Background: Nicotine affects sensory pathways and an interaction between taste and nicotine preference is likely. In addition to pharmacologic effects, orosensory factors are important in nicotine dependence. Recent evidence suggests a link between taste (notably bitter) receptor genes and nicotine addiction. Objectives: To explore the possible interaction between taste and nicotine preference in rats, including sex as a factor. Methods: Adult male and female Sprague Dawley rats (n = 82) were used in free choice oral intake experiments. In Experiment 1 rats received water from one bottle and one of the taste substances (quinine, sucrose, or saccharine) from the other bottle for 12 days. Following a wash-out period, Experiment 2a was initiated in the same rats. Rats received water from one bottle and nicotine (10 and 20 mg/l) from the other for 12 days. In Experiment 2b, nicotine exposure was continued for four more weeks. Liquid intake and weight were measured at four-day (Experiments 1 and 2a) and one week (Experiment 2b) periods. Results: In female rats, quinine and subsequent nicotine intake were positively correlated and quinine intake and weight gain were negatively correlated. No association was depicted between nicotine consumption and sweet tastants in either female or male animals. Conclusion: The results suggest that bitter taste and nicotine preference are related, but only in female rats. This finding is parallel to observations in human smokers. Our study may be a preliminary step in the search for common genes that underlie nicotine dependence and taste preference.