As 2023 comes to an end, we thought it would be a great time to look back at the popular drinks that got people raising their glasses.

This year, we saw twists on traditional flavours and adventurous mixes as the drinks market sparked in creativity. Here are some of the favourites:

Tequila and Mezcal cocktails

Tequila was super popular this year, with exports of the spirit hitting record numbers! Here in the UK, the Margarita – a classic Tequila-based cocktail – was revealed to be the most popular amongst drinks and even came up as the most-searched in recent data from Google.

During 2023, traditional Margaritas were jazzed up and took on bold flavours, with spicy variants becoming particularly popular.

The same goes for Mezcal, which is like Tequila but uses agave cooked over wood-fired ovens to add a lovely smokiness to the drink.

Bitter drinks

2023 saw a bitter boom, with Vermouthand Camparimaking a big comeback! As such, it’s no surprise to see that the Negroni has seen a resurgence in popularity recently, made up of equal parts Gin, Campari and Vermouth. A modern twist on the classic, the Negroni Sbagliato, even turned into a viral sensation on TikTok! With this, the Gin is replaced with sparkling wine or prosecco for a more refreshing taste.

Other bitter drinks, like the Manhattan (Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth and Bitters) and the Boulevardier (Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth and Campari) have also been popular cocktails this year.

Vodka-based cocktails

Vodka has certainly had it’s moment this year, taking pride of place in many of the nation’s favourite cocktail selections. Cosmopolitans (Vodka, Cointreau and cranberry juice) have been in favour ever since the ‘90s, and now the refreshing Cape Cod cocktail (a simple mix of Vodka and cranberry juice), has found its way into the limelight.

Elsewhere, Martinis are unsurprisingly topping the list this year, with both the Pornstar Martini (Vodka, passionfruit, vanilla and a shot of prosecco) and the Espresso Martini (espresso, coffee liqueur and Vodka) making the perfect tipples for social occasions.

Another of the favourites we often see at events in the lead up to the end of the year is the Moscow Mule. The combination of Vodka, ginger beer and lime offers a warming spice with a bit of heat to warm the cockles during the colder months.

Aperol Spritz

Over the decades the Italian wine-based cocktail, Aperol Spritz has had several peaks in popularity – even going as far back as the 1920s! This vibrant and refreshing summery drink is often served as an aperitif before dinner, making it ideal for wedding receptions. It also fits the bitters trend, as it combines Aperol (bitters), prosecco and soda water for a bittersweet, aromatic taste. A new take on the classic, known as the 2023 Spritz, adds champagne for a perfect celebratory toast.

Low or no-alcohol drinks

As people’s drinking habits change, there has been a big shift towards low or no-alcohol drinks. These reflect the wider growing trend towards leading healthier, more balanced lifestyles.

Virgin cocktails or mocktails are now regular features on menus, with plenty more exciting and flavourful choices available now than previously. There’s also a great selection of low or no-alcohol beers, wines and spirits that offer an alternative to traditional soft drinks.

Guinness

Perhaps one of the more surprising trends of 2023 is that the 250-year-old brand, Guinnesshas had record sales and become the UK’s best-selling draught beer. A recent YouGov survey even crowned it the nation’s most recognised and popular beer brand!

Guinness is often more affordable than IPAs which, paired with it’s offering of a 0% alcohol-free option, has won the population over.

Wines

Another interesting trend in 2023 is the move to lighter, younger chilled red wines, which many drinkers have found is ideal for pairing with food. White winestill remains the most popular choice, with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay being at the top of people’s wish lists, but chilled reds are providing a refreshing alternative.

Prosecco and Champagneremain the go-to choices for celebratory toasts in 2023. As  Christmas approaches, warm mulled wineis also featuring among people’s favourite drinks and is one we expect to see on the menus at many of our events over the festive season.

These cocktails are a great way to indulge in the comforting and festive vibes of autumn. If you have an event coming up, get in touch to see how we can support you with a mobile bar and your own custom selection of drinks.

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