 or 2 parts cranberry juice. While the traditional garnish is a lime wheel, a pineapple wedge would also work well.


Are you familiar with the Bellini? While this brunch cocktail may be even tastier than the better-known mimosa, it's undoubtedly more of a pain to make, so it's not something every restaurant is likely to feature on the menu. It's nonetheless something that people are apparently interested in making at home, especially the residents of both Alabama and Oklahoma, where it was the most-searched cocktail of 2020. This peach-flavored drink was created at Harry's Bar, and in a story narrated in "Harry's Bar: The Life and Times of the Legendary Venice Landmark," it was originally made from the white peaches that grew in abundance in Italy and named after a Venetian painter known for his pink-hued paintings. While some recipes for this drink call for the addition of raspberry juice or liqueur, the son of the Bellini's creator claims that doing so is tantamount to "insulting the wonderful cocktail."

So how should one prepare a proper Bellini, then? For each cocktail, you fill a champagne flute with 1 part of peach puree to 2 parts of chilled prosecco. As to how you obtain said puree, there's the tricky bit. Sure, you can make it from scratch, but it's kind of a labor-intensive way to go about building a single cocktail. One pretty ingenious hack, however, involves using peach baby food instead. It may sound weird, but basically all you're really doing here is subbing out the pureeing job to Gerber.


Coquito is another drink that you're not likely to find at your corner dive bar – unless, perhaps, that bar is in Bayamón and it's the holiday season. Culture Trip compares the coquito to a coconutty version of eggnog and says it is traditionally served at Christmas time in its native Puerto Rico. While coquito is less well-known in the U.S., it appears to be gaining ground as it was the top cocktail of one state – but you may be surprised to hear what state it was. No, it wasn't New York or Florida, but rather Connecticut, one of the wealthiest states in the union (and quite probably the preppiest). While Connecticut's Puerto Rican population numbered just 303,027 as of October 2020, it's a fairly small state, so they make up 8.5% of the total population and the Puerto Rican Report says this makes them the state with the highest percentage of Puerto Ricans.

If you'd like to try making your own coquito, you don't have to use raw eggs. Instead, start with a can of coconut milk (the kind that comes in a carton isn't thick enough), then blend it with a can of sweetened condensed milk, a can of evaporated milk, a cup of milk, 4 ounces white rum, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Chill, then serve sprinkled with more nutmeg. Want a virgin version? Just leave out the rum and add ½ cup more milk.


Let's play a little word association game. We say "cosmo," and you say "Sex and the City," right? Seldom has one cocktail been so associated with a TV series. Sure, "Mad Men" was said to have helped spur the tiki revival, but tiki is an entire cocktail genre, not a single drink. According to Punch, however, the Cosmopolitan wasn't born in the '90s, but has actually been around since ... well, it may not be possible to pinpoint an exact date, but it seems to have been around in its more-or-less current form since the '80s. There's no denying, however, that the drink is now inextricably linked with late '90s/early '00s Manhattan. Still, it was not the favorite drink of New York, but rather makes this list courtesy of neighboring Vermont.

To make a classic cosmo, you'll need 4 ingredients: lime juice, cranberry juice, orange-flavored liqueur, and citrus-flavored vodka. Pour 2 ounces of the vodka into a shaker filled with ice, then add an ounce each of the liqueur and the cranberry juice. Finish up with 4 teaspoons of fresh lime juice and shake it all up. Strain the drink into a martini glass or champagne coupe, then sit back and channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw (or Samantha Jones – after all, she was the first SATC character to order a cosmo).


The daiquiri is a cocktail of many faces. It takes its name from the Cuban town that is one of its possible birthplaces, although this late-19th century cocktail was originally made with lemon juice. In later years, the drink gained popularity due to famous fan Ernest Hemingway, although his preferred version made with grapefruit juice never really caught on. While cocktail snobs love to hate on the frozen daiquiri, lumping it in with other horrors of '70s/'80s cocktail culture, Eater says these may actually date to the '20s and were invented by a Cuban bartender. Fruity versions of this frozen drink may have been available as far back as the '40s, too. While we're not sure which version of the daiquiri Louisianians have been searching for – and quite a few of them, at that – it seems that each has some claim to authenticity, so cocktail snobs can go suck on a lime.

