Which drinks will take-off in 2023, and which ones are here to stay? Check out my predictions.
If you have a favourite drink (and who does not), which one is it? And has it changed over time?
Apparently, the most searched after drink of 2022 was the Aperol Spritz according to Google search. Which might surprise, given the hype around the Martini. But then, it’s an easy-to-prepare, refreshing and light drink. Plus, it’s perfect to be enjoyed along all those delicious Italian cicchetti (small plates similar to the Spanish tapas).
But what (and where) are we going to drink in 2023?
This time next year, we will know what the most popular drink of 2023 had been. Until then, the trends determining the world of beverages last year can still provide strong hints what to expect this year. Thus, looking back there are some interesting trends I strongly expect in 2023 to accelerate or morph into tweaked trends of their own. And we are likely to see new trends altogether.
Check out my predictions for the most likely drink trends for the year 2023 below and definitely follow along to learn how they will unfold.
What and where we will drink in 2023: 12 drinks trends to be watched
If past trends qualify as trend detector, then 2023 could very likely become the year of the Spritz Cocktail. Because, according to Google, the most searched cocktail of 2022 was Aperol Spritz.
Invented in north-eastern Italy (or to be more precise, around Venice), this easy, refreshing drink with its bright orange colour is well-known around the world. But the Aperol Spritz is only one version of the Spritz cocktail. In fact, this type of cocktail is based on prosecco, bitters and soda water but does not necessarily require Aperol.
Being light on alcohol, refreshing and the perfect match with a snack or appetizer, this year could well be the year of the Spritz cocktail. From Limoncello Spritz to Amalfi Spritz, Vodka Spritz, Basil and Lemon Spritz, Pink Grapefruit Spritz and many more, the choices are nearly unlimited.
By the way, back in Summer 2021, I published Awesome variations of the classic Aperol Spritz you will make on repeat. Just saying.
Agave Spirits & Rum
Agave sprits have been the revelation of last year. Believe it or not, but in the U.S. sales of tequila and mezcal exceeded those of whisky. The perhaps lesser known mezcal took a critical part in this trend, as it slowly starts to move out of tequila’s shadow. However, the main reason is likely the popularity of the margarita cocktail, which comes in nearly unlimited variations and uses tequila (and increasingly mezcal for a twist) as main ingredient.
As both spirits are slowly moving into mainstream, expect them to remain hugely popular in 2023.
Likewise, interest in different types of spirits will continue to spread beyond gin and whisky this year. Rum sales have already risen in the past few years and 2023 could be the year of rum, indeed. It’s also great in a large range of cocktails, thus another reason to see it moving up in demand.
Low and non-alcoholic drinks
A few years back non-alcoholic wines and spirits were regarded as nothing more than an oddity. However, changes in consumer preferences over the past few years has significantly changed this concept. With more and more consumers intend to moderate their alcohol intake – either permanently or at least occasionally like participating in Dry January – but not the complexity and flavours of wine, spirits, and cocktails.
As a result, it’s the new normal to see a winery include low and no-alcohol wines among its wine range (at least here in Europe more and more of them offer at least one bottling of a no alcohol white, red, and sparkling wine). Likewise, distilleries embrace the rising demand for low and no-alcohol spirits offering no-alcohol variations recapturing the flavour profiles of different spirits through botanicals, herbs, and spices. And as winemakers and distillers get better creating delicious alternatives to their alcohol ranges, demand is even growing stronger.
This year and beyond, expect to see more and more brands, wineries and distilleries launching their own low or no-alcohol ranges.
Segments of low and no-alcohol drinks that I certainly expect to go particularly strong will include sparkling wines. Including the so-called ‘Secco’ (a low alcohol type of sparkling wines) already popular in German-speaking countries. Including seccos made from fruits like peach or berries.
Seasonal/Themed Cocktail Parties
Thankfully, pandemic restrictions are mostly a part of the past. Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a looming global recession, high inflation and continued staff shortages impacting on service levels and opening times. Thus, we are likely to see people to continue to stay-in and improving on their own bartending skills.
This year, staying-in for cocktail hour could look a bit different though. With restrictions lifted, it’s no longer only core families. Instead, we will see the return of entertaining at home. Which means, hosting cocktail parties. And with many still restricting going out, and possibly also travel less, the effort put into cocktail parties will go beyond mixing a couple of the classics.
Expect focus on creating seasonal cocktails and themed cocktail parties like ‘Venetian Carnival Cocktail Splurge’, ‘A trip to the Caribbean’, ‘Spring Break Cocktail Party’ or ‘Midsummer Cocktail Night’, to name just a few.
