What Cocktail Trends Should Disappear in 2022?

Every year sees new trends born, some that will stick and others that are destined to flame out. This year saw the Miami Vice, one of the last holdouts of the dark ages, finally get the craft cocktail treatment, while the Martini gladly leaned into its dirtier side, calling on everything from feta brine to potlikker to add a savory spin. 

Here, we’ve polled a number of beverage professionals on the movements that have defined the previous year in drinking, asking them which trends should stay and which should disappear in 2022.

From the world of wine, spirits, beer and cocktails we spoke to Talia Baiocchi(editor in chief, Punch); Chloe Frechette(senior editor, Punch); Leslie Pariseau (co-founder, Patron Saint); Aaron Goldfarb (author, Hacking Whiskey; contributor, Punch); Christine Wiseman (beverage director, Bar Lab); Jack Schramm (co-founder, Solid Wiggles; contributor, Punch).

Aaron Goldfarb: I don’t really drink ’em, but I generally like the people who do. Stay.
Jack Schramm: Stay. Why not. Nothing matters anymore. New England Clam Chowder Martini. I dare you.
Chloe Frechette: This is more fun than when the dirty Martini tried to clean up its act, but there’s a point at which your dirty Martini stops being a Martini and starts being bouillon.  
Christine Wiseman: 50/50s or bust, with a twist and one olive.
Leslie Pariseau: Personally, I do not subscribe to regular dirty Martinis. But I do not begrudge the salt or umami seeker who does. Go forth with your dirty deeds.
Talia Baiocchi: If this trend can somehow parlay itself into a greater proliferation of blue cheese–stuffed olives, I’d appreciate it. With that hope, stay.  

Verdict: Stay

AG: Stay. Overused, but useful.
CW: Stay! I have always been a big believer not to make people feel stupid when they order, and TBH we all know what they mean and it’s a good starting point in the conversation to get to what they want to drink.
LP: To me, “funky” is not a terribly helpful descriptor. As a person who deals with words (and sells wine) for a living, I find “funky” to require parsing to really get down to what a person who wields it means. Is it funky-farmy? Funky-off the beaten path? Funky-VA? Funky-just-because-it’s-skin-contact? I also do realize that wine semantics are confusing on many fronts, but I wouldn’t mind if “funky” disappeared.
TB: In its mainstream usage, “funky” has become shorthand for “cool natural wine, probably a pét-nat.” Which is useful in translating a general direction, but I think it has ended up, as Danny Chau puts it, “flattening the range of delight” that natural wine translates (and pinning it to being flawed).
JS: Go. In my experience it’s almost always used as a stand-in word for what these “funky” wines really are: faulty and flawed. Just say “This has some volatile acidity” or “This is a little mousy” and that you still enjoy it.

Verdict: Stay

JS: HARD stay. All the layered frozen concoctions can stay. Before BlackTail closed, Will Pasternak was working on what he called the “Miami Thrice,” which added a green layer of frozen Mojito to the classic Vice. Genius.
LP: I am lucky I live in the same city as Cane & Table’s fancy Miami Vice. Stay forever.
CW: STAY! How highbrow can you really make it, all variations deserve to be drank—there is no more-perfect drink than the Miami Vice.
CF: Believe it or not, I’ve never had one. Stay, if only to afford me the chance to do so. 
AG: Stay. I’m all for elevating trashy drinks, but they’re often better in their trashier form.

Verdict: Stay

The Dirty Martini Has Gotten Dirtier

Where olive brine once reigned supreme, modifiers like dashi and braising liquid have turned the Dirty Martini into a template for savory experimentation.

LP: I would marry an Espresso Martini if I could.
CF: Leslie and I are now in a polyamorous relationship with an Espresso Martini.
CW: STAY!!!! It’s the new Adderall of the bartending community.
AG: Go. It’s really not a good cocktail, and this is coming from a coffee nut. 
JS: Stay. What needs to go is the shaming of people who are just trying to enjoy a drink they like. I love ’em. I order ’em. My only request is that more bars start splitting the vodka with aquavit. Now that is a tasty Espresso Martini!
TB: We’ve been willing this delightful comeback into existence for at least five years, and now that we’re finally living in a world of jacked-up bliss, we’re ready to call it all off? I think not. 

