Yesterday Google released their annual report of the top trending search terms. In their report, they identify major categories—like movies, sports teams, and recipes—and share what search terms in each category spiked in traffic this year compared to last. With that in mind, we were particularly excited to check out the top 10 alcoholic drink searches (we’ve got holiday festivities on the brain, after all).
It turns out that 2021 was a year of retro cocktails and drinks that practically screamed, “Take me to the beach!” Of course, there were a few outliers, too. Did you indulge in any of these top trending boozy searches? Let’s take a look at what made the list.
01 of 10
So. Ranch water. It’s not a Hidden Valley thing—it’s a Texas thing. West Texas, to be specific. Ranch water is a tequila-based drink, made with fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and (the kicker) Topo Chico sparkling water. The cocktail is light and refreshing; just the sort of thing you can trick yourself into believing has hydrating powers on a hot summer day. Ranch water purists insist on Topo Chico, the lone star state’s most popular sparkling water.
02 of 10
What is an amaretto sour, beyond “the drink we all ordered at every college bar?” For starters, it’s actually a classic cocktail. It’s made with amaretto (an almond-flavored liqueur), and a generous splash of fresh lemon juice to round out the sweetness of the amaretto. Skip the sour mix and use a real-deal recipe to make your own, and you’ll see why this suddenly-trendy drink has staying power. P.S.: Don’t leave out the maraschino cherries.
03 of 10
A mainstay of derby season, the mint julep is a treasure of a cocktail from the American South. It’s a simple drink, made with bourbon, sugar, and—surprise!—fresh mint. There are a few more creative variations worth trying, but don’t skip the muddler; it’s a crucial step that helps all of the flavors harmonize. Oh, and just like a Moscow mule, the mint julep is best enjoyed in a specific cup.
04 of 10
Margarita who? The paloma is a tequila-based drink made with fresh lime juice and grapefruit soda. Spicy palomas are also a treat, but no matter how you mix it up, blanco (unaged) or reposado (lightly aged) tequila is the spirit of choice. Here are the best tequilas you can buy, and here are the best cheap tequilas.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
If you need us, we’ll be reclined on the beach (or the couch), sipping this cocktail for the rest of the year. Unlike some of the other cocktails on this list, there’s no definitive rule for the perfect rum punch. That said, a few variations, such as Jamaican rum punch, take center stage. Mix white rum with your favorite tropical juices and add a splash of grenadine for color and sweetness. Sip slowly; this goes down very easily.
06 of 10
And for our next stop on vacation, we’ll be taking a long layover in mai tai land. The history of the mai tai is pretty neat, but be warned: This drink isn’t easily made without a well-stocked bar. To mix one up at home, you’ll need both light and dark rum, orange liqueur (like Curaçao) and orgeat syrup, which you can buy or make. It’s worth the effort, though.
07 of 10
Although it sounds like a mashup of sangria and a margarita, this chaser is in a class all its own. Sangrita, which is made with either orange or tomato juice, is a slightly thick, spicy shot meant for shooting back after tequila. There are about as many versions as there are tequila fans, including ones with red pepper.
08 of 10
Okay, now we’re talking margs. This one is pretty obvious, using strawberries to sweeten an otherwise typical margarita. Unlike traditional margaritas, which can be frozen but are typically served on the rocks, strawberry margs are often an icy treats. A powerful blender is key to create a frothy—not slushy or chunky—consistency.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
This no-frills bourbon or rye drink demands not to be tampered with. And yet, we can’t seem to help ourselves (Pumpkin old fashioneds are so tasty! And warm old fashioneds are a must for winter! Don’t even get us started on our favorite booze substitutes…) If you’re a purist, though, all you need is the liquor, a bit of sugar, bitters, an orange peel, and a maraschino cherry. Both bourbon and rye are types of whiskey, and because there are so few ingredients in this drink, it pays to have a bottle of the good stuff.
10 of 10
There are zillions of variations on this classic Cuban drink, but the original is sheer perfection. The magic comes from muddling and mixing mint with sugar for a super fresh aroma and flavor. A well-made mojito is perfectly balanced and lets the rum shine through. Psst: Here are some top-notch rums.