Every U.S. state has its own personality, which is often reflected in its own unique food and drink culture. So, as booze experts, we got to talking about which beers, cocktails, and wines would perfectly personify each of the 50 states. Sure, our methods might not be scientific, but each of the beverages below factors in the local ingredients, historic brands, and beloved sports teams that make each place great. So whether you are looking to celebrate where you are from, rediscover a nostalgic drink from your hometown, or decide what drink to try while traveling cross-country, this list will point you in the right direction.
This mixed drink, often served as a shooter, is a staple at Crimson Tide tailgate parties. The original cocktail, commonly known as the “Alabama Slammer” was thought to have originated in the late ‘60s at the University of Alabama, but was later renamed after Alabama’s state bird, the Yellowhammer. This combination of vodka, rum, amaretto, pineapple juice, and orange juice will have you shouting “roll tide!” in no time.
Alaska: Red Snapper
Sure, this gin-focused riff on the Bloody Mary wasn’t invented in Alaska, but sipping on this brunch classic sounds like a great way to spend the limited hours of sunlight during the winter. Also, some local smoked salmon could make an incredible garnish for this savory, seafood-friendly cocktail.
Arizona: Tequila Sunrise
This iconic spring break cocktail that brings beach-adjacent dive bars to mind actually originated at the Arizona Biltmore resort in Phoenix. Made with just tequila, Grenadine, and orange juice, this sipper is both simple and visually appealing, making it the ideal treat on a hot Arizona day.
Arkansas: Arkansas Razorback
In Arkansas, football is a way of life. That’s why the University of Arkansas’ mascot, the Razorback Hog, has seeped its way into every aspect of the state’s culture, including cocktails. The boozy blend combines equal parts vodka, amaretto, coffee liqueur, and rum to get you amped for the big game.
California: Napa Cab
There is no denying that California is the king of wine country, and there is no wine category more lauded than Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon. After the 1976 Judgement of Paris put the region on the map, the wines of Napa soared, and they have since become synonymous with the state of California as a whole.
Colorado: Coors Banquet
Colorado is home to a plethora of small craft breweries, but nothing personifies the state more than Coors Banquet, with a history going back to 1873 and a label that famously celebrates the towering Rockies.
Connecticut: Pimm’s Cup
While the Pimm’s Cup is a popular British drink often enjoyed during Wimbledon, the straightforward combination of Pimm’s and ginger ale garnished with fresh mint, lemon, and cucumber seems like a good fit for Connecticut’s country club scene. Make a pitcher to serve at your next garden party or after a heated match on the courts.
Delaware: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head is likely the most well-known brewery in Delaware, and the company’s brewery, distillery, and hotel are great spots to visit if you’re ever rolling through the area. The well-balanced 60 Minute IPA can be quaffed all year round, from the cold winters to afternoons on Delaware beaches.
Florida: Miami Vice
Named after the popular Miami-based cop drama of the ‘80s, the Miami Vice exudes Florida vibes from all angles. A combination of two of the most quintessential frozen drinks, the Piña Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri, this is the ultimate indulgence for any beachside vacation in the Sunshine State.
Georgia: Bourbon Peach Punch
Of course, Georgia’s state drink has to feature its juicy and succulent state fruit. This cocktail incorporates peaches in two different ways: peach slices and playful peach ice cubes. The spice notes of the bourbon and freshly cracked black pepper add the perfect savory touch to the quaffable summer sipper.
Hawaii: Mai Tai
This tiki cocktail is ubiquitous across Hawaii’s bar scene, as it’s a popular choice for beach-goers tuning in to a more tropical state of mind. All you need is some blended rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, orange liquor, and some mint to take you there.
Idaho: A Shot of Idaho Potato Vodka
When thinking of Idaho, two things might come to mind: potatoes and skiing. So, you might as well grab a shot of some locally crafted potato-based vodka after a day on the slopes.
In the early 1900s, Chicago-based Swedish immigrant Carl Jeppson set out to make his own version of a traditional bäsk brännvin, a bitter Scandinavian wormwood-based liqueur also known as besk. A century later, Chicago locals are proud to be essentially the only ones who can stomach the intense (read: flat-out gross) taste of Malört, the city’s now-signature spirit.
