This past weekend (May 4th and 5th) was a busy weekend for adult beverage drinking in Iowa.

Bars and restaurants throughout the state concocted their special Mint Julep recipes for the Kentucky Derby and just about every restaurant that sells Margaritas had some kind of special for Cinco de Mayo. I'm not sure if you're aware of this but there are a ton of Mexican spots in eastern Iowa. There are at least 31 in Cedar Rapids alone.

These two events are normally associated with two types of unique alcoholic beverages. You might only drink margaritas when you visit a Mexican restaurant and you might only have 1 or 2 mint juleps each year and around the Kentucky Derby.

What about on an average Thursday night in Iowa? When there's no special holiday or there's no major sporting event, what is the most popular cocktail in Iowa? Everyone knows Busch Light is drunk by the gallons in Iowa but what about  Iowa's favorite liquor choice?

Unsplash - Edward Howell
Unsplash - Edward Howell

Iowa's Favorite Cocktail

According to the Huff Post and Eat This, Iowa's favorite cocktail is the Fuzzy Naval. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know jack squat about drinks with liquor in them. I rarely drink liquor and unless the actual name of the liquor is in the title of the drink, like a 'captain and coke' or a 'vodka soda,' I have no clue what's in them.


If you're a bartender or a liquor aficionado, you might know a secret recipe or you may add more ingredients to spice up this cocktail but from what I can find, Fuzzy Navel's are pretty straightforward. All you need to enjoy your own Fuzzy Navel is peach schnapps and orange juice.

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Some restaurants or bar tenders will add garnish and/or orange slices but they aren't not required.

Most Popular Cocktails in the U.S.

While Iowans might prefer a Fuzzy Navel, they are not the most popular cocktail in America. Iowa is the only state that has this cocktail as the drink of choice. The most popular cocktail in the country is the mimosa. 6 states chose the combination of orange juice and champagne as their number 1 choice.

I have a feeling if there was a study on the 'most popular brunch cocktails' the mimosa would also dominate the field. Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee all ranked the mimosa as their favorite cocktail of choice.

There is a 5-way tie for the second most popular cocktails in America. Pina Coladas, Wine Coolers, White Russians, Mojitos, and Margaritas are all ranked as the second most popular.

What's your favorite cocktail of choice if you had to pick one? Do you agree with the findings from this study or do you think there's a different cocktail that should be more popular in Iowa? I'm a Busch Light guy through and through but I'll drink a margarita everyone now and then. Let us know in the comments!

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