Drink Trends to Watch Out for in 2024
December 22, 2023

What a year it's been in the world of drinks! From the Aperol Spritz dominating the summer to the refreshing rise of Ranch Waters and the convenient appeal of ready-to-drink Mocktails for all occasions, the past year has been a rollercoaster of flavours and trends. And guess what? We're here for it all!

As we raise our glasses to these ongoing trends, we're also eagerly peeking into the future, anticipating the new sips and experiences that will soon take the spotlight. So buckle up and join us as we explore what's brewing, shaking, and stirring in the ever-evolving landscape of libations!

The Moderation Months

Bacardi’s 2024 Cocktail Trends Report, linked below, sheds light on a significant shift in how people approach alcohol consumption. Nowadays, it's not merely about having a drink; it's about fostering social connections and relishing the entire experience. This change in perspective has given rise to social phenomena like the "sober curious" movement, which is gaining momentum within various social circles.

The focus behind this trend isn't necessarily about completely abstaining from alcohol; instead, it's about transforming drinking into a more communal and engaging affair. For those intrigued by the "sober curious" trend, the mocktail industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Expect to see an expanding array of non-alcoholic options featured on cocktail menus when going out, as bartenders put extra care and consideration into catering to this segment of consumers.

When it comes to mixing drinks at home, creating mocktails similar to their alcoholic counterparts is entirely possible! Check out some of our favourite Mocktail Recipes for inspiration on crafting these drinks at home.

Sustainable Ingredients

Bacardi's comprehensive study has illuminated another fascinating trend: sustainability is no longer confined to just our food and daily habits but has seeped into the realm of cocktails. According to their Global Consumer Survey 2023, a significant portion of respondents – 44% in Canada and 43% among younger respondents in the U.S. – expressed their intention to opt for cocktails made with natural ingredients more frequently in 2024.

It's not solely about the taste anymore; consumers are increasingly seeking spirits that are not just delightful on the palate but are also kind to our planet and the individuals involved in their production. Sustainability, ethical practices, and the narrative behind what goes into that bottle are becoming larger considerations. This shift paves the way for sustainable beverages, encompassing those produced with reduced environmental impact, sustainable packaging, or utilizing elements like wild yeast or heirloom grains.

In the early stages but notably high in consumer interest are innovative options such as upcycled spirits and wines alongside zero-waste bar programs. As a result, both brands and bartenders adopt a more holistic approach to crafting cocktails. So, what does this mean for you? Get ready to witness a surge in natural flavours gracing the shelves – envision floral-flavoured spirits. When you're out ordering cocktails, anticipate an infusion of more aromatic and botanical oils for that “better for the environment, better for you” feeling.

Bartenders are getting crafty, setting themselves apart by concocting their house-made syrups and bitters, elevating the uniqueness of their drinks. But hey, want to dive deeper into the world of mixology? We've got some fantastic recipes that'll guide you in making Homemade Liqueurs, adding a personalized touch to your home bar experience. 

Experimental Cocktails

Much like the way we view alcohol as a shared social experience, the serving and presentation of cocktails have also transformed into an artful experience. With younger generations seeking distinctive moments worth capturing for their social media feeds, cocktails are now designed to accommodate this. It's no secret – people love to share what they eat and drink, and drinks are no exception.

Just as chefs emphasize that the dining experience begins with the eyes, the same holds true for your drinks. Bartenders and mixologists have embraced this philosophy, thinking beyond the ordinary to create moments that captivate and leave a lasting impression. It's all about that 'wow' factor!

We've witnessed the evolution firsthand – from imaginative garnishes to the theatrical allure of dry ice and the innovative techniques of molecular gastronomy that have long wowed diners in the food industry. Now, these creative elements are taking center stage in the world of cocktails, and their popularity is only destined to soar higher.

International Preferences

Consumer interest in spirits from around the globe has been an enduring fascination, gaining even more momentum in recent times. While vodka maintains its stronghold as the leading spirit in America, data from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States reveals that tequila is steadily closing in on the top spot. In 2022, tequila sales surged impressively by 17.2%, marking a significant rise as compared to vodka, which maintained stable sales during the same period. As we await the 2023 statistics, the evolving trends in spirits sales are generating intrigue among enthusiasts.

A broader trend is emerging, particularly with spirits, liqueurs, and cocktails originating from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean garnering increased attention among consumers. Latin American cocktail trends are becoming a captivating focal point, from the smoky allure of mezcal to the intricately flavoured falernum – a Caribbean concoction of lime and spices.

However, the spotlight isn't solely on Latin America. Asian alcoholic beverages are making a notable impact in North America as well. While sake has already established a solid presence, Japanese whiskey has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, setting the stage for whiskeys from other corners of Asia to shine.

Not to be overlooked are distilled beverages such as Shōchū from Japan and Soju from Korea, each making their distinctive mark in the diverse landscape of spirits and liquors. As global tastes and preferences expand, these Asian libations are carving out their place among enthusiasts seeking unique and diverse drinking experiences.

Learn more about the rise of Asian spirits here

What an year it's been in the world of libations! From Aperol Spritz to Ranch Waters, the past year was a rollercoaster of flavours. As we embrace these trends and eagerly anticipate new ones, we’ll ask you: What trend do you think will dominate 2024? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Instagram and join the conversation about the evolving world of drinks!

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