As another year draws to close, already there’s much anticipation as to what cocktail trends 2016 will bring.

Certainly, we can expect further growth in the craft and local arenas, as brewers and mixologists push the limits of the drink spectrum with uniquely sourced ingredients and wild presentations.

So how’s that different form any other year?

Well get ready to leap off your bar stools, over the next weeks Cocktail Trends will post sneak peaks as to what to expect in craft bar and cocktail culture for the coming year.
One thing is for sure, 2016 should give us all a reason to raise our glasses.

2016 Cocktail Trends: Week One



Not Your Father's Root BeerHard Soda Spikes in 2016

As the craft space becomes more and more crowded, even the most polished triple IPA seems to lose their sex appeal in the sea of beers. To keep it exciting, many brewmasters are already shifting gears from delicate notes and subtle finishes to more intense flavor profiles and unorthodox creations.

With the sudden success of Not Your Father’s Root Beer, 2016 will likely see more producers adding spiked sodas to their offerings. Look forward for these new tipsy pops in more grown-up interpretations of the kiddy’s classics. How about a quince-ginger ale or a blood orange cream?


Apfel Cider Rye

Cider Trends: Pubs and Cocktails

Hard cider sales went up over 75% from 2013 to 2014, yet the beverage still account for only 1% of all liquor sales. Fueling this growth is the shift away from the sugary sweet, wine-cooler varieties to more complex and dryer finishes.

This coming year will likely bring a harvest of artisan blends, with a focus on heirloom fruit, spicier notes and higher alcohol content; all perfect for half and half beer combinations and cider cocktails.  2016 will also see cider pubs springing up in urban areas, while boozy orchard tours will become the perfect weekend retreat.


Wild Drinks and Cocktails

The Market Fresh Cocktail Trend

As more bars and restaurants add craft programs, bartenders are creating their own bitters, shrubs and syrups, with a focus on organic and locally sourced ingredients. This shift will certainly transform that old static drink list into that of a fresh market board, where cocktails change with the availability and the quality of ingredients.

Many bartenders have already been leading the way, especially master mixologist Bridget Albert, but 2016 will continue this trend with a focus on hand-foraged and wild ingredients, as seen in author Emily Han’s recent release of Wild Drinks and Cocktails, soon to be a craft bar staple.

COMING NEXT WEEK: More Cocktail Trends For 2016