With every new year comes new trends. I know this because I’ve spent the past 12 months looking at (and sometimes taking) pictures of avocado toast and raw juice on Instagram. Trends are inevitable, but let’s be honest, we need to stay up to date on the latest fads in order to keep our social media games at their best. Lucky for you, we’ve created a list of the seven drink trends that will be most popular in 2016. If you want to know what food trends to look out for in 2016, you can find them here.
If I’ve learned one thing from being a college student, it’s the importance of being prepared for any and every theme that frats may throw at us. There’s no denying that themed parties have become increasingly popular in the last decade, But I’m not complaining.
According to one bartender of the famous Pouring Ribbons in New York City, themes are making their way out of the frat house and into the bar and restaurant scene. With themed drinks, the possibilities are endless – these cocktails can range from anything from disco to jungle themed. So to those of you who have impulsively purchased neon cheetah print leggings off of Amazon Prime (guilty), no need to worry – at this rate, all bars will be themed by the end of the new year. Turns out even the real world is stuck in the good ol’ days of college.
#Spoon Tip: If you want to make your own themed drinks, check out this article on how to make the dankest drinks for Valentine’s Day.
Food in Drinks
There has always been a separation between the bar and the kitchen. In the past, people have never really loved the idea of mixing food in their drinks. However, it is now almost 2016 and times have most definitely changed. The infusion of fresh-food in cocktails has increased massively in the past year and will ultimately reach its peak in 2016.
Whether its crushed grapefruit, fresh herbs and spices, or fish (who doesn’t love a good Oyster Shooter?) you’re bound to find some sort of food mixed into your cocktail in the next year. Not only does this new trend add flare and flavor to your drink, but it also has many health benefits.
The use of fresh ingredients is healthier than the prepackaged mixers that have been used in previous years, so you’ll be able to drink up guilt-free. Seeing as food and alcohol are two of the things that Americans pride themselves most on, I have nothing but good feelings about this trend. If you’re trying to be a trendsetter by mixing alch and food, check out how to make these boozy pancakes to ring in the new year.
Focus on Presentation
With the increase in social media usage comes an increased focus on appearance. This focus goes well beyond body image and now includes the appearance of food and drink. In 2016, restaurants and bars are going to emphasize creative glassware and vibrant colors, maybe even use some dry-ice, in order to increase the aesthetic appeal of their drinks.
With a chic new look to their drinks, bars are hoping for increased publicity that will boost their sales. This technique has been previously seen in restaurants such as the Sugar Factory, which has become famous for the appearance of its drinks. So for all of you out there who pride yourselves on your food-instas, get ready because this trend is about to revolutionize foodstagrams world-wide.
Alcohol: a blessing and a curse. Alcohol is as close as can be to perfect, but in the words of our favorite train-wreck Miley Cyrus, we know that nobody’s perfect. Alcohol really only possesses one major flaw: its lack of health benefits.
Alcohol is extremely high-calorie and high in sugar, but that doesn’t make it any less popular. Because people are prone to drinking in excess, alcohol has become a leading cause of weight-gain, and everyone is starting to catch on. 2016 will bring low-calorie cocktails that use healthy substitutes for not-so-healthy mixers.
2016 will bring low-calorie cocktails that use healthy substitutes for not-so-healthy mixers. Low-calorie liquors will also become increasingly popular in the new year, and here are the drinks to order when you want to cut the cals on a night out. Thanks to this trend, we can all “keep up” with our resolutions to lose weight while still being able to indulge in our favorite cocktails.
Wine in Cans
In recent years, as a result of themes such as Wine-Wednesday and Slap-The-Bag, wine has become extremely popular among college students. Maybe it makes us feel classy, or maybe we just like the taste. Regardless, wine is starting to present itself as a major drink of choice for our generation.
Due to the increasing popularity of wine, companies such as Union Wine are aiming to make it more portable in 2016. The wine industry recognizes that it is extremely hard for the young generation to dance on elevated surfaces with a large glass bottle in hand, so this popular drink is now starting to be produced in cans. This creation has been seen at the most recent Restaurant Week where Faith and Flower served wine in cans #powermoves.
Frozen and Draft Cocktails
Often times when we think of frozen drinks, we think of sipping piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris on some foreign island. It has become rare to find frozen cocktails on the menu of any average bar or restaurant, but like I’ve said before, times are changing. Anything is possible for the future of booze (hello alcoholic popsicles).
In 2016, it will become much more common to see bars create craft daiquiris in frozen format. Not only will you be able to find frozen craft daiquiris, but you may even see creative mixes such as frozen gin and tonics. So if you can relate to our favorite Rupert Holmes song (The Pina Colada Song), and you like pina coladas – this is your year.
Is it getting hot in here? No wait, that’s just my drink. Get your tastebuds ready, people, because a huge trend in the upcoming year is spicy drinks. Bartenders are starting to crank up the heat by using nutmeg, cinnamon, hot pepper and even jalapeño to enhance their cocktails and add a little spice to your life. Think fireball on steroids.
You either love the spice or you hate it, but either way, it’s coming to stay so get used to seeing it on the menu. If you’re a fan of this new fad, check out how you can make your own spicy shots. If you’re not a fan, you might want to give these drinks another shot because they are comin’ in hot and I have a feeling that 2016 is going to be the spiciest year yet.