2023 cocktail trends will embrace blenders who thirst for variety in the glass

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images) /

While the Negroni Sbagliato and the Espresso Martini may have shaken up the cocktail order this year, another concept will shape the 2023 cocktail trends. As seen in the recent Bacardi Cocktail Trends 2023 report, the rise of the “blenders” will change how and what mixologists make behind the bar.

Over the past several years, the mocktail has become more than just another seltzer with a twist. From fresh squeezed juices to herbal components to a variety of other elements, that carefully crafted beverage is as nuanced as the most complicated cocktail.

As reported in the Bacardi 2023 Cocktail Trends report, the no ABV, low ABV, and the sober curious movement has flavored the beverage conversation. No longer does a non-cocktail request come with a smirk at the bar. In some cases, those non-alcoholic drinks are more impressive than just another gin and tonic.

According to Bacardi, 40% of respondents said that they are drinking more non-alcoholic or low alcoholic drinks compared to 2020. As seen on the shelf and behind the bar, brands are responding. From cruise ships like the Norwegian Prima’s robust mocktail menu to brands like Fresh Victor whose beverages have nuanced and layered flavors that bring brightness to the glass, the drinker is ready, willing and able to sip and savor a beverage that is quite satisfying.

Given the rise in interest for non-alcoholic beverages, the term “blenders” is taking over the conversation. A “blender” is a person who seamlessly switches between an alcoholic beverage and a non-alcoholic beverage during the same occasion.

These blenders do not want to compromise with that non-alcoholic drink. They have an expectation that the craft and care will be the same regardless of the alcohol.

This concept is taking over bar menus. As seen in a recent Fresh Victor event, the Warm & Toasty Sour made with a Spiritless Kentucky 74 Spiced might be more satisfying than a traditional cocktail.

One word of caution when making a spiritless cocktail, it is best not to shake the ingredients with ice. While ice dilutes spirits in traditional cocktails, the added ice to a non-ABV drink can lessen the flavor. It is best to shake, pour, and then add the ice.

Whether more people choose to partake in Dry January or Sober October is only one part of the conversation. When the beverage world embraces the versatility that non-ABV drinks offer, it entices more people to lift that glass. When the food world can have a bounty of options on the table, so can the bar. Luckily, there are many mixologists who are ready to shake up this flavorful conversation.