Indiana: Flavored Moscato
Some might be surprised to find out that Indiana — not Italy — is actually the leading producer of flavored Moscato. Oliver Winery is the local source of the sweet wine, and its popularity in the area is undeniable.
Iowa: Frozen Blue Water Margarita
Iowa is not considered to be a tropical destination by any means, so it is somewhat unexpected that its signature drink is the Frozen Blue Water Margarita. Apparently, it is a tribute to the state’s popular vacation spot, Lake Okoboji. This blue Curaçao-spiked version of a frozen Margarita perfectly captures the vibrant look of the lake, making it the ideal dockside drink.
This take on the Moscow Mule originated in Lawrence, Kan. The riff swaps out the build’s traditional vodka for whiskey and adds a few dashes of Angostura bitters for a richer, spicier flavor profile.
Kentucky: Mint Julep
With Kentucky’s high-status bourbon rep and the enduring appeal of the greatest known holiday for horse and hat enthusiasts — the Kentucky Derby — the Mint Julep is the clear choice for Kentucky’s state cocktail. While it’s always fun to whip up a batch for race day, this three- ingredient cocktail is a delicious, easy-to-make option.
Selecting one drink to represent all of Louisiana was a difficult task. New Orleans is a hotbed for cocktail creation, with classics like the Ramos Gin Fizz, the Hurricane, and the Vieux Carre all hailing from this enchanting city. None are more classic or well known, though, than the Sazerac. A boozy blend of rye whiskey, Demerara syrup, and Peychaud’s bitters get an aromatic lift from an absinthe rinse and a lemon twist.
Maine: Allen’s Coffee Brandy
As an outsider, it may seem surprising that this largely unknown, coffee-flavored brandy liqueur has been Maine’s top-selling spirit for decades. But those who live there know that bottles of the beloved spirit can be found at grocery stores, restaurants, and scattered across snowmobile trails all across the state. For the authentic Maine experience, you can mix equal parts Allen’s Coffee Brandy with milk to mimic a popular combo in the area, but we understand if you’d prefer to try it in an Espresso Martini.
Maryland: Orange Crush Cocktail
The quaffable Orange Crush Cocktail was invented in 1995 at the Harborside Bar & Grill in Ocean City, Md. While it is a popular choice for those soaking up the sun in Ocean City, its popularity has also expanded statewide. With its juicy combination of freshly squeezed orange juice, orange vodka, triple sec, and lemon-lime soda, its appeal is kind of a no-brainer.
Massachusetts: Sam Adams Boston Lager
Apologies in advance for getting the tagline from the Sam Adams commercial stuck in your head here. It’s difficult to even write about the brand without hearing the faint tune of “your cousin, from BOSTON.” That said, it’s one of the reasons why the lager is intrinsically tied to Massachusetts’ personality.
Michigan: The Last Word
While this cocktail was rediscovered and popularized by bartender Murray Stenson at Seattle’s Zig Zag Cafe, The Last Word was originally created as a Prohibition-era libation at the Detroit Athletic Club. The equal-parts drink combines gin, green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice for an herbaceous flavor and an enchantingly light green glow.
Minnesota: The Bootleg Cocktail
The Bootleg Cocktail was first sold at country clubs in Minnesota’s Twin Cities during Prohibition. This drink is usually prepared in batches, so you first have to create the special “Bootleg mix,” which consists of lemonade frozen concentrate, limeade frozen concentrate, and large bunches of mint blended together. Then, you add your preferred liquor to a glass with ice, top with club soda, and add the Bootleg mix to taste. The drink’s sweet ingredients were thought to entirely mask the flavor of the booze inside so as not to raise any suspicion from police when alcohol was banned. The refreshing Bootleg remains a popular country club staple in the state today.
Mississippi: Mississippi Bourbon Punch
Mississippi’s eponymous cocktail involves a truly eclectic combination of ingredients, and is definitely meant to be enjoyed in groups from a punch bowl. The drink calls for two standard-sized bottles of dry Muscadine wine to start, followed by a full 12-ounce bottle of grenadine, bourbon, orange juice, cranberry juice, lime juice, lemon-lime soda, and club soda. Add ice and fruit garnishes like orange slices, and you are ready to throw one hell of a Mississippi party.
