Can anyone ever know the future? Nope. That won’t keep us from trying to predict it, though—especially when it comes to drinks. With 2022 fast coming to a close, we asked a few forward-thinking experts in order to make educated guesses as to what the year ahead might hold for the spirits , cocktail and bar industries. Some of the responses surprised us.
For instance, are you ready to start thinking about French 75s in space? What about ever-more-expensive cocktails? Or the rise associated with shochu, the particular Japanese distilled beverage that’s long been poised with regard to bar cart stardom?
Here’s what the pros see on the horizon for 2023.
1 . Expect More “Guilty Pleasure” Cocktails
Bartenders will double down on combining escapism and nostalgia into whimsical beverages, whether based on rediscovered classics from the ’ 90s or comforting dessert-style cocktails. Social media-worthy visuals will also be part of the package.
“With all the Dirty Shirleys and espresso martinis in the world making a comeback, the simple Harvey Wallbanger seems ripe for a resurgence on the horizon, ” muses Nicholas Bennett, beverage director at Porchlight in New York City . “Its recognition and simplicity are perfect tools for any bartender, plus the [oversized Galliano ] bottle will make a great weapon in the inevitable zombie apocalypse. ”
2 . Low- and No-Alcohol Drinks Will Command Attention
Across the board, bartenders say they plan to serve drinks that will appeal in order to those who are limiting or omitting alcohol.
Lauren “LP” Paylor O’Brien, proprietor of consultancy LPDrinks plus season one winner of Netflix’s Consume Masters , foresees “a focus on understanding no- and low-alcohol-by-volume (ABV) products plus the ways to incorporate them in to drinks to make the best end product. ”
Similarly, Ashley Christensen, who oversees Raleigh, North Carolina venues Fox Liquor Bar and Death & Taxes , predicts more emphasis on booze-free beverage lists and bars, “and more sobriety in the [bar] industry as a whole. ”
That’s supported by the rise in non-alcoholic bottlings plus premixed drinks, as well as retailers and e-commerce platforms selling those products.
“No-alcohol items can be sold anywhere with no restrictions, including online through major retailers like Amazon , ” notes Adam Rogers, research movie director for North America at drinks market analysis firm IWSR . “By contrast, the sale of traditional-strength spirits remains largely limited in major online retailers. ”
3. The Ascent associated with Agave Spirits Will Continue
It’s no secret that tequila and mezcal sales have been on a tear the last couple of years, driven by the particular luxury mood sector, celebrity-backed bottles and the continued appeal associated with margaritas plus other drinks. But agave spirits have still tailed vodka in terms of sales.
That may be poised to change; data tracker Allied Market Research predicts that the global tequila market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6. 6% from 2022 in order to 2031, noting that Northern America continues to be the biggest market regarding tequila by region.
This also might be the 12 months that tequila pulls ahead. Beau du Bois, vice president of Bar and Spirits in San Diego restaurants Marisi plus Puesto , predicts that for the first time, tequila will outsell every spirit category in the U. S.
In part, he credits increased transparency in the processes associated with how tequila is made.
4. …Including Tequila-Based RTD Cocktails
Ready-to-drink [RTD] cocktails possess been the juggernaut that will gained traction during the particular pandemic, whenever seemingly every brand rolled out cans to enjoy from home or even in the great outdoors (and more recently, with stadiums, concerts and other recreational venues).
Following spirits trends, the particular vast majority of those featured a vodka base. But tequila-based RTDs are “poised to take off, ” says Dale Stratton, an analyst at SipSource, a company that reports on drink trends and data.
The particular analytical arm of Wines & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) cites the popularity associated with margaritas and can-friendly effervescent Ranch Waters and tequila seltzers as positioning the particular category to get a “2023 explosion. ”
However, don’t count out the whiskey segment yet, counters IWSR : “All spirits bases look set to contribute to the progress of the segment, but it will be whisky-based RTDs that are registering the fastest growth, ” as high-profile rum brands roll out Highballs along with other brand extensions.
