As we dive into the heart of 2023, there's no denying that the craft cocktail scene continues to bubble with innovation and intrigue. Drawing on the rich tapestry of flavors, techniques, and styles from across the globe, today's mixologists are challenging traditional norms and pushing boundaries.
However, amidst the ever-evolving cocktail landscape, seven trends have proven their staying power. So, without further ado, here are the craft cocktail trends that aren't going anywhere in 2023.
Sustainability remains at the forefront of the global consciousness, and the craft cocktail scene is no exception. Mixologists are embracing the mantra of "less waste, more taste," exploring new ways to minimize their ecological footprint. This trend is manifested in practices like root-to-fruit bartending, where no part of an ingredient goes to waste, and in sourcing local, seasonal ingredients to reduce carbon emissions. Expect to see more sustainable, yet deliciously creative cocktails as we move further into 2023.
2. Non-Alcoholic Craft Cocktails
Alcohol-free doesn't mean taste-free anymore. The non-alcoholic movement has grown considerably over the past few years, and it's not slowing down in 2023. These cocktails, often called mocktails or zero-proof cocktails, are no longer limited to the same old syrupy sweet, fruit juice concoctions. Today's non-alcoholic cocktails are intricate, sophisticated, and offer an equally enjoyable experience as their alcoholic counterparts.
3. Health-Conscious Cocktails
As consumers become more health-conscious, so do their drink choices. Cocktails infused with superfoods like turmeric, matcha, and ginger have made a significant mark on the industry. These nutrient-dense ingredients not only add exciting new flavors but also provide some health benefits. Cocktails made with kombucha or other fermented beverages for probiotic benefits have also gained popularity. The rise of low-sugar and low-calorie cocktails reflects this health-driven trend as well.
4. Return to Classics
While innovation is certainly appreciated, there's a notable shift back towards the classics. Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Martinis – these traditional drinks are experiencing a resurgence, although with a twist. The modern approach to these cocktails often involves a creative use of craft spirits, homemade bitters, or artisanal mixers. This trend proves that sometimes, you can't beat the classics.
5. Global Influence
Cocktails are taking on a more global flair, with mixologists increasingly inspired by international ingredients and flavors. From Japanese whiskey to Mexican mezcal, bartenders are using these distinct spirits to create unique, culturally influenced cocktails. This trend invites cocktail enthusiasts on a global journey, all without leaving the bar stool.
6. Hyper-Local Ingredients
Mirroring the farm-to-table trend in the culinary world, many mixologists are leaning towards sourcing hyper-local ingredients. This not only promotes sustainability but also enhances the freshness and quality of the cocktail. From herbs grown in the bar's own garden to spirits distilled nearby, this trend brings the essence of the local terroir into every glass.
7. Experiential Drinking
Lastly, in 2023, it's not just about the drink; it's about the experience. Multi-sensory cocktails that engage not only the taste but also the sight, smell, and feel have been gaining traction.
Smoke infused drinks, cocktails served in unconventional glassware, and even interactive garnishes – these elements amplify the overall cocktail experience. In an era where experience is paramount, this trend is definitely here to stay.
The craft cocktail landscape in 2023 is diverse, dynamic, and filled with a sense of adventure. From embracing sustainability to crafting experiential drinking, these trends are driving a new era of mixology. As we raise our glasses to toast the future, it’s clear that the cocktail scene is brimming with potential and the promise of delicious, innovative concoctions. Stay tuned and savor the experience.