To make a basic daiquiri, mix 2 parts white rum with 1 part lime juice and ½ to 1 part sugar syrup. Shake over ice, then strain into a chilled glass. For a frozen daiquiri, add these same ingredients to a blender along with a cup of crushed ice for each ounce of rum. For a fruity version, throw in a handful of fresh or frozen fruit. If you're using berries, you can leave them whole, but for larger fruits, it's better to cut these into chunks before tossing them in the blender.

Dark & Stormy

"It was a dark and stormy night" ... famous first words, indeed, but whose? While Snoopy may have used this as the opening line to numerous unpublished magnum opuses, the line may have originally seen print as the first line of the deservedly-forgotten "Paul Clifford" by Victorian novelist (and master of hyperbole) Edward Bulwer-Lytton. At some point, however, the words dark and stormy also came to be attached to a drink that CNN says has come to be seen as Bermuda's national beverage. Well, the Dark & Stormy is not just big in Bermuda, but it is pretty popular in Montana and Rhode Island, as well. Who knew a big western state would have so much in common with a tiny eastern one?

If you want to find out what's got Montana and Rhode Island all excited about the Dark & Stormy, you need to start with a bottle of Gosling's Black Seal. Sure, you could sub in a different dark rum, and doubtfulness many do, but Gosling's has actually trademarked the Dark & Stormy name so, er, technically in that case you'd have to call it something else like, say, a Bermuda Mule (which is not a bad name, come to think of it). Anyway, pour an ounce or two of rum into a tall, ice-filled glass, fill the glass with ginger beer, stir, and squeeze in a wedge or two of lime.

Fuzzy Navel

The Fuzzy Navel would make for a perfectly fine brunch drink – a little bit sweet, but chock full of Vitamin C and relatively low on alcohol (getting trashed in the a.m. is not a good look). Why, then, does it get so little love outside of Iowa, where they've apparently not given up on this once-popular drink? The Fuzzy Navel is, in part, a victim of the times – any drinks once popular in the '80s seemed to fall out of favor once craft cocktails came into fashion. We also suspect, though, that some may be put off by the name, as anything reminiscent of belly-button lint is not too appetizing.

What the Fuzzy Navel may lack in pubic image, it makes up for in simplicity. All you need to make this drink is two ingredients: peach schnapps and orange juice. While some recipes call for mixing these two ingredients in a 50:50 ratio, this makes for a drink that's a little too syrupy. Instead, just an ounce or two of schnapps in a tall glass of OJ works for us. If you want something boozier, you can always add a shot of vodka, but that would transform the drink into the even more unpleasant-sounding Hairy Navel.

Gin Fizz

While the good ol' gin and tonic did not make it onto our top cocktail list, a slightly more complex, if less bitter, gin cocktail found favor in South Carolina. The gin fizz is a product of the late 19thcentury – the first account of this drink, which dates to 1880, says it's a New York fad, and also describes three different versions: a plain one flavored with creosote (eww), a gold one made with an egg yolk, and a silver one made with an egg white. Not surprisingly, the last-named version is the one that's lasted into the 21stcentury.

To make a gin fizz, measure 2 ounces of gin into an ice-filled shaker along with 4 ½ teaspoons lemon or lime juice, 4 ½ teaspoons simple syrup, and 1 egg white. Shake until the cocktail is nice and frothy, strain, then dump the ice out of the shaker. Pour the drink back in, and shake it again so it's even frothier. That's what the egg white is doing in there, after all. Pour the drink into a tall, ice-filled glass and fill with club soda, then garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

If you're a bit dubious about adding a raw egg white to your drink, or else you are avoiding eggs for dietary reasons, you can substitute a tablespoon or two of aquafaba for that ingredient. Another option is to use the soy protein powder Versawhip –- the stuff's available on Amazon, but it doesn't come cheap!

