The Beverage Information Group has come out with a report on what bar customers wanted most in 2011.
--According to their survey of bar managers, the most popular mixed drink in America is . . . the margarita. It was also the favorite drink the year before, although other drinks are narrowing the gap.
--In second place is the martini, followed by rum and Coke. And for the first time since 2008, the Cosmopolitan cracked the top five.
--The most popular vodka is Absolut, which won by a narrow margin over Grey Goose.
--Chardonnay repeated as the most popular wine to order in a bar. In hotels and clubs, drinkers prefer Merlot.
--The most popular craft beer was Sam Adams, and for imported beer, Corona got the nod over Heineken.
--And if you want to impress people at the bar with how trendy you are, ask about their "culinary cocktails" or "artisanal spirits". Supposedly they're the next big thing.
--Culinary cocktails use weird, fresh ingredients like basil, mushrooms, and cilantro. Artisanal spirits are smaller-scale, higher quality, and usually have a higher price.