Top 10 Cocktail and Wine Trends Identified by Industry Experts at Southern Glazer’s 2022 Liquid Insights Tour


Coast-to-coast annual results released

MIAMI and DALLAS, September 12, 2022—Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s) – the world’s largest distributor of alcoholic beverages – today unveiled the results of its 2022 Liquid Insights Tour, a coast-to-coast educational initiative designed to explore and identify latest trends in cocktails and wines.

The Liquid Insights tour kicked off in Houston in February and included stops in Kansas City, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and Los Angeles. Over the course of 111 days, Brian Masilionis, Director of Onsite Business Strategy and National Accounts for Southern Glazer’s, led a team of cutting-edge mixologists to sample more than 400 drinks at 83 of the hottest restaurants, bars and hotels. , compiling their insights to uncover emerging cocktail and wine trends in the United States

Analyzing industry data and gathering information within the beverage industry has long been a practice at Southern Glazer’s, where it is used for internal education and training of the beverage industry’s sales force. company and their accounts. Now, through the Liquid Insights Tour, Southern Glazer’s is sharing its findings more widely to help a hospitality industry still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, and to excite consumers about wine and cocktail innovation driven by a new generation of bartenders, various sommeliers and beverage professionals.

“Our primary goal for conducting the Liquid Insights Tour was to uncover innovative beverage trends and experiences across the country to ensure Southern Glazer’s continues to have the most knowledgeable sales consultants in the industry. “Masilionis said. “Throughout the visit, we assessed the full on-site experience by looking at product offerings, pricing, promotional approach, people, service and process.”

Bridget Albert, Senior National Director of Education for Southern Glazer’s, added, “I believe Liquid Insights is a valuable program that gives its reader a rare behind-the-scenes look at successful work bars through the eyes of industry professionals. ‘industry.”

Top 10 trends revealed

Analysis of the Liquid Insights Tour results revealed that the top trends fell into three distinct categories:

  • Innovative cocktails
  • Wine trends
  • Execution and presentation trends

    Best cocktail ideas:

  1. Unusual combinations: Bartenders were mixing spirits that weren’t commonly used together to create interesting new cocktail flavor profiles. Creative combinations included a cocktail in Houston that paired scotch and corn liquor, one in Kansas City that mixed rum and cognac, another in Chicago that used gin and mezcal, and a drink in Las Vegas that paired bourbon and anejo tequila.
  2. Beyond Basic Balancers: The team found many cocktails that were made using an innovative variety of methods or modifiers to balance the drink or add layers of flavor. These included:
    • The use of acids, such as Meyer lemon, lime, blood orange, grapefruit, verjuice (also called verjuice), or acid powder;
    • Use sugars and syrups, such as burnt sugar, raw or unrefined sugar products (e.g. Turbinado, Demerara, or black sugar), local honey, and homemade flavored syrups using ingredients like lavender, chamomile or even cola;
    • Incorporate salt, such as Black Lava, Himalayan, Tajin, Hibiscus, Corn, Gusano, Yukari, or Smoked Salt to enhance flavors (and call out the use of salt in beverage menu descriptions);
    • Herbs, coffee, tea and spices, including herbal or spice liqueurs such as Chartreuse, Campari or Falernum; incorporating coffee or tea such as chamomile, green tea, espresso and cold brew; using hot peppers and spices such as Espelette, jalapeno, chilli, Kashmiri, ginger and galangal; or incorporating a variety of bitters such as Angostura and Amaros such as Nonino, Averna or Fernet;
    • The use of fats other than animal fats, such as clarified milk, egg whites or whole eggs, butter, coconut and olive oil and other vegetable fats, to add luxurious smoothness or smoothness in cocktails;
    • The use of ice and heat such as stamped, flavored and smoked ice; the use of various forms of ice such as crushed and mixed ice; and the use of flame, chilled steam and heat in mixology.
  3. Back to caffeine: Once the darling of the ’90s bar scene, the Espresso Martini took center stage as the tour’s standout cocktail. Across the country, mixologists are breathing new life into this classic, incorporating a variety of creative ingredients such as amaro and coffee liqueurs or brandy with espresso or cold brew.
  4. Sophisticated and alcohol-free: Non-alcoholic offerings at the country’s top bars, restaurants and hotels are now just as refined, delicious and expensive as their alcoholic counterparts, with similar non-alcoholic ingredients, flavors and presentations.