Missouri is home to the proverbial “King of Beers,” so it feels impossible not to dub the iconic brand as the state’s official drink.
Montana: Huckleberry Cooler
In late summer, Montana is littered with bushes upon bushes of huckleberries, which resemble darker blueberries. The Huckleberry Cooler honors the state fruit with a combination of huckleberry vodka, soda water, a splash of cranberry juice, and a lime wedge. Feel free to garnish with wild huckleberries for an extra pop of color.
Nebraska: Jell-O Shot
Omaha’s Rocco’s Pizza & Cantina recently held its famous annual Jell-O Shot Challenge, and managed to break the record for the highest number of shots purchased by a single person. Celebrate this accomplishment with, yes, another Jell-O shot!
Nevada: Vodka Redbull
This trusty one-two punch of alcohol and caffeine will prepare you for a long night out in Vegas. There’s a reason this drink is a nightlife staple.
New Hampshire: Hot Toddy
A warm Hot Toddy evokes the feeling of a brisk fall day hiking to a cabin in New Hampshire. The combo of whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water is sure to warm you up even on the coldest winter days.
New Jersey: Spiked Boardwalk Lemonade
Boardwalk lemonade is the quintessential drink of the Jersey Shore, but who’s to say we can’t booze it up a bit? Get ready for a night of fist-pumping by adding some vodka to the nostalgia-filled favorite.
New Mexico: Chimayó Cocktail
New Mexico’s signature drink was created by Arturo Jaramillo, owner of the Rancho de Chimayó restaurant in Chimayó, N.M., in 1965. This cocktail mixes the unlikely ingredients of tequila with apple cider, lemon juice, and crème de cassis into a surprisingly balanced blend.
New York: Manhattan
As Michael Scott puts it: “New York, New York. The city so nice they named it twice. Manhattan is the other name.” While New York City is the source of many of the country’s most treasured cocktail recipes, the Manhattan is obviously synonymous with the state. There are two competing origin stories for the drink. One story goes that the drink was conceived by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Winston Churchill’s mother at The Manhattan Club in the 1870s, while others believe it was invented at a bar on Broadway in the 1860s. Either way, it’s easy to imagine a Manhattanite from any era enjoying the classic — made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura — after a grueling day in the Big Apple.
North Carolina: Cherry Bounce
North Carolina’s unofficial drink, the Cherry Bounce, probably has the most interesting backstory of any cocktail you’ve never heard of. The combination of corn whiskey, sourwood honey, and cherry juice is assumed to have been created in the 1800s by Amos Owens. As a successful moonshiner, Owens loved to create batches of this creation at his estate on top of Cherry Mountain in Rutherford County, earning him the nickname “the Cherry Bounce King.” Legend has it that North Carolinians would make a pilgrimage to Cherry Mountain to try the drink, to the point that they even created an annual summer festival dedicated to cherries and this cherry-filled cocktail.
North Dakota: Boilermaker
If you’ve ever experienced a harsh winter in North Dakota… you deserve a beer and a shot.
Ohio: Buckeye Martini
Fans of Ohio State University football can’t get enough of Brutus Buckeye — the mascot lovingly (yet oddly) named after a local tree seed. So hey, why not make a Martini inspired by him, too? Stir up your typical Martini, but garnish with a black olive to replicate that signature buckeye look.
Oklahoma City’s signature drink was created by local bar owner Edna Scott as a happy accident. Scott was attempting to make a different drink when she fortuitously concocted the Lunchbox in the late 1990s. It’s now garnered a bit of a cult following, with over 2 million sold at the establishment since then. Place an amaretto-filled shot glass in a frosted beer mug, fill the rest of the glass with Coors Light and orange juice, and voila! Just don’t bring one of these to work in your packed lunch.
Oregon: Pinot Noir
Oregon’s Willamette Valley has gained some major recognition for its ability to produce world-class Pinot Noir. The region is perfectly situated at a latitude similar to that of Burgundy, and its climate allows for some truly elegant expressions of the grape.
