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Top 10 Cocktail Trends of 2023: Expert Predictions and Must-Try Recipes

As 2023 rolls in, mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts alike are eager to explore the latest trends in the world of cocktails. With a wide range of ingredients and techniques available, the possibilities for creating new and exciting drinks seem endless. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 cocktails that are set to make a splash in 2023.

From classic cocktails with a modern twist to innovative new creations, the list covers a diverse range of drinks that are sure to impress. Whether you prefer your cocktails sweet or sour, fruity or spicy, there is something for everyone on this list. So, without further ado, let's dive into the world of mixology and discover the top 10 cocktails of 2023.

Four bottled cocktails on wooden bar in front of garnishes

Understanding the Basics of Cocktails

Cocktails have been around for centuries and have evolved into an art form. A good cocktail is a balance of flavours, with each ingredient contributing to the overall taste. To make a great cocktail, it's important to understand the basics.

One of the most important aspects of a cocktail is the spirit used. Vodka, tequila, gin, rum, and whiskey are all popular choices. Each spirit has its own unique flavour profile, and the choice of spirit can greatly impact the taste of the cocktail.

In addition to the spirit, other ingredients such as champagne, bitters, sugar, lime juice, lemon juice, dry vermouth, simple syrup, triple sec, orange liqueur, and sugar syrup can be used to add depth and complexity to a cocktail.

When making a cocktail, it's important to measure each ingredient carefully to ensure the correct balance of flavours. A jigger or measuring cup can be used to measure out the spirits, while a spoon or dropper can be used to add bitters or sugar syrup.

Shaking or stirring a cocktail can also affect the taste. Shaking a cocktail with ice can help to chill and dilute the drink, while stirring can create a smoother texture.

Overall, understanding the basics of cocktails is essential for creating a delicious drink. By experimenting with different spirits and ingredients, and paying attention to the balance of flavours, anyone can become a skilled mixologist.

Top 10 Cocktails of 2023

As the year 2023 comes to a close, it's time to reflect on the top 10 cocktails that have taken the world by storm. From classic favourites to new and innovative creations, these cocktails have been enjoyed by many across the globe.

First on the list is the classic Martini. This timeless cocktail has stood the test of time and remains a popular choice for many. Made with gin or vodka and a splash of vermouth, the Martini is a simple yet elegant drink. We created a wonderful take on this classic cocktail as a limited edition available exclusively in John Lewis to celebrate Coronation - The Crown Martini. It was even featured in Vogue!

Martini bottle and glass on marble tray with hand reaching in for the drink

Next up is the refreshing Mojito. This Cuban cocktail is made with white rum, lime juice, sugar, soda water and fresh mint leaves. It's the perfect drink to cool down on a hot summer day. Our favourite variation of the Mojito is a Sloppy Joe's Mojito, which is a pomegranate take on the classic. Find the recipe for the Sloppy Joe's Mojito here or here's a recipe for the classic Mojito

The Negroni is another classic cocktail that has made the list. Made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, this cocktail has a bitter yet refreshing taste. We have an incredible version of this classic, ready made by our award winning bartenders.

The Margarita is a must-try cocktail for anyone who loves tequila. This refreshing drink is made with tequila, lime juice and triple sec. It's the perfect drink to enjoy on a warm summer evening. At Kocktail, we love a marg! Our favourite is the Strawberry & Lychee Margarita.

For coffee lovers, the Espresso Martini is a must-try. Made with vodka, espresso and sugar syrup, this cocktail is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day. Our award winning take on the Espresso Martini won Good Housekeeping's Best Bottled Cocktail of 2023. Shop the Espresso Martini here.

The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for over a century. Made with whiskey, sugar, bitters and a twist of citrus, this cocktail is a favourite among whiskey lovers. Simple in principle, difficult to master. We use Buffalo Trace, from the oldest continually operated distillery in the US, to create our delicious version of this incredible cocktail well as a variety of twists on this classic.

The Daiquiri is a simple yet delicious cocktail that has made the list. Made with rum, lime juice and sugar, this cocktail is the perfect drink to enjoy on a warm day. We've created a recipe for a festive twist on this classic, with a Spiced Apple Daiquiri.

