Running a bar or a restaurant involves a lot more than serving well-known, great cocktails and keeping the beverage inventory organized. Planning wine lists and experimenting with unique wines and unpopular cocktails, trying out gluten-free cocktail recipes, and implementing plant-based milks into coffee and cocktail offers are just a few of the things managers need to do.
Following the cocktail trends is also a crucial part of the job of a bartender and restaurant manager, even if they are not mixology experts. They need to be aware of the latest cocktail trends and see which ones they can implement into their restaurant menus, including table d’hote menus.
Not all famous cocktails will make sense when you are reimagining your offers. Some popular cocktails may not fit the concept of your place, or maybe you already serve something similar. You can have historical data from your restaurant beverage tracking software showing that your customers don’t enjoy this particular type of alcohol, for example.
So with all that being said, let’s see what cocktail trends there are so far in 2024. This list will help you find some new options you may want to try and implement in your restaurant or bar menu for the new season.
Which Are the Latest Cocktail Trends in 2024?
Trends may depend on the region you are in and the culture you are surrounded by. However, there are still some general cocktail trends that are worth discussing. Such as:
Key Takeaway: Reimagining classic cocktail recipes, experimenting with ice cubes, choosing low or no-alcohol alternatives and spiked slushies are just a few of the great cocktail trends in 2024.
1. Spicy Cocktails
In the last several years, there has been a shift from the traditional, more sweet cocktails towards savory options. Spicy cocktails are an absolute hit right now and some that you can try include - Spicy Margarita, Bloody Maria, Picantes, and Cucumber Wasabi Martini.
All of them are a spin of classic cocktails that many people know and love. This makes it easier to implement in your beverage menu because they won’t be completely new to the public.
2. 90s Throwback
Since the 90s, the Espresso Martini continues to be a favorite of many who love a nice pick-me-up when they are out with friends at night. Now, you can try making this famous cocktail with a twist. Use a nice cold brew coffee and add some subtle notes of vanilla. You can even switch the vodka for scotch whiskey.
Apple Martini is also coming back in the cocktail trends of 2024. It’s a sour cocktail that can be made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. For those who love a saltier cocktail, you can offer a Dirty Martini with olive juice. They would enjoy that a lot!
3. Unique Ice Cubes
Although this may seem like a small little detail, it’s a very important part of the customer experience. Everything matters - from the nice glassware at your bar or restaurant to the cocktail garnish and the quality of alcohol and the drink mixers.
So what else could matter? The ice, of course! Now, cocktail experts are experimenting with all kinds of unique ice cubes like big blocks of ice, round ice, ice with herbs, and even coffee ice. To make your cocktails even more unique and be in the cocktail trends of 2024, get some new ice molds and experiment by adding lemon slices, cucumber, thyme, lavender, mint, or coffee.
4. Negroni with a Twist
The Negroni cocktail is not new by any means, but in the last few years, it has come back. This drink balances bitter, sweet, and botanical flavors and people love it. It’s a Campari-based cocktail but now, people are experimenting more with it.
Change the gin for prosecco wine if you want it to be with a lower ABV. This version of the cocktail is known as Negroni Sbagliato, and it’s a lighter and sweeter version of the classic. Another option to try is replacing the gin with Mezcal. This way you will get a sweet but smoky and bitter drink called Mezcal Negroni.
5. Experimental Drinks
People always consume through the eyes as well. Millennials are famous for their passion for new experiences and Gen-Z’s are known for wanting to capture beautiful moments for their social media.
All of that led to the cocktail trends becoming more experimental. Cocktail drinks have always been beautiful and presentation mattered a lot. But now, mixologists need to think a little harder when deciding on how a certain drink can be presented, even if it's based on a gin and tonic recipe.
6. No-Alcohol and Low-Alcohol Cocktails
In 2024, more people have become health conscious and want to stay away from drinks with higher alcohol content. This is the year when we see a spike in the consumption of alcohol-free drinks, as well as low-alcohol drinks (such as low-alcohol wines and low-alcohol cocktails).
That’s why is a good time to introduce more prosecco cocktails and wine cocktails to your menu, as well as other drinks that have a base with a lower alcohol percentage. People who are trying to limit their alcohol consumption will appreciate the fact you have various options.
7. Spiked Slushies
One of the cocktail trends that is perfect for summer is spiked slushies. A Frozen Cosmo Slushy will win the hearts of your customers who are looking for ways to cool down in the hot summer days. You can use the classic Cosmopolitan recipe for a start and then turn it into a slushy.
You can also make a Frozen Piña Colada for the rum lovers out there, and a Frozen Strawberry Margarita for those who prefer a nice tequila cocktail. You can experiment with other classic summer cocktail recipes and turn them into a slushy. They will be a hit!
Frequently Asked Questions about Cocktail Trends in 2024
If you are curious to learn more about the latest cocktail trends in 2023, these questions and answers will give you even more insights. Check them out!
Are There Any Popular Cocktail Flavors to Try in 2024?
Mixologists are experimenting a lot more with exotic fruits, botanical extracts, and herbal infusions in 2024. It’s possible to see a lot of common cocktails reimagined with the use of new garnishes or cocktail mixers. Swapping alcohol with higher ABV for alternatives with lower ABV is also one of the biggest cocktail trends this year.
Are There Any Healthier Cocktail Trends in 2024?
With the rising numbers of health-conscious customers, bars and restaurants are offering a lot more cocktail drinks that meet their needs and requirements. You will see more vegan cocktails, as well as gluten-free beverages. Recipes with freshly pressed juices and probiotics are spiking in popularity, too.
Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks Still a Big Trend in 2024?
The non-alcoholic versions of cocktails (also called mocktails) are still huge in 2024! Designated drivers, pregnant customers, as well as anyone who is avoiding alcohol for health or other reasons can enjoy beautiful and tasty no-alcohol drinks.
Make Following the Cocktail Trends Possible
To make it possible to serve a wide variety of great drinks at your bar or restaurant, you need to stay on top of your beverage inventory. Make ordering, tracking prices, and analyzing customer behavior so much easier! Avoid losing bottles due to expiration, too.
All of that is possible with BinWise Pro! We will help you stay on top of your beverage inventory and will save you up to 85% of the time you are spending counting! Learn more about all the great features by booking a demo with us.