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What’s The Most Popular Alcohol? Explained (2024 Updated)

What's the most popular alcohol?

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 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? 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 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. 

Read: Top Alcohols For A Party

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 
BrandCategorySupplierSales in 2020 (in ‘000 9-liter cases)
Tito’s Handmade VodkaVodkaFifth Generation, Inc.10,353
SmirnoffVodkaDiageo North America9,030
Crown RoyalCanadian WhiskeyDiageo North America7,233
BacardiRumBacardi USA6,442
Jim Beam FamilyStraight whiskeyBeam Suntory6,358
FireballCordials and LiqueursSazerac6,295
New Amsterdam VodkaVodkaE&J Gallo Winery6,090
Captain MorganRumDiageo North America5,590
Jack DanielsStraight WhiskeyBrown-Forman Corp5,205
SvedkaVodkaConstellation Brands4,730
Jose CuervoTequilaProximo Spirits4,680
HennessyBrandy & CognacMoet Hennessy USA4,405
E & JBrandy & CognacE & J Gallo Winery3,845
JamesonIrish WhiskeyPernod Ricard USA3,580
AbsolutVodkaPernod Ricard USA3,130
Jose Cuervo RTDPrepared CocktailsProximo Spirits3,085
Evan WillaimsStraight WhiskeyHeaven Hill Brands3,004
MalibuRumPernod Ricard USA2,734
PatronTequilaBacardi USA2,730
Ketel One VodkaVodkaDiageo N America/ Nolet2,534

Adult Alcohol Preference By Gender 

Adult Alcohol Preference By Gender 


  • 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.


  • 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 Related to What’s the Most Popular Alcohol?

What is the most popular alcoholic beverage globally?

Beer, often referred to as the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, has held a prominent place in human history for millennia. Its origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where it was brewed for both religious and social purposes. Today, beer continues to be a staple in cultures around the world, enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

One of the reasons for beer’s enduring popularity is its accessibility. Unlike other alcoholic beverages that may require specialized ingredients or equipment for production, beer can be brewed using basic ingredients such as malted barley, hops, water, and yeast. This accessibility has led to a vast array of beer styles and flavors, ranging from light and refreshing lagers to robust and complex ales.

Which country is famous for its wine production?

While numerous countries produce wine of exceptional quality, few can rival the reputation and influence of France in the world of winemaking. France boasts a winemaking tradition that dates back centuries, with a terroir uniquely suited to cultivating a wide variety of grape varieties.

One of the key factors contributing to France’s prominence in the wine world is its concept of terroir, which encompasses the combination of soil, climate, and topography that gives each wine region its distinctive character.

From the renowned vineyards of Bordeaux, where prestigious red blends are crafted, to the picturesque hillsides of Burgundy, home to some of the world’s most prized Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, France offers a diverse tapestry of wine regions and styles.

What type of alcohol is vodka made from?

Vodka, a clear and neutral spirit, is traditionally made from grains such as wheat, rye, or corn. These grains are milled and mashed to extract their starches, which are then converted into sugars through the process of mashing and enzymatic activity. Yeast is then added to ferment the sugars, converting them into alcohol and producing a low-alcohol liquid known as the wash or beer.

After fermentation, the wash undergoes distillation to increase its alcohol content and remove impurities. The resulting spirit, known as “high wine” or “low wine,” is then distilled again to achieve the desired purity and strength.

The distillation process typically involves multiple runs through column stills or pot stills, resulting in a high-proof spirit that is nearly pure alcohol.

What distinguishes Scotch whisky from other types of whiskey?

Scotch whisky must be made in Scotland and aged in oak barrels for at least three years. It often has a smoky or peaty flavor profile.

What is the main ingredient in rum?

Rum is primarily made from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses or sugarcane juice.

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. 


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. 


  1. Apple Cider: Are There Health Benefits?
  2. Excessive Alcohol Use is a Risk to Men’s Health
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