Major Cocktail and Wine Trends: Packaging is the Big Story

cocktail trends

As we head into the Fall, there’s lots of boozy – and not so boozy – trends to catch up on. Three in particular have caught my attention.


Have not tried any of these – not really my thing – but with half of millennials wishing there were more low alcohol, healthier options, this sounds like a great opportunity:

  • Truly Spiked & Sparkling from Boston Beer, made its debut in May and packs only 100 calories per serving.
  • Easy Tea and Zumbida Mango both from MillerCoors. The former is a brisk, less sweet iced tea. Zumbida is the first of several fruit-flavored fermented drinks.
  • Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer along with a new hard soda brand, will soon be launched by Diageo.
  • SpikedSeltzer, (a small craft brand) with 6% alcohol, is now sold at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, some Targets, and regional groceries in 13 states.



Whole Foods declared 2016 the year of canned wine and this trend seems to finally be taking off. Although still only a tiny part of the market, cans of wine can now be found in mainstream supermarkets, mostly promoted for outdoor concerts and sports.

More misc. wine packaging news:

  • One87 single serve wine is considered the most innovative packaging of the year by wine industry insiders.
  • Boxed wines sales are also growing dramatically. The Bota box is a hit for its organic, handcrafted look.



  • Coffee cocktails are on the rise.
  • Bitter spirits like the old-skool Jägermeister continue to make a comeback.
  • Fernet Branca (as well as other amaros) are experiencing a renaissance. Seattle’s Canon serves a Toronto, while the Hanky Panky appears on the menu at Whislers in Austin. There’s also the Mayhem, a mix of rye, brandy, Fernet, and Peychaud’s, which is available at Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem in San Francisco. San Francisco serves as the unofficial hub of Fernet-Branca with 25% of U.S. consumption. In certain places in the Bay Area, you can even find Fernet on tap.
  • Mezcal and aged tequilas are being used to reinterpret classic cocktails like the Last Word and the Manhattan.
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails are starting to show up on some trend forward, creative drinks menus.

And finally I am so sad to have missed Frose, the wine slushie hit of the summer. Perhaps it will come back next year since sales of rosé wine have gone through the roof in recent months.

Here are a few details on Frose in case you live in a warmer climate and can have it year round:

  • Frosé originated at Bar Primi in New York, where the general manager Justin Sievers wanted to create a new drink that was suitable for long hot afternoons, using rosé wine.
  • Frozen rosé, or frosé, is made by freezing rosé wine with lemon juice and sugar.
  • It is usually prepared in a large container and frozen for around seven hours before being blended into a slush.
  • The Beaufort House bar in Chelsea, West London, says frosé has now become their bestselling drink.
  • Thousands of people across the UK have also posted pictures  of homemade versions of the drink on Twitter and Instagram.

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