"Wealthy people and younger people are generally willing to pay more for a cocktail than the rest of us," said Scott Elliott, senior vice president at Nielsen CGA, a joint venture between the two metrics companies.
About a fourth of the U.S. population has drunk a cocktail outside their home in the last three months, according to the survey. The most popular liquors for use in cocktails are tequila, followed by rum, vodka and whiskey.
Sixty percent said that margaritas are their favorite cocktail, followed by daiquiris, pina coladas, Long Island ice teas and mojitos. Nationally, Americans said they expect to pay $8.72 for a standard cocktail, but are willing to pay 25 percent more for a cocktail made with premium spirits.
Suprisingly, while young people said they expect to pay more for a cocktail, they also listed the price as a more important measure of the value of their purchase than did older drinkers.
"Millennials are about frugal luxury," said Elliott. "They're frugal about the price point of things, but they're happy to spend on what they perceive as luxury items, be that a quality cocktail or an iPad."
This is the first time that the survey has been conducted in the U.S., so it's hard to say how preferences and price points have changed over time. The price of alcoholic drinks outside the home has been increasing faster than inflation or drinks at home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.