A 2016 Nielsen study confirmed something many in the drinks industry already knew: Americans love Margaritas. The tart and tangy mix of tequila, lime, and orange liqueur seems to strike a chord with the nation’s drinkers, earning it the accolade of America’s favorite cocktail.

Now, a new Nielsen survey suggests Americans like the Margarita so much, we’ll even pay more for them.

Nielsen carried out its consumer-focused “On-Premise User Survey” (OPUS) between September and December 2018. It found that while on-premise cocktails carry an average price of $9.00 nationwide ($8 during happy hour), the Margarita, which was the most sold on-premise cocktail and the favorite with 56 percent of drinkers surveyed, carried an inflated average of $9.49.

The Martini, Old Fashioned, Mimosa, and Moscow Mule cocktails completed the ranking of top-five most-popular cocktails.

The OPUS study also looked at how consumers’ preferences change throughout the day. Drinkers looking for a pre-noon alcoholic kick opt for Mimosas and Bloody Marys.
The Margarita’s popularity kicks in after midday, and peaks between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Almost half (43 percent) of drinkers said they’d likely start the night with a cocktail, while just nine percent said they’d end it deciding whether they wanted something shaken or stirred.

Chicago and Miami bucked the trend as the only markets where the Margarita and Martini didn’t rank as the top two most popular cocktails. Visit Miami and you can instead expect to see drinkers knocking back Mojitos. Chicagoans, meanwhile, follow the rest of the world in choosing the Old Fashioned as their cocktail of choice.