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Data Study: Drinking & Dating

Two people sitting in chairs enjoying a drink.

It’s summertime and the thirst is real. Everyone is busy chasing the sun (looking hot doing it) while sippin’ on something fruity and fun (a caipirinha on the beach sounds heavenly right about now). This got us thinking… Like summer and drinks, is there a connection between dating and drinks?

To help us learn more about this connection, the online dating site and app Zoosk surveyed 8,793 of its members and analyzed 133,175 dating messages.

We’re thrilled to share key insights with all the single lads and ladies out there (such as, the hottest drink of the summer and bars singles like to go to), because unlike The Most Interesting Man in the World (Dos Equis anyone?), we don’t want you to, “Stay thirsty, my friends.” We want you to live fully quenched.

Singles drink more than the general adult population.
72% of online daters surveyed said they consume alcohol—compared to 64.8% of the general adult U.S. population. This makes sense because dating and drinking often go hand in hand.

– 73% of daters who drink alcohol even said that drinking is a good first date idea—46% said because it’s easy and less formal and 27% said because it’s a good way to let your guard down and have a conversation.

– Drinking dates are slightly more popular with Millennials—77% of Millennials who drink alcohol said it’s a great first date option.

East Coasters in Blue States are some of the “thirstiest” daters.
Not every single likes to drink or go to a bar on a first date, and drinking and dating culture varies some from state to state. Singles in the District of Columbia and the East Coast tend to enjoy drinking on a date the most, though Alaska, Colorado, and Iowa made the list as well.

Top 10 States Where Daters Who Drink
Think Drinking on a First Date Is a Good Idea

District of Columbia   –   87%
Massachusetts   –   81%
Delaware   –   79%
Maryland   –   79%
Wisconsin   –   78%
New Hampshire   –   78%
Wyoming   –   78%
Alaska   –   77%
Colorado   –   77%
Iowa   –   76%

Nearly a third of non-drinkers find it difficult to date.  
Since drinking on dates is almost the norm, is dating harder for people who don’t drink? According to 32% of non-drinkers, yes. And it’s even higher for Millennial non-drinkers—38% of them said not drinking can make things difficult.

7% of sober singles even admitted that they pretended to drink on a date. And this is slightly higher with Millennial non-drinkers at 10%.

Drinking isn’t a deal-breaker for most singles.
Even though a third of non-drinkers find it hard to date because they don’t drink, 81% said they would still date someone who drinks alcohol. And surprisingly, alcohol drinkers are more open to the idea of dating non-drinkers—86% said they would date someone who doesn’t drink alcohol.

Daters can’t resist the charm of a local pub.
While local pubs have a universal appeal among singles, wine bars were popular with women. Millennials also enjoy breweries.

Favorite Type of Bar for a First Date




Local pub – 58%Local pub – 57%Local pub – 63%
Lounge – 41%Wine bar – 51%Brewery – 51%
Wine bar – 39%Lounge – 35%Lounge – 49%

Least Favorite Type of Bar for a First Date




College bar – 2%College bar – 1%College bar – 7%
Arcade bar – 9%Arcade bar – 7%Nightclub – 12%
Nightclub – 11%Nightclub – 9%Hotel bar – 15%

It’s okay to order a drink before your date arrives.
A whopping 92% of daters who drink said it’s okay if their date orders a drink before they show up. Only 2% said they would judge them for it, while 6% said they would tease them about it.

In addition, 30% of drinkers have even admitted to drinking before dates to feel less anxious or nervous. And, this is slightly higher with Millennial drinkers at 36%.

Go-to drinks? Beer for guys (ale yeah!) and wine for the ladies (chardonn-yay!).
62% of men choose beer most often for dates, while 62% of women choose wine.

Top 10 Favorite Go-to Date Drinks



Beer – 62%

Wine – 62%

Wine – 41%

Beer – 32%

Coffee – 26%

Margarita – 29%

Margarita – 23%

Coffee – 26%

Tea – 21%

Tea – 25%

Soda – 20%

Soda – 21%

Vodka Soda – 10%

Champagne – 11%

Martini – 10%

Martini – 11%

Whiskey Sour: 9%

Mojito – 10%

Gin and Tonic – 9%

Daiquiri – 10%

These cocktails make the conversation flow online.
Talking about alcoholic drinks in an online message doesn’t result in more replies. But, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

Drink mentioned in a message

Increase in response rate

Sparkling Wine


Long island iced tea












Tea lovers rejoice! Talking about tea online really stirs up conversation.  
Love kombucha? Try bringing it up in your next conversation online and you’re more likely to get the response you’re looking for.

Non-alcoholic drink mentioned in a message

Increase in response rate









Ginger Ale








Iced Tea


Cold Brew


Is there a two-drink maximum for dates? 55% of daters think so.
It’s important to drink responsibly, especially on first dates. And for the majority of singles, that means sticking to two drinks on date nights. But opinions vary—17% of daters think one drink should be the maximum, while 19% think three is fine.

Number of acceptable drinks for a date

Percentage of respondents











5 or more


Is kissing more fun after sipping? Guys say yes, but female drinkers are split..
60% of men who drink think kissing is more fun after a few drinks compared to 46% of women who feel the same. And Millennials tend to enjoy kissing after a few drinks even more—70% of Millennial men and 57% of Millennial women think kissing is more fun after a few drinks.

Well, there you have it! Pour a glass of your favorite drink and start putting these thirst-quenching dating insights into real action. Cheers!

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