Cocktail and Bar Industry Trends for 2021

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What are the current trends in the bar industry? 

2020 has been a year that we will all remember, for better and for worse. The hospitality industry, however, has been one of the most affected and has had to reinvent itself. 

We don’t really know when we will be able to have a cocktail with friends in a bar like in the old days. However, bars and restaurants are adapting to the current situation and offering new and creative ways of consuming their products. 

Here are some of the top bar trends for 2021!

Top Bar Trends in 2021 

Alcohol Delivery

Just like online food, alcohol delivery will be one of the most demanded in 2021. We’re not talking about bottles, which most people can buy in a regular liquor store, we’re talking about signature cocktails made by bartenders. 

In 2021, bars have the option to offer their cocktails in a way that they have never done before. This varies according to the laws of each state or provinces, but some bars already offer their cocktails through delivery applications. Fancy a mojito to relax with your friends at home after work? Why not? 


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Off-site sales

In 2021, selling food and beverages off-site will be an essential practice for restaurants and bars. Selling alcoholic drinks and mocktails to-go is nothing new as it’s one of the only ways for bars to save their businesses. Here are ways to sell drinks off the premises:  

  • DIY Cocktail kits

These kits are becoming more and more popular. They usually include all the necessary ingredients so that you can prepare your favorite cocktails at home. These days, you can be your own bartender!

  • Frozen cocktails

Alcoholic slushies are perfect for summer and can be frozen in the fridge, so people usually buy them in packs. It’s a very good idea to increase your sales!

  • Beer Growlers

This is a great option for beer enthusiasts. If you like craft beers, growler pours are the perfect way to enjoy your favorite beer at home.

  • Bottles sales

Bars can also sell whole bottles of alcohol, it’s a traditional way of generating income. However, it’s also an opportunity to personalize the bottles with your bartender’s best creations and signature cocktails. It’s not the same to buy a bottle of mojito at the supermarket than to buy a bottle of mojito especially made for you by a professional bartender.

Merchandise and E-commerce

If you can’t go to the bar, bring the bar home! The e-commerce boom is related to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that have been imposed on us. Bars and restaurants usually have merchandising on the premises, but since social distancing is forcing them to swap up their old ways, now is a good time to start selling merch online.

Shots, beer yards, branded t-shirts and hats, cocktail kits and more. There are many ways to continue increasing sales and strengthen your brand image.

Social Media

Social networks are another way to build lasting relationships with your clients and keep them updated on the latest news. It’s not just about uploading posts on Instagram or Facebook every day. If you think creatively, you can make a difference!

You could offer live broadcasts on how to create different cocktails or do a wine or craft beer tasting. You can take advantage of this opportunity to sell products and involve your customers in the action so that they can follow the tasting from the comfort of their homes. 

Canned Cocktails

This trend is becoming increasingly popular lately. Rum & Coke, Gin Tonic, Mojito and Whiskey & Coke are some of the most sold canned cocktails. This trend will definitely continue to boom through 2021. Bars can offer their own canned cocktails to differentiate themselves from alcohol brands that have been doing this for a few years. 

Non-alcoholic Drinks

The more options you have, the more customers you will attract. And with the times we live in, offering non-alcoholic beverages is a great way to continue boosting your sales. Kombucha, teas, coffee and mocktails are drinks that are always in high demand. Drinks with CBD and hard seltzers are also trends to keep an eye on!

Food Pairing

We all know that food tastes better with wine. When beverages are properly paired with food, it improves the customer experience and increases revenue. If bars have options for snacks or food, they can offer pairing options to step up their game and boost their sales.

What cocktails are trending in 2021? 

Some things change and some don’t. We’ve all been through a hard and transforming year, but the cocktail trends will probably be similar to those in 2020, with a few slight changes.

We continue searching for ways to consume less and give preference to quality products, while also trying to keep focus on zero waste. We can’t ignore the devastation that the pandemic has caused and continues to cause in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Despite all the lost revenue and heartbreaking closings, the bar industry has held together and strong to this day. To survive, bar and restaurant owners and distributors had to adapt, diversify and redouble their creativity. As mentioned before, several ingenious initiatives such as takeaway cocktails or virtual workshops are likely to continue to gain popularity in 2021. However, we are all impatiently looking forward to a return to normalcy.

Here are some of the cocktails that will be trending this year:

Minimalist Cocktails

Sometimes, less is more. This trend will be at its peak in 2021. They are cocktails that consist of only two or three ingredients, which create unique flavors.

Vegan Spirits and Vocktails

A trend that is not limited only to wines or beers. Vegan spirits are becoming more and more popular. We can find different varieties of vegan gins and vodkas. Sangria, Bellini and Orange Mojito are some of the most popular vocktails. 

Hard Seltzers

Another trend for 2021 will be Hard Seltzer cocktails, these are drinks whose ingredients are carbonated water, alcohol and fruit flavors. They are low-calorie, low-alcohol beverages, which are suitable to drink at different times of the day. 

Tropical Cocktails

Going back to normal is everyone’s hope for 2021. And what’s better than a colorful drink that tastes like summer and vacation? Get ready for the return of the Pina Colada and the Banama Mama!

Sustainable Cocktails

Products that consider environmental sustainability are gaining popularity. Sustainable cocktails, made with locally sourced and organic ingredients are making their way into the bar scene in 2021! 

Vintage Cocktails

Everyone loves vintage. And in the world of cocktails, we are also seeing a return to more traditional cocktails. Drinks like Martini, Manhattan or Old Fashioned are making a big comeback in 2021.

Moscow Mule

Don’t be fooled by its name! The origin of this cocktail is American and it’s curiously very popular among Italians. The history of this cocktail dates back to the late 1930s. The founder of the famous vodka brand Smirnoff tried to introduce vodka to the American market but as you can imagine since vodka is Russian… it wasn’t very popular in America.

The presentation of the Moscow Mule is very sophisticated and eye-catching, but the preparation is quite simple. The ingredients that make up this cocktail are: vodka, lime juice and ginger beer.

Pros of investing in a Bar inventory app

As a bar or restaurant owner, tracking your inventory is essential to minimize your costs and maximize your revenues. If you spend many hours conducting inventory, it’s time to ditch your pencil, paper and spreadsheet and invest in something better: an inventory software.

Here are the main advantages of investing in a bar inventory app:

  • POS integration 

With Rapid Bar’s POS integration system, you can easily extend your POS inventory features, allow batch recipes for precise stock control and extract daily sales reports automatically. Easy-peasy!

  • Fast inventory counts

Our mobile app with a scanner and Bluetooth scale will make things easier for you. You can monitor your draft beer and import new products straight from our database. 

  • Actionable metrics

You can also get detailed inventory variance reports for individual products and instantly view underperforming or missing stock in your bar. With our 100% paperless app, you can be proactive before things get out of hand!

  • Cost control features

By automatically calculating and controlling drink cost, you can manage your profit margins more effectively. It’s the best way to avoid risks and play it safe!

  • Simplified purchasing

Orders to your suppliers are managed directly into the app, filtering par level, and out-of-stock. Calling your suppliers every day and double-checking everything many times will no longer be necessary!

  • Better collaboration

Lean on your staff to guarantee a better collaboration. With our app, you can also assign permissions to multiple users in the mobile app for better control. Coworkers can do inventory counts, but cannot access data they don’t need.  

  • Access data anywhere

To ensure better business decisions for your bar, you can easily access all the inventory data you need. Anytime, anywhere!

Ready to control your costs, optimize your bar stock levels and place orders in one click? Book your free demo today!