The Most Popular Drinks at the Hottest Summer Destinations

by | Aug 10, 2022 | Wine & Spirits

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As summer begins, liquor stores and bars in destination towns are getting ready to place large orders and stock up.

But depending on the summer town where your store is located, the data can help you understand what vacationers are drinking the most and will help you stock the shelves appropriately.

For example, liquor was a bestseller last summer in the Hamptons, ranking 1st in the total share of Drizly sales.

“Overall on Drizly, vodka tends to see share gains during the summer months as consumers tend to lean toward lighter liquors,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. “This appears to be the case even more so in vacation and weekend destinations.”

Tequila summer

Across all summer destination markets, whiskey, vodka, and tequila were the most popular liquor subcategories. Vodka over-indexed in weekend destinations compared to cities like New York City and Boston.

Whiskey took the largest share of sales in the Hamptons with 29%, while vodka ranked No. 1 in Cape Cod with 28%.

Wine is a popular choice among summer crowds across markets. The category accounted for 46% of total Drizly sales in the Hamptons last summer, and 52% of the share in Cape Cod.

Tequila sells well in summer destination spots, as it’s the main ingredient in many cocktails.

“We’ve always had to stock up on our tequila, and mezcal has been a fast-growing new category for us in the past couple of years,” Lisa Schock, the wine buyer and manager at Park Place Wines & Liquors in East Hampton, New York, told Drizly. The store’s most sought-after tequila brands, she says, are Clase Azul Reposado, Casa Dragones, and Don Julio 1942.

The liquor brands of summer

On Drizly, customers place orders for favorite brands to be delivered straight to their summer houses. Customers stay with names they know.

Last summer, the Top 5 selling brands were:

  1. Tito’s
  2. Casamigos
  3. High Noon
  4. Clase Azul
  5. Johnnie Walker

But, depending on which summer town you’re in, customers also want the option to place orders for local brands. For example, in the Hamptons, customers want the fan-favorite Wölffer wine and cider delivered. In Cape Cod, customers crave beverages from Nantucket distillery Triple Eight.

“We see brands like Wölffer winery in the Hamptons, and Cisco Brewery in Nantucket move up the list of top brands during the summer months in their respective markets,” says Paquette. “They likely benefit from out-of-towners eager to try these brands or who have visited their vineyard, brewery, or distillery.”

A cold glass of wine

While liquor remains king of summer, many still want a cold glass of wine. In 2021, wine made up 46% of total Drizly sales in the Hamptons and 52% of the share in Cape Cod.

Compared to New York City in 2021, the Hamptons over-indexed on white wine and rosé during the summer period, while Cape Cod over-indexed on bubbles and rosé compared to Boston in 2021 overall.

Champagne, specifically Veuve Clicquot, ranked atop the wine category in the Hamptons and Cape Cod. Moet & Chandon followed on the Cape, but local favorite Wölffer followed in the Hamptons.

How to use the data to stock your shelves appropriately

If you own or run a liquor store in a summer destination town, this season will be vital to making your sales goals for the year. You want customers and out-of-towners who come in to be happy with your selection and ensure you have what they’re looking for.

Using the data from past summer sales can help you predict what to have the most in stock and what brands your customers walk in wanting.

While big-name brands still tend to be what customers want, having that local flavor to celebrate summer and remind people why they’re vacationing here is essential.

Meredith Galante
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