According to 500 US consumers, these are the best alcohol types to give as a gift this holiday season


With the holiday gift-giving season quickly approaching, it’s easy to find yourself more stressed out than excited. Luckily though, December is the biggest month for alcohol gifting and is almost always guaranteed to be the perfect present to please.


To help with your alcohol gift-giving guide, we ran a survey with over 500 US consumers using an Implicit Multiple Association Test to learn about consumer’s attitudes towards, use cases, and associations with different alcohol categories including vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey, and cognac. To interpret the results, we looked at the implicit association strength (IAS) to measure how strongly consumers associate more than 50 characteristics and attributes towards a specific category. The IAS in percentage shows how frequently an item was deemed to fit with the category (weighted by reaction time).

Vodka is the most preferred alcohol type, with over ¼ of respondents naming it as their favorite. Whiskey comes in second at 22 percent, followed by rum at 17 percent, and Tequila at just 11 percent. While even lower on the favorite list, cognac is most likely to be a well-received gift with the highest IAS scores linked to ‘out to impress’ (38 percent) and ‘sophisticated’ (46 percent). What is cognac not associated with? 'Shots' and 'blackout'. Each with the highest association to tequila, earning IAS scores of 40 and 44 percent to category.


On the emotional motivation map, Cognac significantly outperforms the category with it’s link to status, compared to tequila who outperforms on freedom and curiosity, while whiskey leads in the trust association.


alcohol emotional motivation mapV2

In regards to the actual consumer, vodka has the highest association with ‘women’ (36 percent IAS) versus ‘men’ (9 percent IAS). While vodka is viewed to be both ‘trendy’ and ‘fun’ it also over indexes on ‘cheap’ and ‘at the club.’


So what’s the best alcohol type to gift this holiday season? Both cognac and whiskey earn high associations towards the motivation of gift-giving…but tequila remains the top alcohol choice for ‘letting loose’ with an IAS nearly 20 percent higher than any other alcohol type.


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