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2022 Alcohol Trends to Look Out For

2022 Alcohol Trends to Look Out For

As we get ready to ring in the new year, the alcohol landscape is poised to change in unexpected ways. The tumultuous years that we’re leaving behind have dramatically shifted the priorities and interests of the average drinker. A renewed focus on health, and an appreciation of local and niche brews will continue to influence our drinking habits in the coming year.

While 2020 closed the bars, 2021 saw them re-open, and then close, and then re-open again. During these years of widespread change, many imbibers embraced the pleasures of mixing drinks at home. For those seeking a shortcut, the era of ready-to-drink cocktails officially kicked into high gear. And as international travel routes shut down, many of us rediscovered the joys of traveling locally, and just as importantly, of eating and drinking locally. The resurgence of local and niche wines and brews will likely continue in the new year, bringing exciting new flavors and techniques to a chilled glass near you. What’s on deck for 2022? Here are some alcohol trends to look out for in the coming year, from experts who know their way around a craft brewery. Cheers to the new year!

Sustainable and Niche Wines Are In

“Niche grape varieties and wines have really seen a resurgence in the past few years, as wine drinkers seek new and exciting flavors. There is also an increased focus on sustainability, and wineries are responding by developing really interesting techniques and strategies to cope with our changing climate. Because wineries are especially sensitive to climate change, they have been really driving the shift towards sustainability. Consumers are increasingly demanding more accountability when they make purchases, and it’s driving a large-scale shift towards more thoughtful and socially-responsible practices. In the coming year, we will continue to see a shift towards more sustainable wines and spirits.” - Anish Patel, Founder of Tinto Amorio

Ready-to-Drink Cocktails Will Gain Steam

“Ready-to-drink cocktails really took off during the pandemic, as consumers sought easy and flavorful drinks that would replicate the bar experience. These drinks provide the same great flavor combinations that you’d normally get at a high-end bar, but you can easily crack open a can from the comfort and safety of your home. As we all spent more time at home with close friends and family, our lives naturally slowed down. We rediscovered the joy of entertaining on a smaller-scale and making the most of our time together. Having a fun mixed drink on hand when you come home and sharing it with your loved ones is a trend that will continue. The ready-to-drink cocktail movement shows no signs of slowing in the coming year.” - Riley Burke, Growth Marketing Manager of Ohza

Renewed Focus on Health

“Alcohol consumers are looking for balance, and are increasingly seeking holistic strategies to maintain their health. Many drinkers are looking for beverages with less sugar, less alcohol, or with added benefits like probiotics. In the health space, there are more beverage options than ever before, and we’re seeing some really interesting and bold new flavor pairings. Healthier drink options used to be pretty bland and uninspiring, but that’s no longer the case. For example, hard kombucha has grown in popularity in recent years, and it will continue to gain steam in the new year.” - Justin Chan, Growth Manager of JuneShine

Unique Craft Brews

“There’s a real push for more unique and authentic brews, and we’ve seen a big resurgence in the craft brewery space. For a long time, craft breweries were kind of the best kept secret in many regions, but they’ve been rediscovered as consumers seek out fresh flavors and drinking experiences. As bars and restaurants shut down over the past two years, a lot of consumers began exploring the different brews available online and moved their sights beyond the offerings of their local grocery store. Craft brews are increasingly available online and can be shipped to virtually any area, so you are far less limited than you used to be. As people continue to discover the wide variety of brews available to them, the craft brew movement will continue to expand in the year ahead.” - Jason Sherman, Founder of TapRm

Single Cask and Rare Expressions

“For the serious spirits drinker we expect to see an increase in high-end rum sales alongside the usual Scotch and Cognac sales. There is an increase in single cask, cask strength and rare expressions on the market and these can act as a great first step into drinking neat spirits or digestifs but are also complex enough for the spirits aficionado. Drinks like the Negroni have seen huge success over the last few years; as more people are drinking at home they will continue to be a great serve for entertaining: easy to prepare, sophisticated flavours that can easily be turned into a more festive drink.” - Jen Baernreuther, Commercial Director at Speciality Drinks Group

Botanical Spirits Are Seeing a Renaissance

“In the spirits world, amaro, absinthe and other botanical spirits are seeing a renaissance. These drinks tend to have a distinctive quality due to their balance of bitter and sweet, and they are consumed in very particular ways, usually before or directly following a meal. Consumers in the premium sector have embraced the ritual involved as another way of replicating a bar experience.” - Colin Blake, Director of Spirits Education at Moonshine University

What alcohol trends will you try out in the new year? Whether it’s a ready-to-drink cocktail, a frosty glass of hard kombucha, or a craft cider, the year ahead will undoubtedly bring new and exciting drinks for every palate.

Millennials and Gen Z’ers have driven a trend towards more mindful drinking, and have renewed calls for low- and zero-alcohol drinks that provide some health benefits. If you’re looking for a gluten-free or low-sugar option at your local liquor store, you’ll probably find an abundance of them in 2022. As more people focus on health and wellness, companies will continue to expand their offerings and cater to changing demand. 

Get ready for 2022 by stocking your home bar with something new: you might shake things up with a botanical spirit, or try a canned wine spritzer. Let’s raise a glass to the year ahead.