From TikTok-trending cocktails and recipes to an AI-generate energy drink, digital has influenced trends and even drinks production itself this month.
Elsewhere, though, traditional approaches still offer real rewards – such as for the restaurant awarded for its cocktails made using homegrown ingredients. And new techniques are repositioning categories or establishing new options, as with increasingly popular cider and new whey alcohol spirits, respectively.
Read on for the latest Drink Trends August 2023:
From drink to dish – Edible Martinis
A private chef and recipe creator has translated the flavours of her favourite drink into an edible dish.
Emily Eggers’ recipe for Dirty Martini pasta – using olives, lemon zest, olive oil, butter, blue cheese, and dry gin – has gone viral on social media.
While sweet recipes inspired by cocktails aren’t anything new, savoury versions certainly are. Dirty Martini’s flavours helped, of course, with bitter gin, herby vermouth, and salt and umami from the olive.
But given the trickiness of switching sweet drinks into savoury foods, mixologists are jumping on the trend by developing savoury Martinis instead.
The Tzatziki Dirty Martini is infused with dill, lemon and cucumber, while the chicken soup Martini features a chicken bouillon brine.
New #1 cocktail – Hugo Spritz
Move over Aperol Spritz, there’s a new summer favourite on the menu. TikTokers have crowned the humble Hugo Spritz as the cocktail of 2023.
Combining St Germain elderflower liqueur, crushed mint leaves, a generous serving of prosecco and a splash of sparkling water, it’s a simple recipe packed with flavour.
Online searches for Hugo Spritz have already jumped up by 281% and producers have moved quickly to meet increasing demand. RTD and DIY kit versions of the cocktail are already available, including Bellissimo Vino’s ready-to-drink bottle, and Getir’s kit, complete with a special St Germain glass.
Alternative versions are easy to create too, making the cocktail alcohol-free by using Nosecco or more affordable by using elderflower cordial. And 0% options are easy to create, using each of these alternatives for a hangover-free Hugo.
Looking beyond classic elderflower base, some would-be mixologists have shared spruced up Spritzs via TikTok, adding Limoncello, lavender and rose gin to theirs.
Whey to go – Whey alcohol
A growing range of sustainable serves are available for eco-conscious drinkers, with spirits and beers made using everything from wonky fruit to leftover bread.
Whey alcohol is the latest ‘upcycled’ drink tipped to be big, aligning with current drink trends thanks to both its unique recipe and sustainability credentials.
Made by fermenting whey – the by-product of curdling and straining milk to make cheese – whey alcohol is being used in whey vodkas, whey gins and even ‘wheyskey’.
To give it more mass appeal, whey vodka makers are adding classic chocolate or vanilla flavours as well as more unusual strawberry gum and finger lime.
For a plant-based option too, there’s now a soy wine, Sachi, a world-first product made using the whey leftover from tofu.
Convenient coffee – Korean pouch coffee
The Korean trend for ‘convenience store coffee’ has evolved and gone global – another new drink trend fuelled by TikTok.
Korean pouch coffee allows drinkers to pour premade coffee over ice, making on-the-go coffees cheaper and more convenient while also suiting current drink trends for chilled and iced beverages.
Flavoured versions are increasing the appeal of these instant drinks too. Banana is the trending flavour for TikTokers, who are adding banana milk or other flavoured milks to their drinks.
Latest industry juice – news in brief
Cider is enjoying a renaissance as a challenger to fine wines and champagne. Small and new producers have been dabbling in experimental production methods to create new ciders that are well-balanced and flavourful. And drinkers are lapping it up, appreciating how cider suits trends for cheaper or lower alcohol options.
By contrast, though, beer sales have slumped. Sales of regular beers slipped by 6% in the last year and it appears to be from more drinkers switching to NoLo alternatives. Sales of these grew by 6% in the same period.
A trendy York restaurant, Roots, has been recognised at the National Restaurant Awards 2023 for how it develops its drinks list. The Michelin-starred eatery enhances meals with a selection of unusual and seasonal cocktails, largely created using produce from the owner’s family farm. This includes a wild garlic Margarita and a crab apple Bellini.
From homegrown back to digitally-led, a new energy drink has been developed using artificial intelligence (AI). Hell Energy used AI within its recipe development for the new tutti-frutti and berry blast flavoured drinks. The technology formulated and enhanced the recipe, ensured compliance, and then predicted the outcome of taste testing.
Looking to other new product releases, over in the US a Hot Agave sauce has been launched. Combining hot jalapeno peppers and sweet agave nectar it’s ideal to add to cocktails. In Japan, Starbucks has rereleased a favourite Frappuccino flavour, Gaburi Peach, featuring large chunks of real peach.
Set new drink trends with Simpsons
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Get in touch to discuss how we can support you with your next drinks project.
Image Source: Trendhub, The Food People 2023