The Most Popular Christmas Drink In Your State

It's the most wonderful time of the year for enjoying fun holiday drinks. But just what beverage puts you in the Christmas spirit may depend on in which U.S. state you live. This holiday season, we scoured the internet to discover each state's most popular Christmas drink — and you may be surprised to learn which merry libation nabbed the top spot in your area.

It turns out that just as America's preference for Christmas movies runs the gamut from "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Love Actually" to "Elf" and "Violent Night," our taste in seasonal tipples is equally varied. Our research revealed that regional favorites cover a variety of both and hot cold selections along with a mix of classic and contemporary cocktails. But regardless of which state you're in, grab your Christmas beverage of choice and start sipping as we highlight the five most popular drinks in the country this holiday season.

The poinsettia cocktail is the top holiday drink of 2023

A favorite holiday beverage in a dozen states, the poinsettia cocktail is red hot this year. If that's not enough, 21 states saw an increase in demand for the cocktail of around or over 300% in the past month alone, with the most significant jump in Montana, with interest in the libation rising a whopping 1,711%. 

The cocktail gets its name for its festive, bright red hue, reminiscent of the poinsettia flower, which is also known as the winter rose. Beyond the appeal of that vibrant Christmas color, it's also easy to make at home, requiring only three ingredients: Champagne, Cointreau (or Triple Sec), and cranberry juice. No wonder it's a yuletide hit from coast to coast. 

States that favored the poinsettia cocktail:

  • Connecticut
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia

Eight states were bowled over by Christmas punch

What's a holiday celebration without a festive punch bowl? The beauty of Christmas punch is that it can look a little different in every household, although certain ingredients are common staples. Recipes typically include a mixture of festive juices (like cranberry and orange), boozy beverages (such as spiced rum and sparkling wine), and holiday fruits (like fresh cranberries and orange slices). However, it may also incorporate apple cider, brandy, or ginger ale, along with a range of seasonal fruits and garnishes. 

Christmas punch gained popularity in the U.S. in the 17th century, when American colonists were introduced to Caribbean rum. One city in particular, Philadelphia, really embraced the drink and hosted hundreds of Punch Houses starting in the 1700s. It appears as though this tradition still carries on in some ways today, as Pennsylvania is one of the eight states where Christmas punch is most popular in 2023.

States that favored Christmas punch:

  • Pennsylvania
  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Washington

Tasting Table's Christmas Punch recipe embraces all the best flavors of the season, using cranberries, clementine or orange juice, spiced rum, and more. 

Wassail continues to bring the heat

Typically served steaming hot, Wassail contains festive fruity ingredients like apples, apple cider, and orange juice, paired with warming spices including cinnamon, ginger, cloves, star anise, and nutmeg. You may also see recipes adding brown sugar for a touch more sweetness or lemon juice for a balancing note of acidity — and of course, boozy additions like bourbon, wine, or ale can be included.

Wassail isn't just a drink, it's a symbol of the old British tradition of "wassailing."  On the 12th night after Christmas, celebrators would walk and sing through local orchards, often believing they were warding off evil spirits, entertaining the trees, and foreshadowing abundant fruit in the new year. The revelers would be rewarded by orchard owners with a hot, boozy drink, often topped with apples. So if you travel to any of the five states where wassail is favored this year, don't be surprised if you find crowds breaking into song while swigging the festive punch.  

States that favored wassail:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota

Americans are going nuts for coquito

If you're looking to branch out from the typical cranberry and mulled wine holiday beverages, you may want to try coquito, which means "little coconut." The creamy, coconut-y rum concoction topped with cinnamon and nutmeg offers island appeal during the chilly winter season. 

Along with seven other states, it's no surprise that Floridians are seeking coquito as their top Christmas drink of 2023, as the beverage comes from nearby Puerto Rico. Eggnog may have been the inspiration for Puerto Ricans creating coquito, thanks to the influence of American settlers in the Caribbean. And in fact, coquito is sometimes referred to as Puerto Rican eggnog. 

States that favored coquito:

  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Tasting Table's classic coquito recipe is delicious enough to drink all year, but it's even better during the holiday season.

Eggnog remains a Christmas standard

If you're sipping on eggnog to get in the holiday spirit this year, you're not alone. The sometimes divisive thick and creamy beverage is a favorite across the country. Eggnog's popularity has a long history in the U.S., and was inspired by a similar British drink that colonists adapted. In the 1700s, people sipped eggnog to stay warm during the cold months, often spiking it with rum. When rum became scarce during the American Revolution, many colonists turned to moonshine for the time being, and true eggnog became known as an expensive treat for special occasions — like Christmas. 

The beverage is so beloved that it even inspired a Christmas rebellion at the U.S. Military Academy in 1826 during an alcohol ban. We've fought for our right to celebrate the holidays with a glass of eggnog, and six states, in particular, are ready to do just that this year.

States that favored eggnog:

  • Hawaii
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

If you're looking for an eggnog recipe that works with cooked eggs (because raw eggs are more than some of us can handle), Tasting Table has you covered with a creamy, custardy version you'll make year after year.

Our methodology for determining each state's favorite Christmas drink

While no actual cocktails were consumed during the making of this report, we're definitely in the mood for a holiday drink or two now. In order to figure out each U.S. state's favorite Christmas drink for 2023, the team at Tasting Table relied on a collection of data based on internet search trends. We started by rounding up the top 15 most-searched-for-Christmas drinks across the whole country. Then, in order to determine each state's drink of choice among the nationwide favorites, we used Google Trends to find out which beverages had the highest increase in search traffic over the last month. This data is correct as of December 6, 2023 and analyzed over the preceding month and year.

Of course, there's no need to limit yourself to your own state's favorite beverage. Whether you're in the mood for a chocolatey concoction, a festive fruity sipper, something warm and spicy, or a creamy classic, there's a drink for every (adult) taste on our list. And if you really want to embrace the Christmas spirit, why not try them all this season?