2023 Cocktail Trends UK

2023 Cocktail Trends UK: What to Expect This Year

From the global whisky delight to the Mexican spirit revival and the bitter boom, there's something for everyone with 2023 cocktail trends. Get ready to delight your taste buds and elevate your cocktail game as we explore the most exciting cocktail trends for 2023.

Short Summary

  • The global whisky market is experiencing a surge in popularity, with locally crafted whiskies and whisky-based cocktails driving innovation.
  • Mexican spirits such as tequila and mezcal are also seeing a revival in the UK, providing unique flavour profiles for classic & creative drinks.
  • The Bitter Boom has led to an increase in sales of Amaro & Vermouth.

Global Whisky Delight

The global whisky market is gaining considerable popularity, with a surge in demand for locally crafted whiskies and noteworthy experimentation with new varieties. This includes the reinvention of bourbon, a whisky predominantly made from corn, in cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and Mint Julep.

As whisky gains more attention, bartenders and mixologists are pushing the boundaries with creative whisky-based cocktails that showcase the spirit's versatility.

Locally crafted whiskies

Locally crafted whiskies are whiskies produced in a particular region or country, typically utilising local ingredients and traditional techniques. Examples of these artisanal spirits include single-malt Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, and Japanese whisky. These distinct spirits bring unique flavours to the table, enriching the cocktail experience.

Bourbon is predominantly produced in the United States, and is made from at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels, giving it a unique flavour profile that sets it apart from other types of whisky.

Whisky-based cocktails

Whisky-based cocktails are alcoholic beverages that incorporate whisky as the main spirit, often combined with a blend of other ingredients, such as fruit purees, syrups, and bitters. Some of the most widely consumed whisky-based cocktails include the Manhattan, Whiskey Sour, and Rob Roy.

For a classic cocktail utilising bourbon and sugar, an Old Fashioned might be just what you need. This timeless concoction features a 50ml shot of bourbon, 1-2tsp of simple syrup (depending on desired sweetness), a few dashes of Angostura Bitters, a lemon and an orange wedge, all served on ice. The perfect balance of flavours and smoothness, the Old Fashioned is a true testament to the power of locally crafted bourbons.

Cocktail purees, such as peach, raspberry or mango purée, for example, are versatile ingredients suitable for cocktails and mocktails, as well as a great accompaniment to most sweet dishes and desserts. The marriage of whisky with various fruit cocktail purées and other ingredients has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, and the ever-growing popularity of these concoctions is a testament to the creativity and innovation of mixologists and whisky lovers alike.

Mexican Spirit Revival

Tequila and mezcal, two traditional Mexican spirits, are experiencing a renaissance in the cocktail world. As we move forward into 2023, we can expect to see innovative tequila options, such as wine barrel-rested tequila, cristalino, coffee tequila, and Sotol.

These new additions to the tequila family are taking the UK by storm, offering exciting new flavours and combinations for mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts alike.

Innovative tequila options

Among the most innovative tequila options are Tequila Ocho's three special blends: Reposado, Aejo, and Extra Aejo. Each blend is crafted from agave grown in a distinct region of Mexico, resulting in a unique flavour profile for each.

Another standout in the tequila world is El Alto, a premium tequila crafted from 100% blue agave and aged in oak barrels for a maximum of two years, distinguished by its smooth, sweet flavour, featuring hints of vanilla and caramel.

These innovative tequila options are paving the way for exciting new cocktails, showcasing the versatility and depth of flavour that tequila has to offer. From classic margaritas to more adventurous concoctions, the possibilities are endless when it comes to tequila-based drinks.

Mezcal cocktails

Mezcal cocktails, made with the smoky and complex mezcal spirit, are quickly gaining popularity in the UK. Some of the most popular mezcal cocktails include the Mezcalita Verde, Mezcal Negroni, Kiwiriqui, Mezcal & Verdita, Mezcal Margarita, Oaxaca Old Fashioned, Mezcal Paloma, Mezcal Sunset, Mezcal Sour, Mezcal Martini, Strawberry Mezcal Mojito, Mezcalita, Los Muertos, and Mexican Mint Julep.

To prepare a fresh and unique twist on the classic espresso martini with tequila instead of vodka, shake 50ml of coffee tequila (e.g. Vivir Café Tequila) with 25ml of fresh espresso and a generous amount of ice, then pour the mixture into a martini glass. This innovative take on a classic cocktail showcases the diverse range of flavours and combinations that mezcal has to offer.

The Bitter Boom

The UK is experiencing a bitter boom, with huge growth in bitter drink sales. Amaro sales, for example, grew by 200% in 2022, and vermouth sales remain strong thanks to the ever-popular Negroni cocktail.

In 2023, bartenders can get creative with the classic Negroni. We can expect to see a surge in English-based aperitif brands as well as amaro and tonic.

Amaro's rapid rise

The rapid rise of amaro in the UK is largely due to its unique and versatile flavour profile, which makes it an ideal ingredient in many popular cocktails. Some of the most well-known and delicious amaro cocktails include the Negroni, Black Manhattan, Paper Plane, Amaro Spritz, and Amaro Sour.

For a refreshing amaro-based drink, try pouring 50ml of Aker English Rose Aperitif, topping it up with soda water, and finishing with fresh fruit such as strawberry as a garnish. This delightful beverage showcases the versatility of amaro and its ability to elevate even the simplest of drinks.