5. The $20 Cocktail Isn’t Going Away
The culprit isn’t necessarily higher booze prices, though. SipSource analyzed alcohol beverage prices supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through January through September 2020, and found that intended for alcohol sold by merchants to consume at home (“off-premise”) has risen second . 9%, while alcohol sold at bars, restaurants, etc. (“on-premise) has risen 5. 8%.
“It looks to me like on-premise operators are raising prices faster than the supplier plus distributor price increases have been taken, ” says Danny Brager, a good analyst at SipSource.
So, if the price of rum will be holding steady, why does that will Mai Tai cost more—and why is that likely to continue? Labor shortages, higher costs for food and rent increases are usually among the particular factors boosting tabs on bars and restaurants. Until those pressures subside, expect to pay more for an evening out.
six. Inflation May Also Fuel Martini Madness
“The martini is not going anyplace, ” says Lynnette Marrero, bartender and Speed Rack co-founder. “With rising cocktail costs, this is usually still the best bang for the particular buck, ” and that fact that martinis include fewer ingredients versus more elaborate concoctions means that bars “can typically keep the price moderate. ”
Luckily, creativity continues in order to grow within the space, she notes, thanks to the popularity associated with dirty martinis , coffee martinis and the like.
7. You’ll Find Drink Inspiration on TikTok
Facebook’s fading , Twitter’s on the rocks plus even Instagram just doesn’t seem the same since Reels took over the algorithm. Increasingly, #drinkfluencers are finding #drinkspo on #drinktok. Whatever the hashtag from the moment is (#toktails? #whiskeytok? ), this is where the particular drink hacks, tutorials and trends are bubbling up first. That’s prone to accelerate in the yr ahead.
TikTok has been the top app by worldwide downloads in every quarter since the start of 2021, according to a report by Sensor Tower , which puts the particular most recent count at 3. five billion all-time downloads. We’ve also already seen how TikTok is definitely breaking down barriers for wine content producers , plus we needn’t tell a person more about exactly how the Negroni Sbagliato became TikTok famous .
However , TikTok’s strict policies against alcohol-related content—intended to protect its younger demographic—may maintain booze brands at bay. At least, for now.
8. It Could Be a Breakout Year to get Shochu
This next year could be the one pertaining to Japan’s native spirit, Marrero reasons. On July 1, New York amended the Beverage Control Act to allow shochu (24% ABV or under) to be offered under a beer and wines license .
“This has opened up the amount of venues serving and using this creative spirit unadulterated from grains and vegetables, ” the girl explains. Furthermore, “Japan just opened meant for tourism and I think the liquid research may start before people are usually able to strategy their trip abroad. ”
9. Bar Pros Will Find the particular Spotlight
“The single thing I believe will be the biggest trend next season? The increase of pub professionals to the level of chefs in public opinion, ” says Jackie Summers, founder of Sorel liqueur . “Hospitality has always included food and beverage, however wine plus spirits have got always taken secondary importance in media. ”
He points to the Netflix series Drink Masters as a signal that star-makers and consumers are ready to embrace the particular cachet associated with bartenders alongside chefs, pastry chefs and restaurateurs. “After all, does any bartenders deserve to be a household name more than Julie Reiner? ”
10. Wild Card: Space Exploration Will certainly Inspire the Drinks World
According to trend-watcher Mintel , chaos on Earth will spur innovators to set their sights on space exploration as a source of food and drink inspiration.
We have to admit, some of the signs already are there: In September 2022, Champagne house G. H. Mumm revealed the particular first Bubbly designed for human spaceflight, with a foam that coats the mouth; Scotland’s Ardbeg (see the newly-released Hypernova bottling) plus Japan’s Suntory have already experimented with sending their whiskies to area; and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is already booking reservations for room tourism.
Space-inspired state of mind (like Kuiper Belt ) and science-fiction themed bars are looking a little closer to reality.
Think our 2023 predictions can come in order to fruition? Take a look at our 2022 crystal ball to see how our experts fared.