Written by Chuck Rio and recorded by the Champs, the Latin-inspired surf instrumental “Tequila” served as the B-side for “Train to Nowhere,” which was released by Challenge Records on Jan. 15, 1958. Although the record initially found little success, after a DJ in Cleveland played the B-side, the instrumental tune — that includes the spoken word  “Tequila” three times — reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart on March 28, 1958, and continues to be strongly referenced in pop culture to this day.

As many still consider tequila to be more of a vibe than just a drink, retail company Fashion Nova recently dove into finding out consumers’ tequila habits and preferences, surveying more than 3,000 Americans across all 50 states.

Among key takeaways from the Fashion Nova survey:

  • 4 in 10 Americans say tequila makes them feel more confident
  • Americans say they are likely to feel more comfortable in public (65%), speak their mind (44%), and dance in public (35%) when tequila is in their system
  • 41% of Americans would choose a lifetime supply of tequila over a lifetime supply of coffee
  • 37% of Americans would rather have a lifetime supply of tequila rather than have their credit card bill fully paid off

Tequila tastes and trends

When it comes to which brands are preferred across the country, 33 states declared Patron as their go-to tequila, while 11 opted for the classic charm of Jose Cuervo, according to the survey. But how are Americans actually sipping or shooting that tequila?

According to Fashion Nova, the overwhelming majority — 38 states — prefer to sip their tequila in a cocktail. “We’re talking Margaritas, tequila sunrises and everything in between,” the company says.

As far as tequila types, according to those surveyed, Blanco, or silver tequila is the reigning champ, capturing 41% of American taste buds. Reposado, or aged tequila is next in line at 20%, followed by gold tequila at 14%.

How about cocktail flavor?

Most Americans (39%) prefer tequila cocktails on the sweeter side, according to Fashion Nova. About a quarter of those surveyed are neutral, opting for neither too sweet nor too spicy, while 23% are turning up the heat with slightly spicy concoctions, the company says.

When it comes to taking shots, lime and salt lead the pack at 44%. For those going solo, it’s more likely to be with just lime (22%) or straight-up tequila (19%), according to the survey. Meanwhile, about 39% prefer to sip — or shoot — tequila in the comfort of their own space. Bars are a close second at 37%.

Nevertheless, when it comes to spending a night on the town, 59% of Americans have one to three tequila drinks, with 29% stopping at just two, according to Fashion Nova.

“But watch out; 41% of us are going for four or more,” the company says. “When that tequila hits, you’re not just getting a buzz — you’re getting a whole vibe. According to our data, 58% of you report feeling all sorts of giggly, 48% get super chatty, and 45% start oozing confidence and outgoing energy.”

Tequila spending trends

For those investing or shelling out for all that tequila goodness, Americans seem to have their wallets open.

Although 50% find that the sweet spot for a tequila bottle sits between $25 and $40, some consumers are big spenders — 26% of Americans spend $100 or more on tequila every month, according to Fashion Nova.

Whether it's the type of tequila, the cocktails, shots or even how it makes drinkers feel, one thing seems clear — tequila is more than just a drink; it’s a culture, a mood and a lifestyle for many Americans.