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum is one of those drink names that might sound tasty at first — butter and rum, yum, just like the Life Savers! Then, you start to wonder just how it works. Do you just heat up some rum and mix in a fatty hunk of butter? Maybe not so yum. Well, if you ask any of the numerous Idahoans who Googled this drink, making it their state's top-searched one, they can explain that hot buttered rum is far more than just a glass of greasy grog. After all, this drink has been around since colonial days, and it wouldn't have lasted so long it if wasn't something people actually enjoy drinking.

Hot buttered rum isn't the quickest or easiest of drinks to make, but it's something that's worth doing on a cold winter night when you weren't planning to go anywhere, anyway. You start with butter, and mix this with spices and flavorings to make a batter that serves as the basis for the drink. Recipes vary widely, but to get you started, we suggest mixing a stick of softened butter (you can use the salted kind) with ½ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. For each drink, put 2 tablespoons of this batter in a mug, then add an ounce or two of dark rum and fill the mug with hot water. Stir until the batter melts, and top with whipped cream if desired.

Jack and Coke

There are just a few liquors that are so well-known they can go by their first name alone. If you say you want your drink made with Jose, everyone will know you mean Cuervo. If you ask for Jack, then it's understood that you're requesting the product of Mr. Daniel's fine distillery. Of all the drinks made with the latter spirit, one of the simplest, and yet the most enduringly popular, is the classic Jack and Coke, although if you want to get all formal you could call it Jack Daniel's and Coca-Cola (although doing so would undoubtedly earn you some peculiar looks in just about any bar). While Jack Daniel's is made in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and the Coca-Cola Company is headquartered in Atlanta, Jack and Coke was the favorite of neither of those two states, nor was it picked by any of the southern states. Instead, it's the top choice of Arizona.

The Jack and Coke is one of those drinks that really needs no recipe, but for the sake of formality (and symmetry), we're going to go ahead and supply one, anyway. Fill a tall glass with ice, pour in a shot of Jack Daniel's, then fill the glass with Coke. Stick a piece of fruit on the rum if you're feeling fancy. If you're not, though, you can always just open up a Coke, take a few slugs, then pour some Jack directly into the can or bottle.

Lemon Drop Martini

What is a lemon drop? Ask a kid, and they might tell you it's a kind of candy. Which it is; in fact, it's one that's been around since the 1800s. If you ask the residents of the state of Oregon, though, they might tell you it's a kind of drink, which is also true. The Lemon Drop, or Lemon Drop Martini, to call it by the longer version of its name (and one bound to bring up boozy results in a google search rather than directing you to ads for Lemonheads), has also been around for a good long while, dating back to the 1970s. Chilled notes that it's bound to have received a popularity boost in the early '00s when Oprah claimed it as her favorite drink.

To make a Lemon Drop Martini, you'll need fresh lemon juice, so start by squeezing a lemon. Mix 1 part of triple sec, 1 part of simple syrup, 2 parts of lemon juice, and 4 parts of vodka in a shaker full of ice. Let it sit a sec while you take another slice of lemon and run it around the rim of a martini glass. Dip the glass in sugar, then strain the cocktail into the glass. Stick that lemon slice on the rim for a garnish, and you'll have one very adult Lemon Drop to suck on.

Long Island Iced Tea

A lot of food products have "New York" tacked on for marketing purposes, such as New York pizza, New York hot dogs, New York cheesecake, etc. By this point, when something presents itself with a name that seemingly implies an origin in one of the 5 boroughs, we're often skeptical and suspect it really hails from Duluth or Peoria, instead. The Long Island Iced Tea, though is a cocktail that actually may have been created by a Long Island bartender in the '70s ... or perhaps by a grumpy old Tennessee moonshiner back during Prohibition. Or, who knows, maybe it, too, was born in Duluth, or possibly Casper. If the latter, this might explain why the Long Island Iced Tea is still the #1 drink in the state of Wyoming. Either that or the Cowboy State just likes to saddle up and drink hard.

The Long Island Iced Tea may seem like a complicated drink, but it's actually one of the easier ones for a bartender to make. Fill a tall glass with ice, then add shots of all the clear rail liquors: vodka, gin, white rum, and silver tequila. Add a shot of sour mix (or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, if you're playing along at home) and ½ shot of triple sec, then fill what's left of the glass with cola. Just one of these per customer, though –- anything else is a liability waiting to happen.

Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is perhaps the most classic of all tiki cocktails, if for no other reason than that it was invented by the Tiki Daddy himself, "Trader" Vic Bergeron. According to Bergeron's own story, he says he came up with the drink and served it to some Tahitian friends of his. They greeted it with the words that (in shortened form) soon became its new name: "Maita'i roa a'e!" As to what those words mean, cocktail lore says they're Tahitian for "Out of this world! The best!" Google Translate apparently doesn't run to a Tahitian dictionary, but it helpfully supplies the info that the phrase is also Maori for "best of luck." This has an entirely different connotation, but one that may still be appropriate should you overindulge.

Appropriately enough, the Mai Tai drink is the favorite of Hawaii, our one and only tropical island state. To make one, you'll start by squeezing a lime – and save those shells! Pour 4 ½ teaspoons of lime juice into an ice-filled shaker, then add a tablespoon of orange curacao, 1 ½ teaspoons orgeat, 1 ½ teaspoons simple syrup, and 2 ounces dark rum. Shake, strain, then – this bit is crucial – garnish the drink with one of the lime shells, turned so the outside faces up, plus a sprig of mint. The reason behind this very specific garnish is that the lime shell symbolizes a beautiful green island and the mint makes a mini palm tree.


The Manhattan is yet another cocktail with an NYC-inspired name, and it may, in fact, have been invented at the Manhattan Club, a bar which – get this – is actually in Manhattan! It may have been created at a different institution called the Hoffman House, but that, too, was also in Manhattan. Whoever can claim the credit, it seems likely that the Manhattan, which dates back to the late 19thcentury, is actually a cocktail native to NYC. Where it gets the most love, however, is Delaware, a state that lies approximately one New Jersey away from the Big Apple.

The earliest published Manhattan recipe calls for absinthe, but we doubt that's how they're drinking it in Delaware these days, or anywhere else, for that matter. Instead, Manhattans are typically made by mixing 2 ½ ounces of bourbon or rye with 1 ounce of vermouth -– either dry or sweet or a 50/50 mixture of both –- as well as a few dashes of bitters. If you use sweet vermouth, you can also add a splash of maraschino cherry juice. Stir (don't shake!) everything over ice, then strain into a martini glass. If you went with dry vermouth, the proper garnish is a twist of lemon peel. If you opted for sweet, a maraschino cherry is preferred. If you made a "perfect" Manhattan, meaning one that combines both types of vermouth, then you may use either or both garnishes.


The margarita, like the daiquiri, is a drink that exists in two basic forms: frozen and un. In its simplest form, it dates back to the 1930s or '40s and may have been created in Mexico. While we may never know who first decided to toss this drink into a blender with some ice, the machine that allowed margarita slushies to be mass-produced was invented in Dallas in the '70s and now resides in the Smithsonian. With so august an institution proclaiming the margarita to be of historical value, it is any wonder that this drink would be the favorite of three states? It's not only tops in Texas, which might be expected, but also polled highest in Missouri and New Hampshire, as well.

Before you make your margarita, there's one optional-but-not-really-optional step (unless you need to watch your sodium intake): run a lime wedge around the rim of your serving glass and dip that rim in salt. If you're making a non-frozen margarita, you then take your trusty ice-filled shaker and pour in 1 ½ ounce silver tequila, 1 ounce orange liqueur, and 4 teaspoons lime juice. Shake, then strain the drink into the salt-rimmed glass, adding a few ice cubes. For a frozen version, add those same ingredients to a blender, ice and all. As with the daiquiri, feel free to throw in a handful of fruit if you wish.