Bartender serving a Passionfruit martini into a coupe glass through a sieve on a bar

The Pornstar (or Passionfruit) Martini is known for its sweet and tangy flavour. The drink is typically made with vanilla vodka, passionfruit puree, lime juice, and a splash of Prosecco. It is often served with a shot of Prosecco on the side, which is meant to be poured into the cocktail just before drinking.

An Amaretto Sour is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for decades. It is a delicious and refreshing drink that is perfect for any occasion. The recipe for an Amaretto Sour is simple and easy to follow, making it a popular choice for both amateur and professional mixologists.

Whiskey sour is a classic cocktail that has been around for over a century. It is a simple yet sophisticated drink that combines the bold flavour of whiskey with the tangy sweetness of lemon juice and the subtle sweetness of sugar. This cocktail has become a favourite among whiskey enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike. This Christmas, we've created a festive take on this classic, with a Chocolate Orange Whisky Sour.

These top 10 cocktails of 2023 are a must-try for anyone who loves cocktails. Whether you prefer classic favourites or new and innovative creations, there's something on this list for everyone.

Classic Cocktails and their Ingredients

Classic cocktails are timeless and always a favourite among cocktail lovers. These cocktails have been around for decades and their popularity has not diminished. Here are some classic cocktails and their ingredients:

Martini

The martini is a classic cocktail that is made with gin and vermouth. It is usually garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Some variations of the martini use vodka instead of gin. 

Negroni

The negroni is a classic Italian cocktail that is made with gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. It is usually garnished with an orange slice. Negroni recipe here.

Old Fashioned

The old fashioned is a classic cocktail that is made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a citrus peel. It is usually garnished with a cherry and an orange slice. Old Fashioned recipe here.

Two old fashioned cocktails on wooden table with bottle and books next to them

Emerging Cocktail Trends

The world of cocktails is constantly evolving, and 2023 is no exception. Here are some emerging trends to keep an eye on:

Espresso Martini being poured from the bottle into a cocktail shaker by a bartender

Two-Spirit Cocktails

Two-spirit cocktails are becoming increasingly popular in 2023. These cocktails feature two different spirits, such as gin and tequila, blended together to create a unique and complex flavour profile.

Spicy Drinks

Spicy cocktails are also on the rise. Jalapeño is a popular ingredient in these drinks, adding a fiery kick to classic cocktails like margaritas and bloody marys.

Espresso Martini being poured from the bottle into a cocktail shaker by a bartender

Sustainability

Sustainability is a growing concern in the cocktail industry, and bartenders are finding innovative ways to reduce waste and promote eco-friendly practices. This includes using recyclable straws and reducing water waste.

Quality Ingredients

Quality ingredients are essential to creating a great cocktail, and bartenders are placing a greater emphasis on using fresh, high-quality ingredients. This includes using locally sourced produce and organic spirits.

Amaretto Sour being strained into an ice filled cocktail glass

In summary, 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year for cocktail enthusiasts. With a focus on sustainability, quality ingredients, and innovative flavour combinations, there's never been a better time to explore the world of cocktails.

Cocktail Making Techniques

When it comes to creating the perfect cocktail, there are several techniques that can take your mixology skills to the next level. One of the most important techniques is mixology, which involves the art of combining different ingredients to create a balanced flavour profile. This can include the use of bitters, syrups, and fresh juices to enhance the taste of your cocktail.

Another important technique is the highball, which involves the use of a tall glass and a large volume of mixer to create a refreshing and easy-to-drink cocktail. This technique is particularly popular for drinks like the gin and tonic, which require a large amount of tonic water to balance out the strong flavour of the gin.

To create the perfect cocktail, it's also important to pay attention to the temperature and dilution of your drink. This can be achieved through techniques like shaking or stirring your cocktail with ice, which can help to chill and dilute your drink to the perfect level.

Overall, mastering these cocktail making techniques can help you to create delicious and well-balanced drinks that are sure to impress your guests.

Cocktail Tasting Notes

When it comes to cocktails, taste is everything. A well-crafted cocktail can transport you to another place entirely, tantalising your taste buds with a perfect balance of flavours. Here are some tasting notes for the top 10 cocktails of 2023:

  1. Margarita: A classic tequila-based cocktail with a citrus kick. The salt rim adds a nice contrast to the sweet and sour mix.

