Our bartenders weigh in on what’s hot in 2024

January 9, 2024Lauren Windle

Bartenders are in the right place to see what people are ordering, enjoying, and coming back for more of. Not only do they do the mixing and pouring, but they also do plenty of listening. ‘Cuz people standing at the bar love to chat about just about everything – but especially “that great new cocktail they just had in Chicago,” and why they loved it.

Because it’s important for Jacquie's Catering team to stay abreast of trends on the plate as well as in the tumblers, we asked our barkeeps what trends they are watching closely.

Here’s what they said: 

  • Top trend: Savory cocktails. Mixologists are incorporating interesting and diverse ingredients like tomatoes, mushrooms, pickles, spices, and intense broths to bring forward zesty and piquant flavors. Think tomato-tinis, asparagus-tinis, pickle martinis, and even truffle-tinis. The trend toward umami and salty spirits are definitely sweeping the bar scene from New York to L.A. And experts on Yelpthink this trend can only get bigger. 
  • Trend 2: The next wave of cocktails is about introducing unusual flavors like elderflower, tamarind and hibiscus, and mixing them with more traditional flavors like lavender – or the unexpected – such as botanicals and (sustainably sourced) aromatics. Imagine unexpected versions of classics you recognize rather than overly sweet, artificial cocktails of the past. Fresh, organic flavors are leading the pack – and Jacquie’s bartending team is all over it!
  • Trend 3: The Aperol spritz has gotten a complete make-over. Rather than predictable and …frankly, boring, the addition of hibiscus, pomegranate and/or ginger completely changes this European mainstay Our bar keeps are stirring in Moroccan hibiscus, Nigerian ginger, Brazilian cloves, and fresh-ground nutmeg.
  • Trend 4: Coffee drinks continue to …well, percolate. Get your taste buds ready for the Carajillo, a spiked two-ingredient coffee drink made with espresso and Licor 43, a blend of citrus and vanilla liqueur. Simple? Yes, and also surprisingly versatile! Perfect for brunch, happy hour, or a post-dinner digestif, and it's only going to get bigger. You can also expect to see other methods of caffeinated cocktails made with matcha, maté, and other adaptogenics. Watch for coffee-infused mixtures such as the Affogato, coffee milkshakes, and even a vodka-coffee-club soda cocktail that’s making the rounds.
  • Trend 5: More drinkers are choosing to imbibe less alcohol. Cocktail lovers are going moderate by supplementing their drinks with low-ABV substitutes. They are also updating standards like the Manhattan and Old Fashioneds with additions of naturally flavored bitters, sherry, amaro, vermouths, and non-alcoholic flavorings. According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, 78 percent of consumers of low- and no-alcohol products also drink full-strength alcohol – just not all the time-- frequently alternating their cocktails at events with a spirit-free drinks.

Off the beaten path seems to be the trend in 2024 with plenty of interesting options including infusions to standard cocktails and unexpected pairings of zesty, natural ingredients. So, cozy up to the bar and prepare to impress your tastebuds with your bartender’s creativity!




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