Vermouth's enduring popularity

Vermouth, an aromatised fortified wine, has been a staple ingredient in cocktails for decades, thanks to its ability to add complexity and depth to drinks. The popularity of vermouth-based cocktails, such as the Negroni, Americano, and Manhattan, shows no signs of waning.

There are two primary varieties of vermouth: dry and sweet. Dry vermouth is crafted with white wine and exhibits a dry, herbal taste, whereas sweet vermouth is crafted with red wine and has a sweeter, more intricate fruit flavour. Vermouth's versatility as an ingredient in a range of cocktails ensures its enduring popularity in the world of mixology.

New twists on old favourites

In 2023, we can expect to see exciting new twists on old favourite cocktails. These innovative variations on classic cocktails are a testament to the creativity and adaptability of mixologists, who are constantly seeking new ways to surprise and delight cocktail enthusiasts. With a focus on sustainability and the use of premium ingredients, these new twists on old favourites are sure to make a lasting impression on the UK cocktail scene.

Timeless Cocktails Make a Comeback

In 2023, timeless cocktails like the Negroni and vodka martini will continue to be popular drinks, with a focus on using high-quality ingredients to elevate the flavours and overall experience.

The martini, in particular, will be popular among younger demographics who are rediscovering their love for vodka-based drinks.

Vodka renaissance

The vodka drink renaissance is a recent trend in the UK that has seen an increase in the consumption of vodka-based drinks thanks to the resurgence of timeless cocktails like the vodka martini. Some of the most popular vodka-based beverages include the Moscow Mule, Vodka Martini, Cosmopolitan, and White Russian.

Flavoured vodkas are also gaining traction, with citrus, lime juice, passion fruit, berry, and even chocolate varieties becoming more widely available. These unique flavours are enhancing the appeal of vodka-based drinks, ensuring their continued popularity in the UK cocktail scene.

Premium ingredients

Incorporating premium ingredients into classic cocktails is a key trend for 2023, as mixologists and consumers alike seek to create the best possible drinking experience. High-quality spirits, liqueurs, syrups, and other related ingredients are in high demand, as they can elevate the taste and complexity of timeless cocktails.

Premium ingredients may vary based on the type of cocktail and current trends, but the emphasis on quality ensures that these classic cocktails continue to delight and impress cocktail enthusiasts around the UK.

Cool Red Wine Trend

The trend of serving red wines at a slightly cooler temperature than usual is becoming more popular, driven in part by the natural wine movement. Lighter reds, as well as some new varieties like Ruby Red Rosé with Grapefruit, are trending, offering refreshing and lively flavours that are perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening.

These wines are best served at a temperature of around 12-14°C, which is slightly cooler than the traditional 16-18°C for red wines. This allows the subtle flavours of the fruits in the fruit wine to be more pronounced.

Ideal food pairings

Food pairings with cool red wines are an essential part of the overall drinking experience, as the right combination of flavours can enhance both the wine and the dish. Seafood, salads, and lighter pasta dishes are generally considered to be good accompaniments for cool red wines, allowing the unique flavours of the wine to shine without overpowering the food.

Whether you're enjoying a chilled glass of red on its own or pairing it with a delicious meal, the cool red wine trend is a refreshing and enjoyable way to experience the diverse world of red wines.

Natural wine movement

The natural wine movement is characterised by its focus on producing wines that are lighter and more acidic, making them ideal for chilling. Some of the most popular natural wines for 2023 include St Nicolas de Bourgueil La Ferme des Fontaines cabernet, Paul Jaboulet Aîné 'Parallèle 45' Organic Côtes du Rhô, and wines from Pierre Overnoy, Les Vins Pirouettes, and Jean-Pierre Robinot.

The appeal of natural wines lies in their unique characteristics, which offer a refreshing alternative to traditional red wines. As the natural wine movement continues to grow in popularity, we can expect to see even more cool red wine options emerging in the UK market.

Healthier Cocktail Choices

Health-conscious consumers are increasingly looking for no- and low-alcohol cocktail options, allowing them to embrace a healthier lifestyle while still enjoying social events with non-alcoholic spirits and aperitifs.

From fruit purée to sparkling grape or apple juice, there are plenty of ways to create delicious and satisfying cocktails without the alcohol content.

Non-alcoholic spirits

Non-alcoholic spirits are distilled beverages that contain no alcohol, crafted from botanicals, herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients to replicate the taste and experience of traditional spirits. Some of the most popular non-alcoholic spirits on the market include Seedlip, Crossip Dandy Smoke, Three Spirit, Feragaia, Botivo, and Sentia Black 0.0%.

These non-alcoholic spirits provide a range of advantages, such as the possibility to enjoy a cocktail without the effects of alcohol, the ability to savour a variety of flavours without calories, and the opportunity to engage in a social experience without the danger of over-consumption.


From the global whisky delight to the Mexican spirit revival, the bitter boom, and the cool red wine trend, the 2023 UK cocktail scene promises to be an exciting and innovative year.

At Uren Food Ingredients, we understand the importance of quality ingredients in creating the perfect cocktail. We provide a complete end-to-end solution for all your cocktail needs, from fruits and vegetables to juices, purees, concentrates, flavours and more. Our range of products is sourced from around the world and meets the highest standards of quality and safety.

Whether you're looking to create a classic Margarita or something more adventurous, Uren Food Ingredients has everything you need to make your cocktails stand out in 2023.