Predicting the cocktail trends of 2023
Whether it’s the power of TikTok to make cocktails hip, the increasing need for and popularity of happy hours in bars, or the fashion for drinks establishments to focus on local ingredients, we predict the trends of 2023.
Ring in the happy hour
As the cost‐of‐living crisis spreads around the world, bar‐goers and cocktail lovers are beginning to feel the squeeze, but some aren’t willing to forgo their favourite pastime quite yet, meaning the happy hour is in demand.
Drinks deals can be discovered worldwide: New York’s Dante offers Negroni Sessions every day between 3pm and 5pm, with variations of the classic available for US$10, while London’s Swift stages Aperitvo Hour until 7pm every day.
Nightcap, founded by ex‐Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham, is the owner of a number of UK bar chains, and has seen happy hours “continue to grow”.
This year, a study by Opinion research found 55% of British consumer were spending less money in bars, while research from data consultancy CGA found that in Canada one‐in‐five consumers are planning to reduce their visits to the on‐trade in the wake of rising costs. Bars will need to lure back guests – and where better to start than providing cheaper drinks in time slots?
While sustainability is less of a trend and more of a desired foundation for brands and bars now, one aspect of this gaining particular attention is the foraging of local ingredients.
The industry has grappled with the financial costs and time delays due to issues in the supply chain, so the appeal of cutting shipping charges, speeding up delivery and supporting nearby businesses is strong.
Neil Ridley, director of London creative consultancy Caskstrength Creative, and a drinks writer, said: “People are looking more towards everything in the bar being locally sourced. And they are really becoming quite militant about it, all the way down to glassware, and whether you can find a local supplier.”
One bar praised for its use of local products is Paris’ Le Syndicat bar, which prides itself for its sole use of French spirits, and its made-in‐France range of canned cocktails.
TikTok generating drinks buzz
Video platform TikTok boomed during the Covid‐19 lockdowns of 2020, and its mass use has led to specific cocktails taking their turn in the spotlight. One instance of this is the search count for a Negroni Sbagliato cocktail jumping by 501% in one week, following its mention in a viral clip on the app. House of Dragons actor Emma D’Arcy spoke of the serve being their favourite serve in a bar, and in 30 days, Google searches for Negroni Sbagliato had reached 60,000. The Dirty Shirley also had its time on TikTok, and was considered the drinks craze of summer 2022.
For 2023, keep an eye out for the cocktails trending on the app – you’ll likely see them featuring on bar menus and even being promoted as ready‐mixed iterations by brands a month later.
Tessa Hughes, global customer experience manager at NIO Cocktails, said: “We can certainly see the power of TikTok in influencing consumer trends.”
The word ‘scholarship’ in the hospitality industry has become increasingly prominent in 2022. With the sector’s staffing crisis sure to continue into next year, scholarships could be the way forward for venues, brands and trade bodies to back new talent.
While the industry focuses on training and education to attract new employees, the schemes are also promoted to change the way in which hospitality careers can be negatively perceived.
Jumping on this trend in 2022 was The World’s 50 Best Bars and LVMH‐owned Hennessy Cognac, with the latter launching an initiative to support students from minority backgrounds in the spirits trade.
Herbal liqueur Jägermeister, mixer producer Double Dutch, and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association are just a few of the companies that are offering graduate programmes – will 2023 see an increase in the number of brands offering diplomas to drinks enthusiasts?
Classic cocktails see a swap
While creating a gin‐based Margarita or Tequila‐based Martini has been associated with using up leftovers in your liquor cabinet, bartenders are now mixing unconventional serves and labelling them as classic cocktails.
Global Campari Academy specialist Giulia Vedelago said: “How important are flavours versus recipe? Is it just a recipe or a concept behind it? If you see it as a concept, you can change ingredients based on the concept.”
Expect to see your favourite classic cocktail mixed with an alternative base spirit in 2023, as bartenders become creative.
Lauren Mote, global director, on‐trade excellence, Patrón Tequila, added: “This year we’ve seen consumers discover new drinking occasions for Patrón, and experimenting with new cocktails that are traditionally made with other spirits. Whether that’s utilising Patrón Silver for a twist on a Negroni or opting for a Patrón Paloma as an alternative to a refreshing apéritif.”