Best Wine Info:

  1. Bubbly Is Popping: Champagne and sparkling wines continue to gain popularity on beverage menus. Throughout the tour, more sparkling options were available by the glass and had a more prominent presence on top wine lists. Additionally, bartenders mix sparkling wine of all styles and prices into their cocktails to add effervescence, crispness, or sweetness to the experience.
  2. Chill Out Wines: Chilled selections of red and sweet wines have appeared on menus across the United States. Orange wines also appeared more frequently than ever before, often featured on menus in a combined rosé and orange section.
  3. Tempting try with half-bottles by the glass and premium:
    • Keep-by-the-glass (BTG) options are diversifying to meet the changing preferences of consumers looking to try new wines, with less flavor duplication and more focused and curated overall offerings.
    • BTG’s wine offerings are also more balanced between domestic and international offerings than in the past, even in Los Angeles, a market known for its California-produced wines.
    • There is also a growing trend for wines being priced with good value in BTG or by the bottle formats to drive more orders and not just high margins. More and more large establishments are now offering ultra-premium wines in half-bottles, encouraging consumers to exchange and taste fresh, premium wines on a two-glass basis.

Better information on execution and presentation:

  1. Batching for speed and service: Top bartenders continue to innovate when batching their cocktails, including both partial (batching only non-perishable items) and full, and using citric and/or malic acid to prolong freshness and maintain citrus flavor. Driving this trend is the need for speed and improved quality and consistency in cocktail preparation, allowing more time to connect with guests.
  2. Entertainment experience improvements: add “flair” to the cocktail experience with the use of vapors, “air”, smoke or torch; the use of unique glassware; or the return of common drinks to share; all create memorable moments for consumers.
  3. Meaningful menu innovations: Restaurants and bars are evolving their menus beyond being a functional tool to enhance the consumer experience. The team saw great stories, unique categorizations, and humorous names paired with detailed beverage descriptions. QR codes, which have grown in popularity due to COVID, are now being used to provide wider offers and information – from account-specific Spotify playlists to ever-changing allotted spirits offers, all of which can be updated. easily updated without having to reprint the menus.

Factors influencing trends

  • Drawing on industry data and internal information from Southern Glazer, Masilionis and his team identified several key factors influencing these trends. These include:
    Aging Population: Across the country, Gen Xers and Millennials now make up a significant percentage of consumers in bars, restaurants, and hotels.
  • Demographic Diversification: Greater ethnic diversity leads to shifts in taste preferences and spirits and wine offerings. Additionally, younger and more diverse workers in the hospitality industry are putting their stamp on the programs while better reflecting the communities where they work.
  • Health and wellness preferences: Among younger consumers, 21-54 year olds with higher incomes are changing their drinking habits. They are looking for natural and/or organic offerings, and low or no alcohol options.
  • Impact of COVID-19: The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt in the hospitality industry. The pandemic has necessitated the simplification of operations across the segment. Additionally, the pandemic has also heightened the importance of connecting with guests and delivering a premium experience to help hospitality businesses differentiate themselves in a highly competitive environment.

“This unique insight can be integrated into any on-premises business to ensure greater success through strategic and innovative beverage programs,” Masilionis said. “Identifying relevant information for your business and how to incorporate it using creative themes, highlighting seasonal ingredients, and tailoring cocktail and wine offerings to your customer demographics are all solid strategies. We continue to see the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic in this segment of the industry, in terms of the effects on the workforce and on consumers returning for the onsite experience. We are excited to offer this insight to help accelerate recovery from the pandemic and make this segment stronger and more consumer-focused than ever. »

For more information, visit our Liquid Insights resource page at

About Southern Glazer Wines and Spirits

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is the world’s largest distributor of alcoholic beverages and is proud to be a multi-generational family business. The company does business in 44 US states, the District of Columbia and Canada. In 2022, Southern Glazer’s was listed as one of the Forbes Top Diversity Employers. In 2021, Southern Glazer’s was selected as America’s Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and TheWall Street Journal, as well as named one of Newsweek’s 100 Most Loved Places to Work. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to responsibly market, sell, serve and enjoy its products. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @sgwinespirits.


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