2020 Cocktail Trends

Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 9.42.32 AM
// By Jordan Brydges // , Nov 22, 2019


The health movement has set the tone for cocktail trends as we head into 2020.  And while people might be looking to drink less, there is no shortage of people looking for healthier options when it comes to indulging with friends over happy hour.  From cocktails full of health benefits to cocktail flights, this list highlight this years cocktail trends with healthier and lighter options combined with unique and interesting flavors. 


Eye-Catching High-Quality Handcrafted Cocktails


















If we drink with our eyes what would we rather drink, a vodka soda or a beautifully crafted cocktail topped with an elegant garnish?  Handcrafted cocktails have become an art form, where every element is customized.  The high quality ingredients like premium mixers, fresh juices and homemade syrups all the way down to chosen glassware, ice cubes and garnishes shows the care and detail from the craftsmanship and creates mouth-watering anticipation for the imbiber. 


Craft cocktails became popular in the 90s with the classic Cosmopolitan and have taken new forms by combining different types of alcohol to create complex and unique flavors.  These unique flavors can create interesting structures, so there's a taste that can please every palate.  A beautifully executed cocktail can get consumers to try new flavors they might not have considered and break the habit of sticking to their go-to orders, expanding drink horizons.    


Mocktails, Creative Non-Alcoholic Drinks 


Similar to craft cocktails, mocktails have made their way on to beverage menus and continue to get more extravagant.  Mocktails are crafted with as much care and attention as craft cocktails, but contain one less component, alcohol.  The mocktail trend comes health movement from Millennials, making an effort to consuming less alcohol and consuming drinks with healthier, more organic ingredients.  Not only are mocktails for people that want to live healthier lives, it also provides people making lifestyle changes a way to be comfortable and feel included in a drinking culture.


Non-alcoholic spirits like Seedlip are bringing a new perspective to the spirits space by providing high-quality alternatives for people to drink that don't want to sacrifice flavor and quality ingredients.  Non-alcoholic spirits give drinkers a complex flavorful drink without the buzz they might not be searching for or the after effect the next morning.  Non-alcoholic spirits still go through distillation and the alcohol is removed before blending and bottling, which results in a powerfully concentrated, liquid that mimics that of a spirit, making it a great additive flavor for mocktails.      


CBD Infused Cocktails 


The goal of most imbibers when drinking is to relax, and what better way than having a cocktail that contains CBD, or Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive chemical found in hemp and cannabis that gives you a naturally relaxed feeling without getting baked.  CBD, also popular for its health benefits, like being high in antioxidants, alleviating anxiety, depression, pain and inflammation can also bring many different flavor and texture enhancements to cocktails. For cocktails, CBD can either come in the form of oil, used as a topper floating on the surface, or an extract that blends well into the cocktail.  The "lightly grassy" and "earthy" flavor profiles of CBD pair well with gin or amaro-based cocktails that already contain botanical twists and bold flavors. 












Health-Boosting Fermented Cocktail Mixers


To put it simply, Kombucha is a fermented, slightly alcoholic, carbonated, sweetened green or black tea.  Not only do people love the tartness and tangy flavors, they also love the health benefits it comes with like being packed with beneficial probiotics and antioxidants that can kill harmful bacteria and help fight several diseases.  If you're going to indulge with an alcoholic beverage why not mix it with Kombucha and get a little gut support out of it, right?  With the fruity-sour flavors, Kombucha complements drinks like margaritas, kamikazes, and whiskey sours.  Kombucha can have as much alcohol as beer or less than 0.5%, which makes it a great ingredient in cocktails or using as a mixer.    


Miniature Cocktails


Ever had a drink that got warm before you were finished?  Enter miniature cocktails.  Whether you're the designated driver, on a budget, looking to cut down alcohol consumption or just want a taste, miniature cocktails are great for all imbibers.  It provides people with the opportunity to drink a wider variety of exotic cocktails they normally might not order and indulge without gorging oneself.  Similar to beer flights, miniature cocktails can be great for groups giving them an interactive and special experience to share a wide variety of drinks and flavor profiles.  Next time you want to go for a drink but don't want to feel it the next morning, look for a place with a Martiny or a Mini Julep.  


Jordan Brydges

About the author, Jordan Brydges

Jordan is a marketing intern at Backbar and a business student studying marketing. She has been working in the restaurant industry for 8 years and developed a passion for cooking and a love of red wine.

Take the next step to simplify bar inventory with Backbar

Get it in the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Replace spreadsheets with a flexible platform that connects each step of inventory management. From taking counts to costing drinks, Backbar helps you strengthen your bar program.