The Top Cocktail Trends Of 2018, According To Bartenders

Get excited.

Thanks to the craziness that was 2017, forecasting what 2018 holds for us in terms of drinking is a particularly tough job. After all, cocktail meccas like Los Angeles could sink into the sea or imported spirits could disappear entirely. Still, we couldn’t help but ask bartenders across the country for their predictions. From the rise of the “anti-cocktail” bar to the continued rise of low-ABV cocktails, here are the trends to look out for in 2018.


Cheap Wine

You know that feeling when you discover that the $60 bottle of wine you had at dinner is only $12 at the local liquor store? It’s not a great feeling. Bars are finally taking notice of our displeasure and dropping their mark-ups. In New York, Air’s Champagne Parlor (above the much lauded Tokyo Record Bar) recently cut their entire menu of Champagne to retail cost. They made up for the price differences by cutting down on expenses—reducing clutter on the menu and 86-ing unecessary food items—and saw an immediate increase in the total volume of bottles sold. Who would have thunk it? Lower prices encourage customers to buy more. Next year, Ginger Warburton, bartender at Lantern’s Keep, foresees other bars following in step. “I foresee minimal mark-ups on wine,” she says, “allowing everyone to try [them] without spending too much. In the same vein, I think more bars will be offering vintage/unique/rare spirits as substitutes—for a slight up-charge—in your classic cocktail.”