Verdict: Stay

LP: I’d like to see smaller, agriculturally minded labels continue to forge the field. The good stuff made thoughtfully can stay.
CW: Stay. Some cans look just like sodas and not sure how else I am supposed to drink my wine in public. It can’t be from a bottle, that’s for sure.
JS: Stay. Here for any format that increases ease of consumption. Definitely a place to deploy a stubby can—it’s way too easy to get blasted by accident pounding full-size cans of 14 percent ABV wine forgetting it’s basically three beers’ worth of alcohol. Adds an exciting twist to a day at the beach, but one that will annoy your friends when it’s time to get you home.
CF: I’ve had better luck with canned wine than canned cocktails, so I’m here for it. 
TB: Stay. When this is merely a different format for great, everyday wine from great producers (like Broc Cellars, Leitz, Scribe), I’m all for it.

Verdict: Stay

JS: Go. The whole point of kombucha is the live, active cultures that promote a healthy gut flora. All alcohol is going to do is kill that. 
LP: Jury’s out. I’m not opposed to it, but it’s not for me. 
CW: Go. One flavor and brand is enough; they all taste literally the same.
CF: JuneShine can stay. 
AG: Go. For when you want to have really great gut flora just before throwing up in your compost bin.
TB: The only person I know who drinks these is my mother, and she’s not even sure why. 

Verdict: Go

AG: Stay. I can’t imagine visiting one, but I’m happy they make others happy.
JS: Stay. I love to see this category flourish. There should be exciting beverages for everyone, regardless of their choice to imbibe or not. 
LP: Stay. I love that the N/A market has gotten diverse enough to support entire stores. I’m ever-curious about the economics of it, but I hope they thrive.  
CW: Stay—if it makes it easier for people to go and learn and buy something that makes them comfortable to be at a party and have a good time, I am all for it.
CF: The more the N/A category grows, the more interesting it becomes. Let’s see what’s next.

Verdict: Stay

Mountain Dew Suze

Dew the Suze

Fanta Orange and mezcal. Grape soda and green Chartreuse. Mountain Dew and Suze. These bartender-backed highballs play by their own rules.

AG: Stay. Much better than canned cocktails.
LP: At the risk of sounding like a snob, even as a kid, I was never into soda (or pop, as we said in Ohio) beyond root beer. That said, I want everyone to have what they want and if that means Mountain Dew and Suze, please Dew.
CW: Stay. I want all of my drinks (besides my Miami Vice and 50/50) long and tall!
CF: Where was Mountain Suze when I was in college? 
TB: I am not going to pretend I’m above an orange Fanta and mezcal, but I’m going to go ahead and pass on this as a genuine trend.
JS: Go. We can collectively do better. That said, I would be remiss if I didn’t close the door on this trend with my personal addition to the category: the Suze-in Tea Anthony, invented at Captain Dan’s Good Time Tavern in early 2019. Simply open Twisted Tea, take a big swig, and refill with Suze. Enjoy!

Verdict: Purgatory

CW: Go! Why is this even a thing? Let’s keep Cosmos Cosmos and Mojitos Mojitos!
CF: The clickbait of cocktails. Go. 
LP: I’d be a hypocrite if I said “go” because Miami Vices.
TB: This is marginally better than trying to turn everything into a spritz, but I still file it under spam. 
JS: Go. I consider it a blessing that this is the first I’m hearing of this trend. The whole point of a cocktail is to make a drink that’s greater than the sum of its original parts. 

Verdict: Go

LP: It’s 8 a.m. and I’m craving a spicy Marg right now.
CF: Give the people what they want! Stay.
AG: I like spicy. I love Margs. I don’t like this cocktail. Go. 
CW: Stay. I personally don’t like spicy cocktails but the people love them! And they will always find their way back. 
TB: “Loved spicy Margs” could end up on my tombstone. 
JS: Stay. They’re objectively delicious and the margins are low. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving the people what they want. 

Verdict: Stay

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