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Winter Season Drinks 2024

May 1, 2024

Winter Season Drinks 2024

Simpsons Beverages – 2024 Winter Season Drinks inspiration

Spring has finally sprung after a cold, wet winter and there’s only one reason we’d want to think about winter again – the drinks and treats in store.

Winter drinks are a staple of the season, from luxurious Fall-flavoured coffees to hot mulled wine at Christmas markets. And this year there’s an array of winter drinks trends in store.

Many of the 2024 winter drink trends echo the year’s wider trends: offering affordable little luxuries to shoppers feeling the squeeze; creating highly experiential offerings through colour, flavour or personalisation; or offering comfort with nostalgic, evocative creations.

They also reflect ongoing market challenges. Savvy businesses and brands are turning these into opportunities – as it’s unlikely any of us will be granted a reprieve from the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis by this coming winter. Making the most of all ingredients and elevating cheaper ingredients is the name of the game – think cider cocktails, or sustainable drinks made from leftovers.

Tart things up – Use seasonal fruit flavours

Build on the 2024 drinks trend for experiential drinking with tart and seasonal fruit flavours this winter, using ingredients like citruses and rhubarb.

Most citrus fruits are at their prime through the winter months, and some even exclusive to the colder, darker months, so it makes sense to seize these flavours for winter drinks.

Winter Season Citrus Cocktail

Blood orange has become a citrus staple, used across ciders, beers, spirits, and soft drinks. This year its complex, tart flavours could be added to warming drinks like mulled ciders or flavoured coffees. Yuzu and pink grapefruit could cement their places as drinks flavour favourites this winter too, versatile for use across tonics or flavoured spirits. More up-and-coming citruses like mandarin, pomelo or finger limes could be used in much the same way. And the tangerine can be elevated from being a humble stocking filler to flavouring sodas or spritzes.

For even tarter flavours, try rhubarb this winter. The distinctive pink vegetable is already being used to flavour a non-alcoholic spritz at a Michelin-starred chef’s restaurant in Cumbria – Henrock, by Simon Rogan. Rhubarb’s sour flavours can be softened with complementary peach, plum, apple, pear or raspberry flavours, as well as with mint, lavender or honey – or subtly sweet dill, as Henrock uses.

Go nuts – Try new & unusual flavours

Building on the ongoing drinks trends for big, bold flavours, expect to see a range of spicy, nutty, bitter, and buttery flavours in winter drinks this year.

At their peak in the winter months, nuts are perfect for seasonal drinks. Blended into milks, butters or syrups, crumbled for toppings, or toasted or roasted to elevate their flavours further, nuts like macadamia, hazelnut, pistachio or pecan can add depth or texture to drinks.

Le Birlou

Autumn staple chestnut is tipped to be a flavour favourite – Le Birlou already combines the nut with apple in its aperitif liqueur. Carry its soft, buttery flavour into drinks like spirits or flavoured coffees by pairing it with orange, plum or pear.

Pear can also offer a soft or spicy base for warming spices in drinks. Botanicals like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger can give extra, earthy flavour to stoned fruits for drinks and are already synonymous as winter flavours.

Each of these seasonal flavours is ideal for syrups to flavour mocktails, milkshakes or coffees.

Espresso Cocktail

Coffee’s flavours will continue to star across foods and drinks this winter, like espresso or coffee blossom cocktails, or the trendy new Carajillo cocktail – a Latin American creation made by adding Licor 43 liqueur to a shot of espresso.

All senses – Make eye-catching winter season drinks

What these winter drinks look like will be just as important as their taste, too.

Shades of red, orange, pink and purple will be the colours of the season, with food-based hues like plum purples, apricot oranges or beetroot red helping to create eye-catching and enticing drinks and dishes. Expect to see these colours working their way into drinks like winter spritzes or mulled wines, adding to the 2024 drinks trend for experiential creations.

Cosy up – Create comforting or nostalgic drinks

Smores Cocktail

Escapism is invariably a necessity during the cold winter months, requiring comforting or indulgent treats. Take inspiration from the Americans, who always know how to indulge, with s’mores flavoured cocktails and creamy caramel or torched marshmallow milkshakes.

Transport drinkers with nostalgic or retro creations too, whisking drinkers back to happy times or evoking warming climates. The retro drinks trend, already a big 2024 drinks trend, will continue this winter with creations like alcohol-filled Gummy Bears or spiked Knickerbocker Glory shakes offering playful updates on childhood favourites.

Try trending alcoholic drinks

Bring together seasonal favourites and the trendiest alcohol types with mulled and rum-based creations this winter.

Rum Cocktail

Rum’s broad flavour profile has made it a new favourite spirit worldwide, with its sales now topping those of whisky even. Build on its popularity, versatility and diversity of flavour with rum cocktails this winter. The spirit’s floral, fruity, spicy, or smooth notes can be elevated in flavoured rums, pairing with tropical fruits, berries, and botanicals, or can lead the way in rum RTDs.

For winter warmers, mulled drinks are tipped to be increasingly popular through 2024-25. Non-alcoholic versions offer an interesting alternative to the likes of teas or coffees, while spiked versions, using spirits, spritzes or ciders, are always a Christmas classic.

Ready to start making a list? Get in touch today to discuss your plans and start creating your winter range for 2024-25.

Image source: Trendhub The Food People 2024

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