For many of us, summer is for sipping gin and tonics on your back porch, enjoying mojito mint before reclining poolside, and ordering a Moscow mule from a beachside bar. Wherever you go — and whatever you order — you're certain to get the most out of a summer happy hour.
Yet you don't need to get fancy to sip your way through the warmest season. According to Bon Appetit, Dirty Shirleys and espresso martinis are all the rage. These drinks fall under the "Trendy Drink Trap," so whether you actually crave grenadine or want something simpler, there's no pressure when it comes to cocktails. Keeping things basic with a refreshing vodka lemonade? The world — rather, the glass — is yours for the taking.
And you don't have to order out. Like drink preferences, mixology is as complicated or as simple as you make it. If you're planning to assemble a cocktail from home, Serious Eats recommends a few tools. A shaker, strainer, barspoon, jigger, juicer, and various measuring cups create a well-rounded toolbox for perfecting your at-home drink...but a bottle of your favorite alcohol and mixer works just as well.
Tasting Table's latest survey analyzed such preferences. The questionnaire asked 626 people about their favorite cocktails. Regardless of summer trends, the survey concluded that one classic drink has consistently emptied out tequila bottles. To understand this cocktail's widespread appeal, you'll need a lime — and a stance on salt versus sugar.
Luke Bryan chose the right drink to sing about. Margarita fans accounted for 55.27% of the vote, with 346 people in favor of this summery classic. Margaritas have always been a popular choice, though you don't need to head to your nearest bar to enjoy one for yourself. Instead, you can try your hand at making a margarita from home. Just be sure to stock up on limes beforehand. You can even add some club soda to change up the flavor.
Following margaritas were martinis, which received 116 votes, or 18.53% of the responses. A martini's combination of gin, vermouth, and olives exceeded that of a cosmopolitan's vodka and cranberry juice. About 66 people favored cosmopolitans, accounting for 10.54% of the vote. Barely trailing behind, Manhattans received 64 votes, or 10.22% of the favor.
Topping off the list — orange slice optional — were Aperol Spritzes. Italy's favorite drink received 6% of the vote, with 34 people all-in for the brightly-colored drink.
While cocktail preferences are as strong as a shot of tequila, the options don't end with this list. If none of these standard offerings appeal to you, get innovative with a funkier cocktail recipe. Margaritas are only the beginning.