Drink Trends December 2023

December 14, 2023

Drink Trends December 2023

London Cocktail Week has shaken things up for mixologists, paving the way for 2024 trends.

Fun formats and full flavours were key as hundreds of bars and venues hosted events across London to celebrate the 13th annual event.

cocktails with foam

Amongst the formats showcased, foam topped drinks really stood out – like Fitz’s stylish Savoiardi foamed whisky, coffee, cacao and almond cocktail.

banana spiced rum

Cocktail flavours combining fruits or seasonal flavours were also crowd pleasers. Tropical tastes from bananas and pineapples suited sweet and spicy spirits while apricot and peach flavours were particularly prevalent, combined with a range of dark spirits. Once again, apple was a favourite flavour, suiting the time of year and versatile with tequilas, gins, and champagne alike.

Apple flavours extended to cider-based cocktails too, with vintage or reduced ciders used in rum and vodka-based cocktails.

Cordials were another unusual but increasingly used addition to cocktails this year – albeit, homemade creations, rather than shop-bought bottles.

Collins cocktail

Classics like the Collins and Martini were reworked with 2023’s trendiest flavours. The gin, lemon and soda in a Collins were complemented with florals and citruses like jasmine, chamomile, and yuzu, while Martinis were elevated with savoury additions like tomato and truffle.

Finally, a range of spicy and sweet cocktail flavours were showcased. Kicks of chilli or pepper gave cocktails extra depth while natural, sugar-free sweetness from honey or agave heightened flavours.

New favourites & New pairings

shift from beer to wine

Latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests the UK is shifting from being a nation of beer lovers to wine connoisseurs too. Wine still sits just behind beer as Brits’ favourite drink – enjoyed by 33.7% and 36.1% of drinkers, respectively. But this comes from Brits, on average, enjoying around 37 bottles of wine a year, compared to 124 pints of beer – half the volume typically drunk 50 years ago.

wine and crisp pairing

For wine lovers old and new, whites, reds and roses should be paired with flavourful crisps to maximise enjoyment, according to those in the know – and TikTok. As winemakers work to further the drink’s appeal, drinkers are being encouraged to wash down their BBQ crisps with a Grenache or balance out their champagne with classic ready salted crisps. Like most modern drinks trends, this fad has been accelerated by TikTok thanks to an infographic shared by influencer Eli Rallo.

fruit flavoured coffee

Another pairing being explored and enjoyed is the fruit-flavoured coffee. This is another drinks trend all over TikTok as users showcase coffees blended with fruit. Blueberry or strawberry flavoured syrups are particularly popular, with millions of views amassed on the #strawberrycoffee and #blueberrycoffee tags.

Festive flavours for all drinks categories

Christmas flavoured drinks are top of shoppers’ wish lists as festive flavours have been stepped up for the season.

From smoothies and shakes to mochas and bubbles teas, rich or nostalgic flavours are being enjoyed across all drinks categories.

festive flavour shakes

Dunkin’ and Starbucks have added festive frappuccinos and cool cold brews to their menus around the world. There are Peppermint, Spiced Cookie and Cookie Butter mochas and coffees at Dunkin in the US, and a silver sugar-topped strawberry, white chocolate and mascarpone frappuccino at Starbucks in Japan.

iced coffee boba drink

In the US, festive flavours range from refreshing – like Jamba Holiday’s Orange Cranberry Whip Smoothie – to decadent. Jack in the Box has both a chocolate and mint-flavoured shake blended with Girl Scout Mint Thin Mint cookies, and an Iced Coffee Boba drink blended with cream and vanilla.

Dr Pepper Hot Take

 

For luxury or exclusive Christmas gifting, new festive flavours are available too. Never Never Distilling Co has created a tiramisu-inspired gin, using cacao butter and cacao nib, while Dr Pepper has released a limited-edition Hot Take drink, an exclusive, fiery flavoured creation only available to Pepper Perks members.

Gourmet grocery shops prefer premium drinks

Recent drinks industry trends extend beyond what drinks people are buying, to where they’re buying them from.

High-end convenience stores, or gourmet grocery shops, are trending as shoppers seek out luxurious retail produce and experiences. These outlets take the food shop up a notch, offering premium quality essential items and experiential shopping.

Drinks-wise, these stores tend to prioritise local or boutique producers. Manchester’s three General Store outlets and Teals farm shop in Yeovil all stock an array of gluten free pale ales, organic and natural wines, and craft ciders, plus plenty of NoLo options.

Shoppers and brands prioritise sustainable drinks packaging

The UK could cut consumption of single-use plastic bottles through a levy, according to Brita UK. A 5p levy would discourage 41% of consumers from buying bottled water, taking around 1.4bn bottles out of circulation.

Drink Trends December - Coca-Cola Company phasing out virgin plastics

In Canada, Coca Cola is phasing out virgin plastics. By early 2024 all its 500ml bottles will be made from 100% recycled plastic.

We can help you to stay one step ahead of the competition, setting and staying on top of drinks industry trends. Get in touch today to discuss your projects and plans for 2024.

Image source: Trendhub The Food People 2023

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