Blue and pink lead the drink trends for September 2023. Bold blue cocktails and pops of pink in Barbie-inspired shakes and coffees have popped up across bars, eateries and social channels in recent weeks.
Read on for more insights into these current drink trends, as well as information on the latest product releases and early predictions for what will be popular this Christmas.
Bold and blue-tiful – blue cocktails
A wave of blue cocktails has swept through bars and social posts in the latest drinks industry trend.
These kitsch-looking drinks suit both the retro drink trends and the modern-day appeal of social media-worthy aesthetics.
Classic blue cocktails – like the rum, curacao and vodka-based Blue Hawaii – have led this trend. And the slushie-like Jack Frost cocktail – combining blue curacao, rum and coconut – has paved the way for imaginative adult slushie cocktails too.
Alcoholic versions of these bold and bright drinks are, in the main, being given their colour using blue curacao, the citrusy liqueur, following the launch of a new Australian version. Sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade can add a kick of colour and energy too, or create a blue hue that’s alcohol-free. Butterfly pea flower tea, also known as blue tea, and blue glitter or food dye can also create alcohol-free blue cocktails.
These vivid creations suited summer parties at bars working to maintain sales. And for the at-home drinkers, blue Hooch kept up the trend with its tropical low-ABV RTD.
Tickled pink – the Barbie effect
If blue’s not your hue, Barbie-core might have caught your eye instead.
The hit film’s glossy appeal has swept the globe, seeing everything from fashion to food getting a pink makeover, including current drink trends.
From super sweet pink shakes to bright pink Barbie Margaritas garnished with pink petals, and glittering mocktails perfect for the younger drinkers or sober curious, all sorts of drinks have had the memo.
Berries, dragon fruit and ice cream have added bright shades to tequila, rum and vodka-based creations. Even coffees have been Barbie-d too, with pink toppings or syrups being used for surprisingly sophisticated lattes and iced coffees.
Christmas drink trends predictions
We might finally be enjoying some summer weather, but winter is coming and Christmas trends are already being predicted.
Three key trends have been heralded by spirits expert Master Of Malt.
It believes whiskies aged in Cognac or Armagnac casks will start to fare better than traditional brandies. It also suggests drinkers will be switching out usual base spirits in classic cocktails in favour of trendy and creative replacements – think tequila-led Old Fashioned, or Mezcal-based Espresso Martinis. And finally, 2022’s drinks trend for spirits infused with seasonal ingredients will continue this festive season, it predicts.
Watch this space…
Autumn’s already arrived
Meanwhile, over in the US brands are busy releasing new season drinks in time for Fall.
A&W has added an Apple Pie Shake to its menu while Caribou Coffee has a new Pumpkin Espresso Shaker. Tim Horton’s is harnessing harvest flavours with its Spiced Apple Cranberry Refresher, Pumpkin Spiced Iced Cappuccino, and Maple Cinnamon Sugar Iced Latte.
Beer and cider brands are falling for these seasonal flavours too. Angry Orchard has launched a multipack of Hard Ciders including Baked Apple Pie and cinnamon-laced Cinnful Apple flavours.
Trendy tropical flavours are still proving just as popular for beers and RTDs, too. Beavertown Brewery’s new Tropigamma combines guava, papaya, mango, mandarin and peach in a 5.4% IPA. And Hooch has unveiled its new vodka-based Soopa range, which is also caffeinated, and available in Twisted Tropical and Darkest Berry flavours.
Spill the tea
Move over tea, coffee looks to have overtaken as the UK’s favourite drink.
More people now regularly drink coffee than those who regularly drink tea, at 63% and 59% respectively, research by Statista Global Consumer Survey found. This is backed up by Kantar research which identified that shoppers bought 533m packets of coffee in 2022-23, compared to just 287 million packs of tea in the same period.
It looks as though coffee’s versatility and “element of excitement” give it the edge over a traditional tea, experts have suggested.
Another new favourite appears to be bubbling away too – Cartizze, a premium prosecco-type tipple from the Italian region of the same name. The fizz, made using different grapes and production processes to traditional Prosecco, is increasingly popping up in bottle shops and bars across London, offering an affordable alternative to Champagne.
Keep up with all the latest drinks industry trends
At Simpsons, we stay at the forefront of emerging drinks trends. We are leaders in the science, art, and innovation of drinks flavours for drinks brands and companies, using our know-how and experience to ensure our customers are the first movers in their category.
Image source: Trendhub, The Food People 2023