The Most Popular Summer Drink of 2023

Restaurants and bars are officially in the mid-summer swing, with regulars and travelers showing up to spend time on beautiful outdoor patios or coming in for a cold one and to get away from the heat. 

Are you optimizing your summer beverage program and offering the trending summer drink for 2023? Hint: think light, refreshing, elderberries, and sparking water. 

The Weather’s Effect on Our Favorite Beverages

No, you’re not imagining it and the changing weather patterns. According to experts (i.e., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere have set records, making 2023 the hottest summer ever, with more on the horizon. 

What does that mean for your restaurant or bar? If you have a lovely air-conditioned interior or misters on the patio, you should be seeing an influx of requests for drinks filled with ice and a bit of fresh fruit on the side. 

The Drink of Choice

Aperol Spritz, Dirty Shirley, and Negroni Sbagliato all made the top trends over the last few summers. Aperol and Negroni have amaro in common, an Italian liqueur, all be it different brands. In fact, there are hundreds of different brands of amaro, with many finding their way into the finest restaurants around. Sotto, in Los Angeles, offers over 20 selections of this bittersweet digestif made by infusing grape brandy with various mixtures of herbs, flowers, citrus peels, spices, and aromatic barks.

Aperol offers a citrusy, slightly sweet flavor that provides a refreshing beverage when combined with soda water and prosecco. Negroni sbagliato’s amaro of choice is Campari, a slightly bitter version with spice-forward notes. Mixed with sweet vermouth and prosecco, it’s become all the rage thanks to TikTok, Emma D’Arcy, and HBO’s House of the Dragon Series.

But that was October of 2022. And, while definitely a social media star that’s still bright on the horizon, there are a few other summer drinks surpassing it as the “most popular.”

Drum Roll, Please

St. Germain has become increasingly popular on Google Trends this summer, as reported by Delish. This somewhat new arrival on the cocktail scene is an elderflower-based liqueur that offers a floral note, a popular palate pleaser in the summer months. (Try and say that three times fast). 

St. Germain came to life in 2007. A French liqueur, it boasts handpicked elderflowers, with up to 1,000 of these carefully selected flowers found in every bottle. It’s also the world’s first elderflower liqueur, inspired by the St-Germain-des-Prés quarters in Paris.

One of the cocktails associated with St. Germain is the Hugo spritz, a beverage with a 500% jump in search volume. Have you heard of it? It’s also known as the St. Germain spritz. It also has about 290 million views on TikTok. It’s a low-alcohol, refreshing, sparking wine cocktail with a combined mix of mint and floral flavors. Does anything sound more summer-like? 

To make this most popular summer drink of 2023, you’ll need the following ingredients: 

  • 2 oz. St. Germain
  • 3 oz. Prosecco
  • 2 oz. Sparkling Water
  • 8 Mint Leaves

Fill your glass with ice, add St. Germain and mint leaves, lightly crushing the mint leaves as your stir. Complete with prosecco, sparkling water, and a lime wheel for an added garnish and a touch of summer citrus. 

You may be thinking, “That sounds quite a bit like an Aperol spritz.” And you would be right. The difference lies in the minty and floral flavor found in a Hugo spritz, leaving the bitterness of Aperol by the wayside. 

However, for those (and there are many) who took to Aperol like water to a duck’s back and aren’t ready to bestow the “Most Popular” title to another beverage just yet, here’s a rendition of the fan favorite: 

  • 3 oz. Prosecco
  • 2 oz. Aperol
  • 1 oz. Club Soda

Add to a glass filled with ice, stir, and garnish with an orange slice. 

Not only are these drinks refreshing, but oh-so-simple. Of course, there’s nothing more enjoyable than heading to your favorite neighborhood eatery and letting someone else do the work for you while you enjoy your beautiful surroundings. Some foods that pair well with Hugo spritz, the most popular summer drink, include tomato bruschetta and charcuterie boards with added French and Italian cheeses. 

A votre santé and bon appétit!  

Are you curious about what your surrounding competitors may be serving this summer? F&B Insights makes it easy to find out, thanks to the world’s largest menu database. Not only can you find out what the surrounding restaurants offer, but also their price point and any recent changes. To explore this remarkable platform, contact F&B Insights today.

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