While many of the drinks on this list were tops in just a single state and some were popular in two, a mere handful pulled three states. The top drink, however, favored by six states, was everyone's favorite excuse for genteel day drinking, the mimosa. At a guess, it would seem there's a whole lot of brunching going on in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

The mimosa, it seems, dates back to the 1920s in one form or another. An earlier British version, known as the Buck's Fizz, is usually made from 2 parts sparkling wine and 1 part orange juice. The slightly healthier American tweak on this recipe reduced the alcohol/juice ratio to 50:50. As for how to make a mimosa, we pretty much just explained it – take a glass, fill it halfway with orange juice, then top with sparkling wine of choice. While we feel a drier wine balances the orange juice better, some people prefer a sweeter prosecco. If you're not too into OJ, though, you might like to try making mimosas with lemonade, instead.


What is it with these "M"-named drinks? Of all the drinks that came out tops in three or more states, fully half of them begin with that letter. The third of our trio of top M-drinks is the Cuban classic known as mojito. This drink, which first became popular with Americans doing a little offshore drinking during Prohibition, may have kicked off its current wave of trendiness in the early '00s when James Bond was seen drinking one in "Die Another Day." Nearly two decades later, it was still the most-searched drink in Arkansas, Virginia, and Washington state.

To make a mojito, muddle fresh mint leaves (about 5 to 10 of these) in a tall glass with a few lime wedges. Add the juice from the rest of the lime, along with a teaspoon of sugar, (powdered sugar works best), then fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour an ounce or two of white rum over the ice, then fill the glass with club soda.

Moscow Mule

While the Moscow Mule may have ridden a huge wave of popularity in the 20-teens, that wave seems to have passed its peak. It was the most-Googled drink in the entire country in 2017, but a few years later it was tops in only one state: Nebraska. Well, the OG mule has gone in and out of fashion since its birth back in the '40s, and chances are, it'll come around again. Even if it's not super-trendy these days, Nebraskans know a good thing when they find one, and even non-Nebraskans agree it's still a pretty darn tasty drink.

The Moscow Mule is pretty easy to make these days, since its relatively recent popularity has made ginger beer nearly as ubiquitous as its milder cousin, ginger ale. While traditionalists insist you use a copper mug, mules are equally flavorful in any other glass you choose to use. We suggest a tall one: fill it with ice, add an ounce of rum and the juice of an entire lime, then fill the glass with the ginger beer. You can garnish the drink with another lime wedge and stick a sprig of fresh mint in there, too, should you happen to have one on hand.

Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned, as its name indicates, pretty much is your grandfather's drink. And your great-grandfather's, great-great-grandfather's, etc. This drink dates back to the 19thcentury, and in its classic form, it may hold some claim to be the original cocktail. According to an 1806 recipe printed in the long-defunct publication "The Balance and Columbian Repository" (and reprinted in Vinepair), a cocktail is meant to be "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters." That may well be the formula for the kind of Old Fashioned folks in Mississippi are looking for, but we can pretty much guarantee that's not what they want in Wisconsin. Wisconsin was into Old Fashioneds long before they became retro-cool, but the state has a very specific spin on the drink.

To make a traditional Old Fashioned, redundant as that may sound, mix a teaspoon of simple syrup (or muddle a sugar cube) with a few dashes of Angostura bitters in a rocks glass, then add some ice cube "rocks" and pour in a couple of ounces of whiskey, preferably bourbon or rye. Stir the drink for 30 seconds or so in order to melt the ice a bit. For a Wisconsin-style brandy Old Fashioned, skip the whiskey and use, duh, brandy. Muddle an orange slice and a maraschino cherry along with the sugar and bitters, add the ice, add the brandy, then finish off with a splash of lemon-lime or club soda. Garnish with another orange slice and cherry.


Massachusetts has a long and storied maritime history – in fact, both Nantucket and New Bedford have laid claim to being the whaling capital of the world, at least back when whaling was a thing and Starbuck was the first mate of the Pequod. (If you're thinking coffee, for shame! Guess you snoozed through American Literature 101.) With that in mind, it doesn't seem so strange that this far-from-tropical state would nonetheless pick a tiki drink as its favorite: the Painkiller.

The Painkiller, or, to give it its trademarked name, the Pusser's Painkiller™, was originally made with Pusser's British Navy-style rum. In fact, the Pusser's people would very much like you (and everyone in Massachusetts) to keep right on using it, but if you sub in another dark rum, we won't tell. Mix an ounce or two of rum with 4 ounces pineapple juice, 1 ounce orange juice, and 1 ounce cream of coconut in an ice-filled shaker, then strain the drink into a really cool tiki mug or, failing that, an ice-filled hurricane or other tall glass.


