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    2023 Cocktail and Bar Trends

    03 Aug, 2023

    2023 Cocktail and Bar Trends

    People are ready to go out, have a drink and let loose. But bars will have to compete for their attention — and their budget.

    As consumers grapple with an overall higher cost of living, “enticing people out of their homes and into bars will become the number one priority for venues,” predicts Imbibe Live. Higher costs mean 40% of consumers plan to go out less frequently, CGA by Nielsen data shows, and 20% intend to cut back on the number of drinks they order.

    How can bar owners get customers in the door? Entertain them, intrigue them, and delight them. That’s the theme of these bar and cocktail trends for 2023.

    Entertaining 2023 bar trends

    Increasingly, bar customers want an engaging, interactive experience when they go out — in addition to delicious drinks. Here are a few ways to do it. 

    Listening bars: What if, instead of a cacophony of shouted conversations, cocktail bar patrons heard… music? The listening bar, or vinyl bar, is a cozy, mellow cocktail bar with a focus on acoustic design. It’s inspired by the jazz kissa, bars in Japan that played jazz records for near-silent customers. The new generation of listening bars appeals to a frazzled, post-pandemic crowd who just want to have a drink and chill.

    Drink-TrendsEatertainment bars: Rather than just sit on a barstool, consumers want to do something while they drink. For one example of this bar trend, look at Atlanta, Georgia, The city has a slew of new entertainment concepts with diversions including a high-tech take on darts; a complex with 70 social and lawn games (plus a slide); vintage arcade games; indoor mini-golf with automated scoring; golf simulators; and pickleball.

    Drink theater and supper clubs: If you’ve ever wished you could go back in time and enjoy a night at an iconic club like the Copacabana or the Café Trocadero, you’ll understand the appeal of the supper-club revival. Cocktail bars are turning a night out into a special occasion with live piano, big-band music, and burlesque. This bar trend speaks to people who are longing for connection, who want a reason to dress up and go out, and who want to spend their evening in one place instead of bar-hopping.

    You can get the vibe without putting on an elaborate live show: In Los Angeles, the Cinegrill Theater at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel plays classic movies. “There’s a sense of decorum,” director of food and beverage Dan Sabo tells Punch. “It feels like a real, proper experience to go out, and not just be out.” 

    So, what will consumers be sipping while they’re listening to vinyl, taking in a cabaret, or throwing darts? These are a few of the drinks predicted to trend in 2023. 

    Coastal cocktails: These drinks “embrace oceanic flavors and ingredients, often with an eye-catching edible garnish,” explains Nation’s Restaurant News. Think salt, seaweed, oysters and caviar.

    Pickle drinks: Continuing the salt-loving trend, cocktails made with dill pickles or pickle brine are predicted to be big in 2023. Think pickle martini or pickle margarita, to start. Then experiment with sweet pickles and other pickled veggies. VinePair suggests four creative takes on the pickle cocktail from New York bars.

    Pink drinks: This 2023 cocktail trend prediction says consumers will be thinking pink. “In the fun, nostalgic realm, expect bubblegum flavors, funfetti and new maraschino infusions to surprise and delight,” Technomic says, in addition to more healthful pink ingredients like hibiscus and dragon fruit.

    Playful drinks: Cocktails inspired by children’s stories. Cocktails with whimsical accessories. Cocktails that sparkle, shine and or make you say “Aww!”

    No- and low-alcohol drinks: The mindful-drinking cocktail trend continues to pick up steam, with growth predicted through at least 2025. Get tips and ideas on how to successfully implement a menu with non-alcoholic or low-ABV drinks: No-and-Low ABV Cocktails Take the Spotlight

    Frozen cocktails: Searches for slushie drinks were up 77% in 2022, Yelp reports, indicating their popularity — with and without alcohol. “In 2023, we expect restaurants to expand this frozen drink trend, with creative combinations like the frozen negroni at Los Angeles’ Capri Club,” the review site says.

    Want to get in on this trend? A high-performance commercial blender, such as the Summit or the Eclipse, enables your bartenders to craft frozen drinks with a consistent, perfectly smooth texture.