Cocktails reflect the period they’re poured into, just like fashion, food, architecture, and literature. As a result of the pandemic, we’ve become less fussy, but we’re also more attentive to quality over quantity. In addition to embracing the good old days, we’ve learned to love agave-based spirits, and we can’t get enough riffs on the Negroni.
So what are we drinking this year? Check out what bartenders and tastemakers around the country think is coming down the pike in 2023.
The Negroni Sbagliato
In light of the popularity of the Negroni, it is logical to create riffs on this Italian classic. It was first introduced in Milan during the early 1970s, substituting prosecco for gin to reduce the alcohol content. In 2022, House of Dragons actress Emma D’Arcy announced the drink was her favorite cocktail.
In keeping with the historical reference of the Sbagliato, which combines bitter and sweet vermouth, Nathan McCarley-O’Neill of Major Food Group’s Torrisi Bar and Restaurant chose to replace prosecco with something with more texture, body, and complexity.”
Pucker Up For More Sours
Classic sour drinks such as Margaritas, Sidecars, and Whiskey sour are irresistible. The recipe is simple, versatile, and thoroughly satisfying. New York bar manager Mitch Mandujano says that Whiskey, pisco, and even sours with amaro bases are trending classics. It can be enjoyed year-round, regardless of the weather.
The Return Of ‘Tini
Bridget Albert, bartender and senior director of external communications for Southern Glazers Wines & Spirits, says the ’90s are back! She says the Espresso Martini will continue to shine with tasty twists, including Scotch, cold brewed coffee, and flavored liquors. Using fresh ingredients and high-quality apple spirits such as Normandy’s Calvados, this cocktail will also revive the famous cocktail of the same era, the Apple Martini.
A Sober Trend: Low- And No-Alcohol Drinks
People who don’t drink alcohol can no longer rely on Shirley Temples and cran-and-soda combos. Cocktails without alcohol are becoming more respected and thoughtful. Derek Brown, bartender, and owner of Washington, D.C.-based Positive Damage, says people without drinks used to be happy with whatever they got. Both non-drinkers and drinkers want sophisticated cocktails.