In California, where the weather is always warm and sunny (or at least appears to be so on TV), it's no surprise to find that the favorite cocktail would be a drink that is typically described as "summery." After all, you wouldn't really be expecting them to be drinking hot toddies or Irish coffees while lounging by the side of those pools that everyone in the Golden State seems to own (at least, the ones who live on Hollywood studio lots). As no one wants to waste any fun in the sun performing elaborate experiments in molecular mixology, it also stands to reason that Californians would pick a super-simple sipper: the Paloma, a concoction that Daily Beast dubs Mexico's "national drink," although there appears to have been no governmental declaration of such.

The Paloma is your basic 2-ingredient booze + soda mixture. To make one, pour an ounce or two of tequila (reposado, for preference) over ice, then fill the glass with Squirt or another grapefruit soda. If you like, you can add a squeeze of lime juice, and you can even serve the drink in a glass with a salted rim and/or a grapefruit slice garnish, but none of these steps are strictly necessary.

Piña Colada

Do you like piña coladas? While they stayed silent as regards any fondness for getting caught in the rain, yoga, health food, or sandy hanky-panky, residents of Florida, New Jersey, and New Mexico answered in the affirmative to Rupert Hughes' original 40+-year-old musical question. The piña colada's the drink that they looked for ... they Googled recipes and escaped.

If you, too, are in need of an escape to a tropical island, even an imaginary one, the piña colada isn't the simplest of drinks to throw together, but a fresh-made one tastes much better than those premixed ones that come in pouches (or, we dare say, the ones served up at a bar called O'Malley's). To make a single drink, put ½ cup ice in a blender with ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks. Add 1 ounce of either dark or light rum, 1 ounce pineapple juice, and 1 to 2 tablespoons cream of coconut. For a virgin one – and a booze-free piña colada is one of the tastiest mocktails out there – just skip the rum and add an extra ounce of pineapple juice.


Oh rickey, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow our minds ... Sorry about that, we're kind of on an oldies roll here. A rick(ey) roll, as it were. Badum-tss! Believe it or not, though, the rickey – which is Utah's top drink – is even older than our bad dad jokes. It may date back to the 1880s, and according to news accounts of the time, was a great hit at the 1894 Democratic convention.

The original rickey, the one named for a 19th-century lobbyist, was apparently made with rye, but in more recent years such drinks are more typically made with gin. To make one, pour 1 ½ ounces gin and 4 teaspoons lime juice into a tall glass, add ice cubes, and fill the glass with club soda. Of course, it's possible that more abstemious Utahans may have been searching for the lime rickey, which is typically a mocktail. To make one of these, use 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice and anywhere from 0 to 2 tablespoons of simple syrup, depending on how sweet you like your drinks. Pour these ingredients into a glass, add ice, then fill with club soda. For both the boozy and booze-free rickeys, a lime wedge is the obvious garnish.

Rusty Nail

A rusty nail sounds like something very painful and dangerous to step on, but we're assuming that when all those people in Maine were searching this term, it wasn't to find out whether they were going to need emergency tetanus shots. Rather, we're optimistic that they were instead searching for a tasty cocktail that's been around since the '50s and was once a favorite of the Rat Pack.

The Rusty Nail is always, always made with the Scottish liqueur Drambuie, and the other ingredient is typically a blended Scotch whisky. The proportion of these liquors tends to vary from a 1:4 ratio of Drambuie to Scotch to a 1:1 one. Some people even like to add a splash of bitters, although it could be argued that some people would add a splash of bitters to anything. For preference, we'd go with the 1:1 ratio and no bitters, but you build your Rusty Nail any way you wish. But also check up on your tetanus shot status, just in case you do happen to step on the other kind.


