WASHINGTON (AP/WNCN) — One way Americans are coping with the new coronavirus? Booze.

U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen.

Spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales.

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper has declared the ABC stores, which sell liquor, are essential businesses and should remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nielsen said online alcohol sales were up 243%. Danelle Kosmal, a Nielsen vice president, suspects growth rates peaked that week as people loaded up their pantries before state stay-at-home orders went into effect.

Kosmal said data for the week ending March 28 will be a better indicator of ongoing demand.