Certainly here to stay, and possibly even growing stronger. With the stay-in and party at home trend continuing, we will need a broader range of cocktails that we can mix at home. And while improving our mixology skills, it’s kind of natural to look at recreating the classics of the past. I strongly expect to see more of the cocktails and drinks that used to be fashionable in the eighties or nineties (and even before) making a comeback this year.
That said, bartenders (both professionals and at-home mixologists) will also continue to experiment with new flavour combinations. This will include recreating classic cocktails with a twist, substituting the original spirits with different flavours. For example, swapping tequila for gin in a margarita.
Frozen cocktails and slushies
I mean, we are experiencing dramatic climate change (not that this is a good thing). With longer and warmer (and often much hotter) summers, it’s easy to see lighter, refreshing thirst-quenchers to get a lot more attention. I certainly expect frozen versions of the classics to pop up more and more this year. A frozen negroni anyone?
And for those looking to reduce alcohol consumption, this trend perfectly works for no-alcohol versions too.
Definitely one of the trends to continue in 2023. I mean, after all coffee is the most popular beverage globally. And given its popularity the world over last year, I can’t see the espresso martinis to go away that quickly. Plus, coffee work hot and old, in nearly unlimited variations from a classic cappuccino to a spicy Mexican coffee, mixed with alcohol and without.
What started already pre-pandemic with a few classics such as the Bellini has turned into a full-fledged new segment over the past two years. With the popularity of cocktails skyrocketing during the pandemic, more and more brands have created their own ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails. From a readily mixed and canned margarita, mojito, gin tonic, or a pina colada to name but a few, all you need to do is put a bottle in your fridge and pop it open whenever you are in the mood to pour yourself a glass.
With more brands selling RTD cocktails and the range of premade cocktails sold likely to expand significantly, I am strongly betting on this trend not just to survive but thrive in 2023 and beyond. Including the boozy and no-alcohol segments.
After-dinner drinks / digestifs
In the past years, there’s been a lot of gushing over aperitivo time. It’s safe to say pre-dinner dinks are here to stay. But this year might see after-dinner dinks to gain a bit more of the spotlight. Sure, it could simply be a whisky, brandy, or port wine. However, from amaro to cordials, fruit brandies and Italian grappa, there is a large range of digestifs meant to be enjoyed particularly after dinner. They are thought to be ideal to aid digestion and typically enjoyed in small quantities. Ending your diner (or even lunch) with a digestif is quite common in European countries such as Italy (grappa, limoncello, amaro), Spain (sherry), Greece (ouzo), France (Cognac) and Germany (fruit brandies, herbal liquors, Jägermeister).
With more elaborate home cooking and entertaining at home, I am pretty sure we will see a growing interest in digestifs on a more global scale.
Wine travel will be back in full force, extending to distilleries
I am convinced where you drink your wine will also matter more this year. As the world has finally reopened, travel is expected to be back in full force this year. And since wine – along with spirits and cocktails – has played a major role while we were forced to stay home, it’s easy to see those who have expanded their wine knowledge and upgraded to higher quality wines now wanting to explore the regions where their favourite wines are made. Thus, wine travel should see a new boom this year.
This year and beyond, it will no longer be just about the wine country, however. With the newfound interest in spirits, many distilleries have started to open their doors to visitors and create exciting on-site experiences. The most established region to see distillery travel is perhaps Scotland with its historic whisky distillers along with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, where visitor numbers have strongly risen last year. New exiting distillery trails and lesser-known regions boasting a crucial number of distilleries will certainly see rising visitor interest.
Food pairing extending to spirits
With rising interest in distillery tourism, on-site experiences will increasingly embrace the offer of food pairing. A trend few hotels, bars and distillers had tentatively started to tap into over recent years, I certainly expect more venues to offer food pairing based on spirits rather than wine. Particularly distilleries in regions seeing rising distillery tourism are likely to add food experiences to their visitor experiences.
And what about gin tonic?
If you follow my blog, you will have noticed, I love gin. And with all those new gins heavy on often unique botanicals from around the world, there is still a lot to discover. Plus, mixing up a refreshing gintonic is likely one of the easiest ways to kick off the evening with a nice drink in hand.
Thus, I certainly expect gins are here to stay. But the gin boom of the past two decades is likely coming to an end. I mean, with all the other exciting options, I strongly expect the gintonic to become a favourite drink among others.
So what do you think about my drink predictions? Do you agree?