Bar Talk: Drink-trend predictions for 2023
In 2022, there seemed to be a drink for every taste at the bar. Whether you’re a fan of tequila, cocktails you can take on the go, or fancy drinks that won’t leave you feeling crappy tomorrow, there were plenty of trends to try this year.
Here is a roundup of some of the top 2022 drink trends and my predictions of whether they will carry over into 2023 or fade into the past.
Trend: Social-Media-Influenced Drinks
We all know that TikTok and Instagram reels seem to hold influence over just about everything these days, from viral food trends/ hacks to how people are decorating their spaces. So, it’s no surprise that social media is also influencing what we are drinking, and it goes beyond sponsored posts. For example, the Negroni Spagliato, which rose to popularity thanks to a viral clip from an interview between two House of the Dragon stars Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke. You know the one, “What’s your drink of choice? A negroni … spagliato … with prosecco in it. Ohhh, stunning.”
Take with you to 2023? Yes. TikTok/Instagram doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon, at least not in the next year. I expect reels and videos to continue their steady incline in influence and foresee more drink trends to attempt in 2023.
If you somehow didn’t make this drink in October when the clip first went viral, here’s the recipe, plus a little background:
Definition: a negroni with prosecco instead of gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
How to: In a rocks glass with ice, add sweet vermouth and Campari, and stir. Top your drink off with prosecco to taste, but, if you follow the classic negroni recipe, then use 1 oz prosecco, and garnish with an orange slice. Ohhh, stunning!
Trend: Fruit In Beer
Although it seems IPAs still reigned supreme over the craft-beer movement and the options for hops, hops, and more hops abound, there was a new style creeping in on shelves in 2022: fruity beers. Perhaps brewers were taking notes from the rise of hard kombucha or the continued dominance of hard seltzers in the canned-alcohol department that feature exotic, fruity flavors, or maybe they just wanted a bit more complex, slightly sweet and sour options in addition to all the IPAs. Whatever the reason, fruity beers are a nice addition to the beer coolers, providing refreshing pours for warmer months and a sip of something exotic that takes the mind to more tropical places during the colder months.
Take with you to 2023? If you’re a fan, then yes! I think the beer industry is going to turn its attention elsewhere in 2023, such as continue with limited-release brews, experimental flavors, and more sustainable-brewing practices, but that doesn’t mean fruity beers are going to be left behind.
Trend: Canned Cocktails
It was time for hard seltzers to move over in 2022 and make room for canned cocktails in the cooler. New companies crafting pre-mixed drinks to enjoy anywhere, sans bartender, seemed to be popping up everywhere. From festivals to your friend’s cooler on a camping trip, canned cocktails were a fun new option to cheers to new adventures with when you’re craving something more than just a beer. The options for canned cocktails feature all types of spirits and range — from high ABV, such as Cutwater’s White Russians at 14%, to lower ABV options, such as one of my favorites — the classic Finnish Long Drink — which clocks in at 5.5%.
Take with you to 2023? Absolutely. The canned-cocktail options are going to continue to grow (I’ve already got one review lined up for 2023) as more big brands are getting into the game, and it’s my hope that they tamper down the hard-seltzer craze.
Trend: Low ABV & Zero-Proof Cocktails
The phrase “sober curious” grew more popular in 2022 as did sections of cocktail menus dedicated to mocktails. In addition, zero-proof spirits, wines, etc., became more abundant and easily available. Some of the judgment surrounding not drinking while at a bar or party atmosphere has dissipated, and the options to stay sober without simply sipping on seltzer water or NA beer have grown more fun and creative.
Take with you to 2023? Definitely. Even if you just get involved during a “sober October” stint, the zero-proof and alternative-drink movement, such as drinks with adaptogens and CBD, is only going to continue to grow and attract a bigger crowd in 2023.
Trend: Tequila Still Reigns
Tequila continued to be the popular drink of choice, with more brands breaking onto the scene and even more of them backed by famous faces. This trend has its perks, especially felt in Aspen when it came to the Food & Wine Classic and every other party being sponsored by a tequila brand, but is the market getting oversaturated, and has the quality started to falter with each new brand? All I know for sure is that some are definitely doing it better than others.
Take with you to 2023? I’d never advocate to ditch tequila, but, in 2023, it’s time to pay attention to other spirits on the shelf.