The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) released its annual Fiscal Year report, which chronicles statistics on Pennsylvania’s most sought-after beverages and how many units of them are sold.
In the PLCB’s ranking of the state’s top 10 most popular spirits, third and fourth place were designated to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, specifically the 1.75 liter bottle (3rd) and the 1 liter bottle (4th) with each version selling 1.4 million units and over 1.3 million units, respectively.
Ranking second is New Amsterdam Vodka’s 50 mL bottle at 1.6 million units sold this fiscal year. Eclipsing all other products on the list by a vast margin and earning the first place ranking is Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey’s 50 mL bottle, selling a whopping 4.6 million units this year at 99 cents each.
Several 50 mL units litter the PLCB list. But what exactly makes them so desirable and fly off the shelves, especially Fireball Whiskey? According to Michelle Curtis, an on-premises adviser for Philadelphia’s Diageo Hospitality Partnership, “They are great for gifting, travel, and early mornings on the golf course.”
They can also be more frugal, especially bought in bulk. A 375 mL unit of Fireball, for example, retails for $18.99. For that same price, you could buy 15 units of 50 mL each (750 mL total) and still have money left over for bus fare.
Furthermore, consumers who want an extra kick in their soft drinks often add a splash of spirits from a tiny bottle, evident by the empty plastic remains frequently found under stands at sporting events, for instance.
For those who enjoy their drinks in a flute glass, the PLCB also ranked the top-selling wine in the state. Third place was given to Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, which sold 518,000 units of 750 mL bottles. Hanging just above at second place is Cavit Pinot Grigio, selling 537,000 units of 1.5 L bottles. The highest-selling wine this year belongs to La Marca Prosecco and its 750 mL units, of which 778,000 were sold this year.
In 52 Pennsylvania counties, unflavored vodka topped the charts for spirits, while 15 counties preferred American whiskey as their top spirit, according to the PLCB report.
California cabernet sauvignon lead the top wine category in 34 counties, box red wine lead in 24, and California chardonnay was the top wine in 6 counties.
Retail dollar sales accounted for $2.12 billion this fiscal year, and the PLCB report identified the top 3 counties that contributed to 35 percent of statewide sales: Allegheny, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties.
This report proves one thing certain: Pennsylvania has a keen palette for spirits and wines.