Skip to main content

The pros weigh in on the biggest drink trends to watch for in 2023

Curious what the drink world will do in 2023? We've got a few educated guesses.

It’s been a big year. The pandemic slowed, the World Cup took over Qatar, and we took some pretty cool pictures of the heavens. There were some significant drink trends as well. Things like brandy, RTD cocktails, agave spirits, and lower-alcohol options shined brightly.

So what will 2023 pour into our cups? We peered into the crystal ball to offer some well-educated guesses. We also reached out to a few industry pros to see what they forecast as the major drink trends of 2023.

A glass of Neroli cocktail with yellow flower on soil and grass.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cocktails

We’ll be honest: There are some things that don’t necessarily need to come back next year. We’ve had our fill of charcoal-activated cocktails, espresso martinis, and poorly-made natural wine. Others are more than welcome to return next year, like to-go cocktails, liquors and spirits finished in creative ways, and American sparkling wine.

Experiential drinks

Jason Asher is an experienced L.A. bartender who recently gave us some great advice on mixing with nocino. We asked him about what to look forward to in 2023, drinks-wise. First up, he says, are awe-inspiring experiential cocktails. Food and wine may have made the concept famous, but mixologists are taking note.

“People love to drink with their eyes first,” Asher says. “Food has always had the platform to show elevated plating techniques, and that’s now finally moved into the cocktail world. Drinkers are expecting avant-garde presentations and interactive elements that swoop them into the moment with every sip.”

Nonalcoholic drinks

He also foresees a continued rise in nonalcoholic (NA) offerings. Producers are putting real time and effort into their nonalcoholic options, and it’s paying off. Bartenders are embracing the offerings with open arms, concocting some mean mocktails en route. Then there’s the nostalgia element, something that seems to permeate every facet of our culture, from food and drinks to fashion and music. Asher has incorporated some of that nostalgic flavor into his menus, like a vintage Blue Hawaii cocktail and more playful nostalgic items like spiked ice creams and sorbets.

Going forward, Asher also believes the sector will increasingly focus on sustainability, on-premise batching, and more and more science being applied to the field. Oh, and watch out for rum — we see it riding a wave that’s bubbled up in 2022 and really taking off next year.

Wine

Lightwell Survey Wines.
Facebook/Lightwell Survey

Cabernet Franc

For Bill Cox, the wine director at Charlotte’s Counter, it’s all about a Bordeaux variety. “Cabernet Franc continues to get hotter and hotter, both domestically and abroad,” he says. “Because Cabernet Sauvignon is overplanted, winemakers have been replacing with Cab Franc so that there’s more inventory. Consumers are realizing it’s a delicious wine with a good price point.” Cox also believes Etna wines from Sicily will continue to rise in popularity. We tend to agree and love these volcanic offerings that are full of character.

Counoise

Victor King is the executive chef at Bar La Fete in Alabama. He has a dark horse wine option for 2023. “I foresee a rise in Counoise! Traditionally used in the Southern Rhône, this wine is super adaptable to dryer soil types and doesn’t take long to be an effective yielding grape,” King says. “While it is often thought of as a boring blending grape to increase volume and lower the tenacity of a wine, on its own, it’s light, juicy, and a bit peppery. It is perfectly adaptable to the growing taste for lower priced chilled reds.”

Look out for a bright spotlight to shine on biodynamic producers and for dry-farming to become a seriously viable approach to winegrowing, especially amid historic drought conditions in major wine zones. We’re also putting our money on the continued success of clean and bracing white wines with plenty of acid, such as albariño (its homeland just reported some outstanding export numbers) and sauvignon blanc. Some sommeliers are even predicting big years for wines like fanciacorta, wines from Portugal, Uruguay and Argentina, and even wine cocktails. Rose, maybe not so much, but it’s had a nice, long run.

beer with hops.
Missy Fant / Unsplash

Beer

Not a category that’s known for standing still, craft beer continues to evolve. Recently, we’ve seen cool new options like Cold IPA and will continue to see experimentation with brand new hops (and hop formats like cryo hops).

Chris Herron is the CEO of Creature Comforts Brewing in Athens, Georgia. He thinks the move towards lighter beer is showing no signs of stopping. “There is a lot of positive movement towards lower ABV styles, in particular lagers,” he says. “Creature Comforts has the number-one craft lager and number-one craft pilsner in Georgia with Classic City Lager and Bibo, respectively. These are beers we have been making for a long time, even when it wasn’t cool to do so. They are such beautiful beers, and it is great to see consumers coming back around to respecting these styles and purchasing them.”

We’re likely to see the slowing of certain styles, like the hazy IPA. Craft enthusiasts really seem to be loving clean and crisp when it comes to beer, and the cloudy options don’t fit the bill. With the element of discovery always in play when it comes to drinks, look out for lesser-known styles to resurface. Think rauchbier, a German-style of smoked beer, or helles lagers, or wheat beers.

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
No drinks ready for tomorrow? This last minute punch is here to save your party
Gin, sparkling wine, fruit juice, and fresh fruits - it's delicious and super quick
Aviation Gin Champagne Punch cocktail

If you're hosting friends or family for a celebration tomorrow but you haven't sorted out any drinks yet, then no judgment. We've all been there, when life gets in the way and you don't have time to get everything prepared as much as you'd like.

These situations are where I like to lean on my go-to punch recipe. Punch is a great choice for a casual party drink as everyone can serve themselves and you don't have to be running back and forth to the kitchen all day to fetch drinks. And this version is fruity but sharp, so it's ideal to sip for summer.

Read more
Make your Fourth of July drinks a snap by batching up cocktails
Get ready for the party by preparing your cocktails ahead of time
Hands toasting with cocktails

If you're planning to celebrate Fourth of July this week and you haven't stocked up yet, you still have one more day to lay in some essentials. And whether you're hosting friends and family at your place and want to put on a spread for them, or you're heading out to someone else's party and you want to bring along a contribution, there are plenty of drinks options which are unfussy to make but delicious to drink.

If you're hosting more than a small handful of people and your guests like to drink, then you'll want to look into batch cocktails. The idea is that, rather than mixing each drink individually to order, you make up a large quantity of a single cocktail beforehand then have it ready for whenever your guests want it.

Read more
What exactly is a latte? All about this beloved drink
What makes a latte so delicious?
Latte

Everywhere you turn -- from Starbucks to Dunkin' -- lattes are being advertised. Classic, iced, mocha or even seasonal flavors like the pumpkin spice latte showcase this delicious espresso drink in endless varieties. Yet, in its basic form, a latte is a delicious classic crafted espresso drink that never goes out of style. While many of us enjoy ordering our favorite lattes, few stop to appreciate what ingredients make up this drink and how the unique art of crafting one plays into the final result. Before you order your next latte, we'll answer all of your "what is a latte" questions and explore the creation process. Whether you make lattes at home or order them while on the go, you'll soon have a newfound appreciation for this beloved espresso drink.
What is a latte?

Called a latte here in the U.S., this drink originated in Italy as the caffé latte. Made with espresso and steamed milk, a latte requires only two ingredients in its basic form. Of course, modern adaptations of the drink, such as a Pistachio Latte, require additional flavorings and ingredients. Part of what makes a latte unique is the ratio between steamed milk and espresso. In most standard lattes, a 1:3 ratio is used, meaning one part espresso is used to three parts steamed milk. However, the ratio between steamed milk and espresso can vary depending on the size of the latte and who makes it.

Read more