America’s Margarita Preferences

Title graphic of American margarita preferences survey

Frozen or on the rocks, Casamigos or Patrón, strawberry or lime — whatever your preference, you can’t go wrong with a margarita. The iconic tequila cocktail has been a fixture at house parties and Mexican restaurants since the 1930s. The classic margarita typically consists of blanco (or silver) tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice served in a glass with a salted rim; however, many prefer spin-off recipes that include different flavors, spices, and types of tequila. 

To pay our respects to the time-honored mixed drink, Shane Co. surveyed over 2,600 American drinkers, aged 21+, to find the nation’s collective margarita preferences and reveal how residents in each state take their margarita. Additionally, we found out how many margaritas it takes residents in each state to get tipsy, the cost of getting tipsy off margaritas, and how much Americans are spending on margaritas each year.

Read on to find out which type of margarita is your state’s favorite, along with other “salty” insights!

Here’s How Each State Takes Their Margarita

A U.S. map plotting each state’s favorite margarita flavor

The classic (or house) margarita certainly takes the cake as the most popular margarita flavor around the U.S., voted the favorite by residents in 20 states. The most popular combination is a classic margarita with Patrón tequila, on the rocks, with a sea salt rim. The second most popular is the same combination, but sub in Jose Cuervo for Patrón. If you ask us, Jose Cuervo would not be our second pick, but perhaps its rich history and budget-friendly prices enhance its appeal. 

The second most popular margarita flavor is strawberry, chosen by residents in 14 states. A strawberry marg with Jose Cuervo is the preferred aperitif of Southerners, especially. Residents in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and West Virginia all love this winning combo. What’s more, out of the 14 states that prefer strawberry margaritas, eight states like their strawberry margs frozen.

There were only three states that did not choose Jose Cuervo or Patrón as their favorite tequila for their margaritas. California and New Mexico named Don Julio their favorite, while residents in Illinois have a taste for Casamigos over any other tequila brands. 

An infographic displaying the most popular margarita flavors in the U.S.

We asked residents in each state to choose their favorite margarita flavor out of a list of 15 flavors (everything from blood orange to passionfruit to key lime). Again, the classic margarita reigns supreme as the most popular margarita flavor (20 states), followed by strawberry (14 states). Honorable mentions go to mango and spicy jalapeño margaritas — voted the favorite in four and three states, respectively. Watermelon and passionfruit are the outliers with both flavors preferred in one state.

For fun, we also asked respondents to name their favorite tequila cocktails out of a list of 14 beverages. The vast majority, 87%, chose the margarita as their favorite tequila cocktail — proof that you can’t go wrong with this simple and sour drink. Other favorites were tequila sunrises (37%), sangritas (24%), and Mexican mules (21%).

Pick Your Poison

A series of pie charts illustrating American margarita preferences

American margarita drinkers are especially loyal to Patrón silver tequila for its smooth/sweet taste and light, peppery finish. We asked respondents in each state to choose their ideal tequila brand for a margarita, and the largest portion (35%) said Patrón. Jose Cuervo was the runner-up (34%), followed by Don Julio (13%), Casamigos (8%), and Espolón (3%). 

Further, by a small margin, more people prefer their margaritas on the rocks (52%) than frozen (48%). When it comes to rim seasoning, sea salt is the favorite. 29% prefer sea salt on the rim of their margaritas, followed by 24% who choose sugar and 20% who choose regular (kosher) salt. 14% of margarita drinkers who like to turn up the heat prefer chili lime salt, while 13% prefer to keep it simple with no seasoning at all.

An infographic highlighting American margarita preferences

When it comes to types of tequila, 63% of respondents say blanco is their favorite, followed by 18% who say reposado is their preference. These two types blend perfectly with cocktails like a margarita or paloma, whereas other types (añejo and joven) taste better on their own, either neat or on the rocks. 
What’s more, margarita drinkers aren’t necessarily calorie counting — 83% of respondents prefer regular margs to skinny margs. For some, the quality of the margarita mix is also important. 23% of respondents would turn down a margarita at a restaurant or bar if the mix was store-bought rather than made in-house. 

How Many Margs Does It Take to Get Tipsy?

A heatmap showing how many margaritas it takes each state to get tipsy

Tequila typically means tipsy nights filled with dancing and drunken secrets. But just how many margaritas does it take for the average American to catch a buzz? On average, it takes Americans 2.55 margs to get tipsy, but drinkers in Wisconsin, Florida, and Oklahoma beg to differ. Tanks in these states need anywhere from 3.08 to 3.20 margs before they start to feel wobbly. Connecticut, however, only needs 1.97 margs before feeling tipsy.  

The Cost of Getting Tipsy off Margaritas

A treemap displaying the cost of getting tipsy off of margaritas in each state

In our survey, we asked American drinkers, “What is the most you’d be willing to pay for a margarita at a restaurant?” The average response was $10.97. We then multiplied the average number of margaritas it takes respondents in each state to feel tipsy by $10.97 to find the cost of getting tipsy off margaritas in each state.

Margarita drinkers in Wisconsin and Florida have the highest tolerance so naturally, their costs of getting tipsy off margs are the highest — $35.10 and $34.42, respectively. On the opposite end are Connecticut and Nebraska, where residents can catch a buzz off margs for the low price of $21.60 and $22.81.

Hefty Bar Tabs

An infographic showing how much Americans are spending on margaritas each year among other margarita statistics

According to survey responses, the average American drinks 30.18 margaritas each year. At an average price of $10.97, that means Americans are spending an average of $331.07 on margaritas each year. That’s a fair amount of coin to be putting toward margarita consumption alone. 

Other “Salty” Findings

  • Respondents need 3.03 margaritas for enough liquid courage to dance in public.
  • 41% of respondents have sent a text they shouldn’t have after having margaritas.
  • 31% of respondents would choose margaritas over coffee if they could only have one of the two beverages for the rest of their lives.

That concludes our margarita preferences survey and the results are clear: margaritas are beloved. Americans can’t help but obsess over the tart and tangy cocktail that can be smoky, spicy, or sweet! Sweetness can come in liquid form or as a gift from a loved one. If you’re looking to buy your sweetie the ultimate gift, shop our collection of engagement rings!  

Methodology

Shane Co. surveyed 2,671 Americans across 42 states, aged 21-76, who drink alcohol, to determine each state’s favorite type of margarita. The survey ran from March 28 to April 1, 2022. Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming were not included in the results due to a small pool of survey respondents who were available to take the survey in these states. In the study, “tipsy” was defined by survey respondents as unsteady, staggering, or foolish from the effects of liquor. When asking respondents how many margaritas it would take for them to feel tipsy, a margarita was defined as a traditional 4-ounce margarita.

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