  2. Old Fashioned: A timeless cocktail that is simple yet sophisticated. The bourbon base is balanced by the sweetness of the sugar cube and the bitterness of the bitters.

  3. Negroni: A bold and bitter cocktail that is not for the faint-hearted. The gin, vermouth, and Campari combine to create a complex and layered flavour.

  4. Martini: A classic cocktail that is all about balance. The gin and vermouth are perfectly proportioned to create a smooth and sophisticated drink.

  5. Whiskey Sour: A simple yet satisfying cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. The whiskey base is balanced by the sweetness of the sugar and the tang of the lemon juice.

  6. Mojito: Mojito is a refreshing and classic cocktail that originated in Cuba. It is a popular drink that is enjoyed all over the world, and it is known for its unique blend of mint, lime, and rum. The history of the mojito dates back to the 16th century, and it has since become a staple in Cuban culture.
  7. Martini: Martinis are one of the most iconic cocktails in the world. This classic cocktail is typically made with gin or vodka and vermouth, and is served in a chilled glass with an olive or a twist of lemon. The martini has been a popular drink for over a century, and has become a symbol of sophistication and elegance.
  8. Amaretto Sour: This cocktail is made with Amaretto, a sweet almond-flavoured liqueur, and sour mix, which is a combination of lemon and lime juice. The result is a deliciously sweet and sour cocktail that is perfect for any occasion.
  9. Pornstar (or Passionfruit) Martini: A Pornstar Martini is a popular cocktail that is known for its sweet and fruity taste. It is made using a combination of ingredients that work together to create a delicious and refreshing drink.
  10. Daiquiri: A simple and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. The rum base is balanced by the sweetness of the sugar and the tartness of the lime juice.

Popular Cocktail Variations

Cocktails are a popular choice for those looking to unwind after a long day or celebrate a special occasion. With so many variations to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some of the top cocktail variations that are sure to impress in 2023.

Pumpkin Spiced Espresso Martini

For those who like a bit of autumn in their cocktails, the pumpkin spiced espresso martini is a great option. This variation is made by adding spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to the classic recipe. The spices add a warm and comforting flavour to the cocktail, making it perfect for chilly nights. To make a pumpkin spiced espresso martini, check out the full recipe or you can purchase it exclusively at John Lewis online or in-store.

Pumpkin Spiced Espresso Martini bottle on a shelf with drink next to it in front of books

Chocolate Negroni

The Chocolate Negroni is subtle affair, with the chocolate bitters and creme de cacao adding the drink’s confectionery twist and the bitter sweetness of the wonderful Italian vermouth Punt E Mes helping to lift the Campari’s orange notes to an elevated position.

Chocolate Negroni bottle on dinner table with food in background and people picking up olives

Mince Pie Old Fashioned

When the mince pies make an appearance, you know the festive period is well and truly on it’s way. You could say the same with our Mince Pie Old Fashioned.
Made using Buffalo Trace Bourbon with notes of vanilla, toffee and candied fruit, perfectly balanced by the slightly warm and subtle spice of mince pie syrup to create a Christmas classic that even St Nick himself would advocate.

These are just a few of the top cocktail variations that are sure to impress in 2023. Whether you prefer a sweet and fruity drink or a strong and sour one, there's a cocktail out there for everyone.

The Art of Sophistication in Cocktails

Cocktails are not just about getting drunk. They are an art form that can be appreciated by anyone who is willing to take the time to learn about them. The art of sophistication in cocktails is about creating a drink that is both elegant and refined.

Sophistication can be achieved through the use of high-quality ingredients, such as premium spirits, fresh fruits, and herbs. The use of classic glassware, such as a martini glass or a coupe, can also add an element of sophistication to a cocktail.

Presentation is also an important aspect of sophistication in cocktails. A well-presented drink can elevate the entire experience. Garnishes, such as citrus peels, herbs, or edible flowers, can add a touch of elegance to a cocktail.

Sophistication is not just about the appearance of a cocktail, but also the taste. A sophisticated cocktail should have a well-balanced flavour profile. This means that the sweetness, acidity, and bitterness should be in harmony.

In summary, the art of sophistication in cocktails is about creating a drink that is both elegant and refined. This can be achieved through the use of high-quality ingredients, classic glassware, presentation, and a well-balanced flavour profile.