Cocktail Trends in 2022 You Want to Tap Into
23rd May 2022
A good cocktail means a good time, but the best cocktails are a good time in themselves. You could be alone on the sofa with the news on and still enjoy yourself with a fun cocktail. If you’re looking to offer your customers an experience as well as a drink, take a look at our ideas for what makes the best cocktails in 2022.
The culturally relevant cocktail
A great marketing tactic for your bar right now is to create your own cocktail taking a theme from the wider world and building your drink around it. For example, if you were to celebrate the new Barbie movie coming out, you might want to make a pink drink, with raspberry liquor, pink gin, topped up with Champagne and candy floss. Or have fun with it. Make a Mad Men-themed drink and serve Champagne and whisky.
There are bars serving cocktails exclusive to the occasion, like the current My Chemical Romance tour being peppered with venues serving Black Russians, Black Velvet (Guinness and Champagne cocktail), or anything else that will create a black drink for all the adult emos coming out. Watch what teams are competing in this year’s World Cup and offer national cocktails, like a Cuba Libre for Cuba or beer-based cocktail for when Germany are playing. You can even play into the US states on the run up to the Super Bowl and look up the state drinks to involve in exclusive cocktails.
Look at what’s happening now and turn ordering a drink into an event or a shared joke between you and your customers.
The eco-friendly cocktail
People are becoming more aware than ever about exactly what impact they are having on their body and planet. Where the two come together is in hospitality. You’ve probably heard someone say they’ll have a gin rather than a pint of beer because it has less calories. Offer a few gin cocktails to lean into this trend and point out that Champagne cocktails are also low calorie. Up the flavour in all of these so that customers don’t notice the switch and it feels like they’ve ordered something special rather than something obligated.
On the planet front, people are looking for eco-aware food products. Where you can, display that you are sourcing your products organically and you’re taking part in sustainable practices in the establishment. People have been buying from social media for a long time, after having found everything, they want to buy online, but they’re taking it to a new level where they are researching who they’re buying from to make sure their priorities align with theirs. An eco-friendly approach is an uncontroversial stance to take since everyone can get on board with doing better for the planet. But make sure to let people know this is what you’re doing in your social media marketing.
The spin on a classic cocktail
If you are running a restaurant or a more classy bar, the type for more after-work lounging and flirting than dancing and laughing too loud for everyone’s comfort, you might want to consider making yourself stand out from the crowd with spins on old favourites rather than whacky new drinks.
Classics are classic for a reason, but you can give them a modern twist to make things interesting. Add sparkling wine to create a fizz,01 cherry liqueur to an Amaretto Sour or add blended watermelon to a Cosmo for a summer twist or make a winter version of the Old Fashioned with a Warm Old Fashioned with muddled orange, cherry and a splash of soda topped up with hot water for a whiskey-infused hot drink.
A restaurant offers a different kind of experience, so, depending on the type of restaurant, it would be a little out of place to offer something like a unicorn cocktail. Instead, look into twists on classics so that people know basically what they’re in for but want to try something new. Find out more on how to manage a restaurant here.
The vain cocktail
If you’ve been on TikTok lately, you might have seen a few bartenders talking about the cocktails they get requested that incur superhuman strength to avoid rolling their eyes. These cocktails look interesting but taste awful to the connoisseurs. They’re asked for so that Instagram users have something to showcase before the night really gets going and their makeup is smeared, and their dresses are spilled on. Even without mentioning an example, you’ve got one in your mind, haven’t you? Something that involves cotton candy on top, perhaps?
Lean into it. Even if they don’t drink it, they’ve bought it, and the average cocktail drinker isn’t a connoisseur and doesn’t claim to be. If it looks nice enough and fits the Instagram aesthetic, serve it and smile for the camera.
The non-alcoholic cocktail
The idea of drinking less is gaining popularity from all sides. Fitness nuts and gym-addicts don’t love it because it’s not good for your physical health, which is a bandwagon the likes of vegan and eco-conscious folk can get on since they are becoming more aware of what they’re putting in their mouth. It’s not good for mental health, which might as well be an epidemic at this point. And it’s not good for the wallet, which can see a cheap meal and a good drink coming out at the same price. In a time when inflation is seeing everything skyrocketing from energy to food, alcohol is going lower down on people’s list of priorities.
So, it only makes sense that when you can in fact afford to go out, you will want to go for the cheaper and healthier option when it comes to cocktails, and not even have to pay for a taxi home either. People still want to get in on the fun and can prove that they don’t need the booze to achieve that, so are buying cocktails that are non-alcoholic.
Have fun with it. You can create drinks that are already classics with a replacement for the booze or offer up something so fruity you wouldn’t know if there was alcohol in there at all.
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