Ever wondered how the screwdriver got its name? Well, one possibly apocryphal but nevertheless colorful origin story has this drink being invented by oil workers in the Persian Gulf, most likely in the 1930s. According to cocktail lore, they took to dosing their breakfast beverage with a little something extra and then stirring it with the only implement close to hand which was, you guessed, it, not a bar spoon. While the screwdriver contains just as much vitamin C as a mimosa, it hasn't really caught on as a brunch cocktail, except, perhaps, in South Dakota where it's still a favorite. We'll hazard a guess the screwdriver's non-brunchworthiness has to do with ABV, vodka being much more potent than sparkling wine. While the vodka-based Bloody Mary is generally regarded as acceptable to drink in the a.m., in that case at least you've got all those garnishes (bacon, cheese, pickled vegetables, an entire fried chicken) to line your stomach.

The screwdriver, on the other hand, is pretty plain. To make a screwdriver the grown-up way, fill a tall glass with ice, add 1 to 1 ½ ounce vodka, fill with orange juice (fresh-squeezed, for preference), then stir. To make a more youthful variant, use a plastic cup, skip the ice. Grab a handle of cheap vodka, glug some into the cup, then add as much straight-from-the-carton OJ or SunnyD as it takes to make the drink at least semi-palatable. Squinch your eyes, then chug.

Sex on the Beach

It must have been tough to be a bartender back in the '80s when everyone was all about those naughty drink names. Think how bored you'd get, night after night, when every other customer asked for a Slippery Nipple, a Screaming Orgasm, or a Slow Comfortable Screw Against the Wall, and then felt compelled to make some clumsy joke and expected you to blush (though you were far more likely to yawn the 10,000th time you heard it). Perhaps the most mainstream of the porn drinks was the mega-popular Sex on the Beach, which is still number one in North Dakota 35 years after its invention. One of the main ingredients in the Sex on the Beach may have been its entire raisin d'etre: according to one origin story, it was created by a Ft. Lauderdale bartender in order to win a prize for selling the most peach schnapps. (Guess those Fuzzy Navels were no longer moving.)

To make a Sex on the Beach, mix 1 part each of vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice with 2 parts of orange juice. Add a splash of maraschino juice or Chambord if you want a sweeter, pinker drink. Shake over ice, strain into an ice-filled glass, then garnish with an orange slice and a sleazy, cheesy innuendo.


If you've been seeing more shandies on the shelves at your local liquor store and are wondering if this is some new beer trend, well, you're only off by a few centuries. Shandies, and their German counterpart, radlers, date back at least to the 1800s, and may have roots even older than that. At its heart, a shandy, or shandygaff, to give it its original, Dickensian-sounding moniker, is beer mixed with any non-alcoholic beverage, although the earliest shandies may have been made of beer and ginger beer. Radlers, on the other hand, were originally made with beer and lemon soda. There seems to be no one accepted Shandy recipe, so we're not entirely sure exactly what the people of Ohio were searching for when their googling elevated this beverage to their state's top drink. Perhaps they wanted a selection of options, though, and that's just what we're going to provide.

Take a pint glass, fill it half full of beer (a lighter lager works best), then top up the glass with ginger beer, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, grapefruit soda, or lemonade, with the final option being more of an American-type shandy. Try making the drink with beer and Green River, then you'll have a St. Patrick's Shamrock Shandy! We just made that up, but who knows, maybe it'll catch on -– are you with us, Ohio?

Shirley Temple

Ask anyone not from Nevada the first thing that comes to mind when they think of that state, and five will get you 10 they're going to say Vegas, a.k.a. Sin City. How ironic is it, then, that the Silver State was the only one to go with a mocktail? That should teach us not to stereotype. As to what mocktail they picked, of course they went with a classic: the Shirley Temple, a drink that may have been created for its eponymous child star who lit up the screen during the Great Depression.

To make a Shirley Temple, fill a glass with ice cubes and ginger ale, then splash in enough grenadine or the liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries to turn the drink a pretty pink. Start with a tablespoon, taste, then add more pink stuff if you can stand a sweeter drink. (Shirley herself wasn't such a fan.) As an alternative to the ginger ale, you may also use lemon-lime soda, or perhaps a mixture of the two types of sodas. If you use cola, though, you'll no longer have a Shirley Temple, but rather a Roy Rogers. Whichever mocktail you make, don't forget the maraschino cherry garnish! That's the best part.

