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Top 20 Beverage Trends for 2013

December 21st, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Earlier this week I shared the National Restaurant Association’s predictions for the hottest food trends for 2013. The NRA also surveyed bartenders nationwide to come up with its What’s Hot in 2013-Alcohol report, which predicts the top 20 alcoholic drink menu trends for 2013 will be:

1. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
2. Food-liquor/cocktail pairings
3. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
4. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
5. Locally produced spirits
6. Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce
7. Beer sommeliers/Cicerones
8. Regional signature cocktails
9. Beer-based cocktails
10. Locally produced beer
11. Food beer/pairings/beer dinners
12. Salt (e.g. flavored, smoked, regional)
13. House-made lemonade/soft drinks/tonics
14. Cask beer/ale
15. Wine on tap/draft wine
16. Organic cocktails
17. Cocktails on tap
18. Craft beer
19. Signature cocktails
20. Shrubs

Many of the trends, such as locally produced alcoholic beverages, artisan cocktails and creative combinations are also hot in the world of food. What’s not so hot? The bartenders cited the following as “waning trends”: hard lemonade, non-alcoholic wine, “skinny” cocktails, dessert-flavored cocktails, white sangria, frozen cocktails, light beer, kosher wine and boxed wine.

Of course, some drinks never go out of style. Cited as perennial favorites are red wine, white wine, French wine, citrus fruit and olives as garnish, stouts, Scotch whisky, porters and food-wine pairings.

Two out of five (40 percent) of the bartenders ranked social media marketing and loyalty programs as the hottest technology trend in 2013. Also hot are tablet computers (cited by 29 percent) and smartphone apps (14 percent).

Another trend worth noting: More than half (51 percent) of bartenders report more guests are dining at the bar instead of being seated at a table compared to two years ago.

Image by Flickr user Dana Beveridge (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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