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What's Hot 2013 Alcohol Survey

National Restaurant Association's Annual Bartender Survey


What's Hot 2013 Alcohol Survey

Wine is a perennial favorite of bartenders across the country.

As a new year looms, now is a good time to examine not only your dining room menu, but also your bar menu. Because of the low cost of labor and overhead, selling alcohol at your restaurant can be very profitable. Case in point - in 2011, Tao Las Vegas, made 75 percent of its income from alcohol sales. Like food, alcohol has trends, fads and favorites. The National Restaurant Association polled 200 bartenders for its annual What’s Hot alcohol 2013 Bartending Survey. Like the What’s Hot 2013 Chef’s Survey, the National Restaurant Association ranks items as hot trends for the coming year, yesterday’s news (fads on the way out) and perennial favorites – those items that never go out of style (white wine, anyone?). Read on for alcoholic beverage trends to keep your eye on in the coming year, the drink fads that won’t make it through 2013 and the spirits that every bar should offer.

Hot Bartending Trends for 2013

Top trends in alcohol for 2013 mirror food trends of 2013 with emphasis on local, onsite, and organic liquors. The rise of micro distilleries and on site production is among the biggest trend for 2013. Another popular trend is food-beer dinners and food-liquor pairings. These are a new take on a traditional wine tasting dinner, which has been popular for decades.

The Complete List the Top 10 Hot Trends in Alcohol, by percentage:

Onsite barrel age drinks 77%
Food-Liquor/ Cocktail pairings 77%
micro-distilled/ artisan liquor 75%
Locally produced spirits 70%
Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce (for garnish and flavoring) 70%
Beer sommeliers/Cicerones 68%
Regional signature cocktails 67%
Beer-based cocktails 66%
Locally produced beer 65%

Other hot trends for 2013 include shrubs, which are a fruit liqueur popular in 17th and 18th century England, organic cocktails and wine on tap. Before you decide to rewrite your whole bar menu for 2013, consider that some of these hot trends will fade into fads by the end of next year. However, it is probably safe to say that the focus on local produce, whether its food or drink, is here to stay for a long while yet.

Yesterday’s News in Bartending for 2013

On the way out in 2013 are a variety of spirits, from hard lemonade (a whopping 88% of those polled rated it as yesterday’s news) to light calorie drinks and boxed wine. Read on for the top 10 items rated as Yesterday’s News by bartenders across the US:

Hard lemonade 88%
Dessert/Candy cocktails 72%
Skinny cocktails 72%
White Sangria 71%
Light Beer 67%
Kosher Wine 66%
Boxed Wine 65%
Bacon 61%
Non-Alcoholic Beer and Beer 58%
Absinthe 56%

Perennial Favorites for 2013

The third part of the What’s Hot Alcohol Bartending Survey is Perennial Favorites. These items were ranked as those with staying power, drinks that never go out of style. Wine, of varying kinds, has the most appeal over time. Other perennially popular drinks include the traditionalist – martinis and manhattans. Simple beers, like lager and pilsners are also rated as a perennial favorite among bartenders. Traditional spirits like gin, tequila and bourbon are also rated as high in staying power. Read on for the top 10 favorites every bar should offer:

Red Wine 84%
White Wine 81%
French Wine 73%
Scotch 67%
Champagne 66%
Dessert Sweet Wine 66%
Italian Wine 66%
Food / Wine Pairings 66%
Lager/Pilsner 65%
Traditional Cocktails (Manhattan, martinis) 65%

So there you have it, what to expect see on special during 2013 at restaurant bars across the country. Read on for what to look for on menus in the coming year.

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