Tequila Sunrise

"It's another tequila sunrise..." If you remember the lyrics to this 1973 Eagles hit, there's also a chance that this may have been one of the first mixed drinks you ever ordered. Tales of the Cocktail reveals that the drink itself, unlike the song, is not a product of the Disco Decade, but actually predates it by perhaps half a century or so. It was made popular by the Rolling Stones, a band that turned everything they touched to platinum back in the day. Well, the Stones are still rolling right along as they cruise into their 7th decade as a band, and their one-time favorite drink is also still alive and well in Indiana.

To make a Tequila Sunrise, fill a tall glass with ice. Pour 1 to 1 ½ ounces silver tequila over the ice, then fill the glass with orange juice and stir. As a final touch – the sunrise effect – pour 2 teaspoons of grenadine over the top of the drink. As this syrup is fairly heavy, it will sink to the bottom. Don't stir it in, though, as you want that layered look. Garnish the drink with a cherry and a slice of orange, preferably held together cut a cute plastic sword.

Vodka Fizz

You might expect a state like New York to go for some ultra-sophisticated drink made with all of the latest, greatest ingredients – perhaps a basil/matcha/kombucha smash or something like that. That may, in fact, be the case if we were going by the Google data from Manhattan alone, but there's actually a fairly large state that exists outside that gentrified island. The people of New York state have spoken, and they say hold the kombucha, we're sticking with a good old vodka fizz, instead.

So is a vodka fizz just a vodka soda? No, it's actually a much tastier spin on that plainest of cocktails. To make one, you'll mix 1 part of simple syrup with 2 parts of fresh lemon or lime juice and 4 parts of vodka in an ice-filled shaker. Shake, then strain into an ice-filled glass. Fill the rest of the glass with club soda, then garnish with a few more slices of lemon or lime.

White Russian

The white Russian is an enduringly popular drink, one that came out on top in three different states: Alaska, Minnesota, and West Virginia. Even though this drink seems like something that might have been dreamed up by a mid-century marketing department, it was actually created by a Belgian bartender who also dreamed up its fraternal twin, the Black Russian. As might be expected, the "Russian" in both names refers to vodka, which was still somewhat of a novelty in the 1940s outside of its native Eastern Europe. The black/white dichotomy comes down to one single ingredient which is present in the white Russian but absent in the black: cream or milk.

To make a white Russian, fill a short cocktail glass – like a rocks glass – with ice, then pour in 1 part vodka and 1 part coffee liqueur. Stir, then swirl in 1 part half and half. (Milk is too thin, heavy cream too rich, but light cream will work, too, should you live in an area of the country where this product is still available.) Drink carefully! This is a super-sweet drink, after all, and sugar + alcohol can lead to some pretty vicious after effects.

Wine Cooler

If you say "wine cooler" to anyone who grew up in the '80s, they may start thinking of Bartles & Jaymes' finest –- whether those memories are fond ones or not is likely to vary widely. Believe it or not, Bartles and Jaymes coolers are still available, though they've gone contemporary by swapping out their dated flavors for trendy combos like grapefruit/green tea and watermelon/mint. While wine cocktails are undoubtedly back in vogue, not too many of them, apart from the venerable B&J, are actively marketing their product as coolers, perhaps due to a little lingering Gen X embarrassment. Still, "wine cooler" is a top cocktail-related search term in three states: Kansas, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. While we're not sure whether the residents of the aforementioned states were trying to find out where to buy commercially available wine coolers or how to make their own, for the purposes of actually supplying a recipe, we're going to assume the latter.

There are as many recipes for wine coolers as there are wines and mixers, but here's a basic one to get you started: fill a tall glass with ice, then pour in 2 to 3 ounces of wine – red, white, or rosé, it's your choice. Fill the glass with lemon-lime or another fruit-flavored soda, although you can use plain or flavored seltzer if you want a less-sweet drink. If you want something boozier, you can also add a tablespoon or two of a fruit-flavored liqueur.