Drink Trends April 2024

April 18, 2024

Drink Trends April 2024

Cafécore – trendy coffee bar styling

Cafécore is latest socials-led drinks trend. The movement is all about creating a coffee shop experience at home – all the same flavour and feel of an indulgent treat, but for a fraction of the cost.

Coffee Station

Central to the cafécore trend, as with so many of the latest drink trends, is the aesthetic. Coffee lovers are increasingly creating their own bouji coffee station set ups; sharing snaps on socials of coffee makers complemented by textiles, greenery, mood lighting, and music. Searches for the phrase ‘coffee bar styling’ jumped by 1125% between 2021 to 2023, according to Pinterest.

Creating this dedicated space is key to the drink trend, including neatly labelled jars, luxurious-looking mugs, chalkboard styling and signage. Filling these stations with a range of flavourful beans, blends, and coffee syrups is just as essential to match the flavour to the look.

Barista Style Oat Milk

Complementary products like barista-style oat milk and flavoured syrups or coffee creamers make it easy for budding baristas to enjoy the same great taste from their coffees as they would out-of-home.

Functional coffees are another way the cafécore drinks trend is elevating every day, at-home drinks. Superfood coffee pods promising to boost heart health or immunity, bean blends with added protein, or syrups fortified with extra electrolytes all suit this trend.

Starbucks launches lavender coffees

For delicate floral flavours in coffees, Starbucks’ latest offerings now feature the flavour of lavender. Iced Lavender Cream Oatmilk Matchas and Iced Lavender Oatmilk Lattes are now on sale in the US.

Carajillo – fresh new coffee cocktail

For coffee lovers keen to take the drink from day to night, an international cocktail will appeal. Carajillo is shaking up coffee cocktail trends – Espresso Martinis are suddenly so yesterday..

Pronounced ‘Cara-hee-yo’, the cocktail has Spanish and Latin American roots but shares some similarities with the Irish coffee, as a ‘hard’ coffee. It combines Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur boasting 43 herbs and spices, with a shot of espresso. This simplicity is key to Carajillo’s appeal, along with its Mexican roots, and its lower ABV (compared to the hugely popular Espresso Martini).

Classic creations see the ingredients shaken together – ‘shakeado’ – to create a frothy top, or served straight – ‘puesto’ –creating an attractive layered look.

Carajillo with Corn Liqueur

Mixologists are making the cocktail a new staple by using speciality coffees, cold brews or nitro brews as well as building on its Mexican roots, using native coffees or adding shots of Mezcal or Nixta corn liqueur. Extra shots like these elevate the low ABV cocktail, with rum and brandy complementing Carajillo’s Spanish roots, or vodka paying homage to the established Espresso Martini.

The cocktail’s positioning as an after dinner treat means dessert-inspired Carajillo’s are also being created, including with tiramisu style syrup shots or toppings and additions of chocolate and cream. Nutty additions, like pistachio, pecan or peanut syrups or garnishes, or favourites like tropical fruits or citruses, think mandarin or blood orange varieties, can all complement Licor 43’s complex flavours too.

To give even more depth of flavour, smoky and spiced Carajillos are being created. Cinnamon, nutmeg and tonka all suit Licor 43’s honeyed, vanilla and cocoa notes.

Banana Carajillo Slushie

The coffee cocktail hybrid is straying into other categories too, keeping pace with the growing popularity of boozy slushies, shakes and floats. QSRs in the US are already serving Carajillo slushies and shakes on tap.

Condiments in cocktails

If garnishes on your cocktails just aren’t quite enough, the emergence of condiments in cocktails might appeal. London’s cocktail scene is seeing store cupboard essentials like Marmite, ketchup, quinoa and chutneys worked into drinks, adding interesting flavours and servings. This might be one of the latest drink trends best left to the experts, though.

Batanga – trendy new tequila cocktail

Another Mexican cocktail has become one of the latest drink trends too – the Batanga. The tequila-based cocktail also has socials to thank for its newfound popularity, thanks to a group of influencers sharing their passion for it.

Drink Trends April 2024 - Batanga Cocktail

Batanga blends tequila and Mexican Coca Cola (which is sweetened with sugar cane, rather than corn syrup) with lime served in a salt-rimmed, ice-filled glass. In its original and now legendary form, the cocktail’s lime flavour takes centre stage in the drink-making process by cutting the citrus and using the unwashed knife to stir the drink.

The storm for Batanga on socials means people have been quick to twist on this traditional recipe too, switching in Mezcal or cherry Cola, for example.

The continued popularity of its traditional base spirit, tequila, and the love for Mexican cuisine and culture each support the buzz around Batanga. And as a drink that first emerged in the 1960s, the cocktail also suits ongoing drinks trends for time-honoured tipples.

As interest in tequila-based cocktails continues to grow, Batanga’s biggest fans could well be right in hailing it the drink of 2024.

Rum takes top spot from whisky

For the standalone spirit of 2024, it looks like rum will take that top spot again.


The broad flavoured spirit has seen its sales overtake those of whisky for the second year running. Value sales of rum reached £1.1bn in the UK in the 12 months to December 2023, holding a 14% share of all spirits sales to edge ahead of whisky’s 13% share. Within this, dark rum sales have grown by 5% and spiced varieties continue to appeal to younger drinkers, according to data from Nielson IQ.

Turn trends into sales

To capitalise on coffee station trends or recreate complex cocktail flavours, chat to our team today. At Simpsons, we’re experts in the development and manufacture of flavours and compounds for all drinks categories.

Image source: Trendhub The Food People 2024

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