Nathan Cunningham, from the university’s department of statistics discovered that during the seven days of Christmas, UK online searches for brandy have been significantly higher than for any other alcoholic drink during the past five years.
Using Google trends data from 2012 to 2016, Cunningham analysed the volume of online searches for the most popular festive spirits – brandy, gin, vodka, rum and whisky – looking for a spike at Christmas.
He found that brandy was searched for more than any other spirit at Christmas and rum and vodka came second and third respectively.
Cunningham said: “In each of the past five years, the search volume for some of the most popular alcoholic spirits has peaked dramatically around the week of Christmas.
“I found it interesting that there has been such a consistent surge in searches for spirits around the festive period and wanted to find out which one, more so than any other, we associate with Christmas above and beyond any other time of the year.
“Not being a fan of mince pies or Christmas pudding myself, I feel I’m missing out on the Christmas spirit now! Christmas dessert in my house has always been my mum’s lemon cheesecake.”
Meanwhile, the results of a YouGov poll found that gin is still the nation's most popular tipple.
Some 29% of drinkers voted it their favourite in the poll, which included 1,741 adults. This was up from one year ago when gin was in third place. The next two most popular spirit drinks in 2017 were whisky (25%) and vodka (23%).
‘Mother’s ruin’ continues to be the stand-out spirit in growth with yet another double-digit sales increase across the on and off-trade.