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What’s The Most Popular Alcohol? Explained (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Lydia Martin

According to a study by a team of investigators at the Dresden University of Technology in Dresden, Germany, there has been a 70 percent increase in global alcohol intake compared to the same period nearly 30 years ago — and it’s only expected to rise further. 

That being said, some alcoholic drinks are more favored over others. So what’s the most popular alcohol in the world? Read on. 

Top 5 Most Popular Liquors In The World 

5. Mixed Drinks/Cocktails

Mixed Drinks/Cocktails

Mixed drinks and cocktails are some of the world’s most popular liquors.

These have more of a “special” feel to them — they are a special blend by hand, not served straight from a can or bottle into a glass.

Cocktails are also easily customizable to fit different types of palates, with a flavor that can be made more exciting than plain spirits. 

4. Cider

Cider

Cider is fermented apple juice and it’s seeing a massive rise in popularity over the recent years, especially among women and millennials.

It’s one of the healthiest alcohols out there, with very low sugar and carbs in a single serving. [1]

This liquor is also not limited to apples — some brands have launched pear, orange, and strawberry ciders to keep things fresh, interesting, and refreshing. 

3. Wine

Wine on desk

Plenty of people are known to indulge in a glass of wine to help them unwind after a long day, which makes sense as to why it’s in our top five most popular alcohols.

Others say that a glass of wine enhances the flavor of most food, especially if you find the right match.

Others claim that they just want the health benefits of wine, as it’s chock-full of polyphenols and antioxidants that can contribute greatly to our body’s overall well-being. 

Whatever your reason for loving this liquor is — you’re not alone. The wine market is growing steadily all over the world. 

2. Spirits

Spirits on table with lemon

Distilled spirits, or hard liquor, include rum, whiskey, vodka, gin, and tequila.

Spirits have a higher alcohol content than wine, beer, and cider, and can be “off-putting” for those with inexperienced palates.

Still, people who have an affinity for liquor tend to do so because of its complex aroma and flavor profile. 

1. Beer

Beer on desk

Hands down, beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink in the world.

According to world data, beer actually ranks third as the most consumed beverage, right behind water and tea.

This alcoholic beverage is easy, fun, and uncomplicated — you’ll often find it making an appearance in sports games, fun parties, or just about any social gathering.

Its low alcohol content also won’t get you drunk quickly, so you can enjoy more of it. 

Read: How Do You Drink Alcohol Without Tasting It?

Why Beer is America’s Favorite Alcohol 

America loves beer because of its easy, no-frill nature, and it has been the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country for a very long time. 

Believe it or not, some Americans love beer in spite of its bitter taste and have even come to enjoy it over time. Its complex flavors range from malty to fruity, to peppery, depending on the type of beer you have. 

Some Americans attribute their affinity for beer to a more psychological way. Beers are often associated with having fun and feeling happy, such as having a bottle while watching a sports game or while out laughing with friends.

To put it simply: drinking beer makes people feel good, which is why many Americans favor it. 

Beer is also more popular with younger American drinkers — statistics show that young men have an average of 22.8 drinks of it per month, as opposed to women’s 11.3.

Americans older than 65 preferred wine to beer. But is whiskey healthier than beer?

Top 20 Most Popular Liquor Brands in the US 

Top 20 Most Popular Liquor Brands in the US 

Brand Category Supplier Sales in 2020 (in ‘000 9-liter cases)
Tito’s Handmade Vodka Vodka Fifth Generation, Inc. 10,353
Smirnoff Vodka Diageo North America 9,030
Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey Diageo North America 7,233
Bacardi Rum Bacardi USA 6,442
Jim Beam Family Straight whiskey Beam Suntory 6,358
Fireball Cordials and Liqueurs Sazerac 6,295
New Amsterdam Vodka Vodka E&J Gallo Winery 6,090
Captain Morgan Rum Diageo North America 5,590
Jack Daniels Straight Whiskey Brown-Forman Corp 5,205
Svedka Vodka Constellation Brands 4,730
Jose Cuervo Tequila Proximo Spirits 4,680
Hennessy Brandy & Cognac Moet Hennessy USA 4,405
E & J Brandy & Cognac E & J Gallo Winery 3,845
Jameson Irish Whiskey Pernod Ricard USA 3,580
Absolut Vodka Pernod Ricard USA 3,130
Jose Cuervo RTD Prepared Cocktails Proximo Spirits 3,085
Evan Willaims Straight Whiskey Heaven Hill Brands 3,004
Malibu Rum Pernod Ricard USA 2,734
Patron Tequila Bacardi USA 2,730
Ketel One Vodka Vodka Diageo N America/ Nolet 2,534

Adult Alcohol Preference By Gender 

Adult Alcohol Preference By Gender 

Men

  • Sixty-five percent of adults said they drank on occasion — that’s more than six in every 10 American adults — based on a survey by Gallup Poll regarding the country’s Consumption Habits.
  • Of those who said they drank, 59 percent of men had a tipple within the past month. [2]
  • Of the 59 percent male drinkers, 62 percent of them said they preferred beer over other alcoholic beverages.
  • This trend is also consistent with less educated and middle-income American men.
  • 39.3 percent of men chose liquor as their preferred alcoholic drink instead, with whiskey topping the list, closely followed by vodka.

Women

Women

  • Similarly, a high percentage of women said that they had a drink in the past month — around 47 percent.
  • The most popular alcoholic beverage for women is wine, followed by mixed drinks, wine coolers, and cocktails.
  • Only 19 percent of women said beer was their preferred alcoholic drink.
  • When it comes to liquor, more women said they preferred vodka over the other options.
  • This can be attributed to the spirit’s low sugar and carb properties, which women can tend to be conscious of.

FAQs 

Is wine or beer more popular?

Hands down, beer is the more popular alcoholic beverage in the world compared to wine.

It is said that 70 percent of the world who drink alcohol drink beer, versus 22 percent wine and 5 percent hard liquor. But how long does it take for alcohol to kick in?

What is America’s best-selling vodka?

America’s best-selling vodka is Tito’s Handmade Vodka, with recorded volume sales of about 10.35 million 9-liter cases in the United States in 2020 alone.

Many people attribute its popularity to its simplicity and reliability, despite its low price point. It’s also one of the first “craft” American vodka brands. 

What alcohol do millennials drink?

Millennials don’t drink as often as baby boomers and those from gen X, but whenever they do, they tend to lean towards easier alcohols like wine and craft beer.

Similarly, more millennial women are into red wine at 22.9 percent, while beer dominates the male space at 46.85 percent. 

What is the number 1 alcohol drink in the world?

Beer is the number one alcoholic drink in the world and is the third most drunk beverage after water and tea.

In 2018 alone, it is said that the entire world drank 188.79 million kiloliters of beer (about 298.2 billion 633 ml bottles), versus wine’s 23.4 million kiloliters. 

Conclusion 

Hands down, the world’s most popular alcohol is beer. 

Beer is loved by many because of its friendly flavor profile and no-frills presentation — simply get a bottle or can and chug it down without much thought.

It’s highly accessible, extremely cheap, and there’s plenty to go around for everyone.

Its low alcohol content also allows you to enjoy more of it without the worry of getting drunk too quickly, making it the perfect accompaniment to fun gatherings with a group of friends. 

Of the people who consume spirits in the world, nearly 70 percent of them drink beer.

More young men are also inclined towards this alcoholic beverage, as opposed to women who preferred wine. 

References: 

  1. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-apple-cider 
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/mens-health.htm

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