Pennsylvania: Yuengling Lager
Widely regarded as the oldest brewery in the U.S.,Yuengling is deeply ingrained in America’s history — just like Pennsylvania itself. Yuengling’s traditional lager is crafted from a historic recipe that the brewery resurrected in 1987, making it a state classic.
Rhode Island: Narragansett Lager
The Narragansett brewery was founded in 1890 and quickly became the largest brewery in New England in the early 1900s. The classic can is still a Rhode Island staple.
South Carolina: The Charleston Fizz
This bubbly cocktail is made with fresh tarragon, grapefruit juice, gin, St-Germain, simple syrup, and club soda — making it the perfect companion for a stroll through Charleston or a long day of golf at Hilton Head.
South Dakota: South Dakota Martini
This drink celebrates the simple pleasures in life, consisting of a draft lager and a pickle slice to garnish. More elaborate iterations incorporate a half a pint of domestic lager and top off the glass with tomato juice.
Tennessee: Jack & Coke
You can’t talk about drinking in Tennessee without mentioning the state’s most iconic whiskey, Jack Daniel’s. Whether you prefer to buy the brand’s RTD Jack & Cokes or make one yourself, the drink definitely offers a taste of the Southern state.
Texas: Ranch Water
Ranch Water, a refreshing combo of tequila, lime juice, and soda water, has long served as the unofficial drink in many parts of the Lone Star State. But in recent years, the simple cocktail has taken off in bars across the state, and has even become a staple in the lines of many RTD cocktail brands. If you want the true Texas experience, though, order one fresh at your local watering hole.
Utah: Dirty Soda
In 2022, the popular Utah concoction called “dirty soda” went viral on social media, and baffled all drinkers outside the state. The wacky drink consists of soda mixed with odds and ends from the kitchen like egg creams, flavored syrups, and sometimes fruit. You do you, Utah.
Vermont: New England IPA
Vermont is the proud leader of the haze craze, as the cloudy and citrusy New England IPA was conceived here. Beers like the Alchemists’ Heady Topper garnered a cult following, and while there are many NEIPAs in the game now, Vermont can still claim the original.
Oddly enough, this beautiful Portuguese wine actually has history here. While Virginia is producing incredible wine on it own turf these days, Thomas Jefferson historically attempted to establish vineyards in the state to no avail for years. While he was trying to make U.S. wine a thing, Jefferson was often knocking back bottles of this fortified wine. The old bottles of Madeira that he owned remain some of the most coveted and counterfeited bottles out there.
Washington: Bourbon Apple Cider Sour
Washington is one of the top apple producers in the U.S., which is why the apple was dubbed its state fruit. When harvest season rolls around, celebrate with an autumnal Bourbon Apple Cider Sour.
Washington D.C.: Gin Rickey
In true D.C. form, the history of this cocktail’s conception involves politics. The story goes that George Williamson, bartender at the Shoomaker’s bar, crafted this simple highball in 1883 for a bar regular: Democratic lobbyist and retired Confederate army colonel Joseph Rickey. The original iteration had whiskey for its base, but the recipe evolved to feature gin instead. The combination of gin, lime, and seltzer is now an essential part of D.C.’s history.
West Virginia: Moonshine
Ah, moonshine. This clear, unaged whiskey is treasured in the southern U.S. and plays an important role in West Virginia’s history. There is a lot of folklore around how corn farmers would produce and sell the strong liquid under the cover of night in the past, but now, you can buy some commercial options at retailers.
Wisconsin: Brandy Old Fashioned
Wisconsin is known for its love of brandy as well as Angostura. But instead of doing shots of the bitters as they do on Wisconsin’s Washington Island, we recommend incorporating these two ingredients into a Wisconsin-inspired riff on the classic Old Fashioned. Beyond swapping the typical build’s bourbon for brandy, the Wisconsin Old Fashioned also gets topped off with soda for a lighter, more fruit-forward profile.
Wyoming: Whiskey Sour
Wyomingites love whiskey. There are many distilleries in the state, so grab a locally produced bottle and make this classic whiskey cocktail.