Four Cocktail & Spirit Trends of 2021 that could help your business

May 14, 2021

We’ve summarised the four most significant 2021 macro trends in spirit and cocktails that can impact both on and off-premise businesses.

Trend 1: Veganism

Veganism is going mainstream, with Australia the 3rd fastest growing vegan market in the world (1). As more Australians cut animal-derived products from their diets, the focus on vegan drinks and cocktail ingredients increases too.

One product servicing this demand is Licor 43 Horchata. Light, refreshing and easy to drink, Licor 43 Horchata is a vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free Spanish liqueur. Licor 43 Horchata offers the delicate, sweet Mediterranean flavours of tiger nuts – not actually nuts but edible tubers that grow underground. The Spanish use tiger nuts to make their favourite traditional summer drink, horchata de chufa. Licor 43 Horchata is a delicate fusion of the traditional horchata from Valencia & Licor 43 Original. This makes a deliciously light, silky liqueur that is wonderfully creamy in texture. It’s a perfect option for coeliac and gluten-intolerant drinkers.

Having Licor 43 Horchata as part of your liqueur range means that Vegans and those with other allergies can still enjoy a tasty drink. This doesn’t mean Licor 43 Horchata is only for Vegans – this deliciously smooth drink can be enjoyed by anyone who likes creamy liqueurs.

Licor 43 Horchata is traditionally consumed on ice – a refreshing and super tasty way to drink it. It’s also great in cocktails, imparting a creamy texture without milk or the calories, at only 74 calories per 30mL.

Here’s our Licor 43 Horchata cocktail suggestion for your venue.

Licor 43 Horchata Valencia Cafe 43

50mL Licor 43 Horchata
45mL Pineapple Juice
15mL cold-press espresso coffee
Cinnamon powder

Pour ingredients into a shaker, shake well, then strain into a coupe glass and garnish with cinnamon powder. The pineapple juice provides a sweeter taste. The creamy, dairy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free profile of the Licor 43 Horchata results in a perfectly balanced vegan cocktail. And at 16% ABV, it’s low alcohol, too.

Trend 2: Premiumisation

Today, people are drinking less but are spending more money on alcohol. They’re moving away from cheap brands and upgrading to better whiskies, gins, and liqueurs.
Sales volumes may have decreased in some categories, but sales value has increased. This is good news because it generally means more profit for stores and venues. This happens when consumers purchase fewer but higher-quality products – or order fewer but more expensive drinks when they go out.

As more consumers opt to drink less but choose better quality spirits, demand has increased for premium spirits. Prominent amongst these is the iconic LOUIS XIII from Remy Martin – the dominant producer of Fine Champagne Cognac. LOUIS XIII Cognac is the lifetime achievement of generations of cellar masters and one of the world’s most prestigious cognac brands. Historically known as the ‘Spirit of Kings’, today it’s renowned as the ‘King of Spirits’.

LOUIS XIII continues to adopt agricultural practices that preserve and respect the environment. Protecting the all-important terroir for future generations is central to LOUIS XIII’s long-term vision and contributes to its legacy of excellence.

Renewed interest in premium single malt whisky also shows few signs of slowing down. Known as the ‘Rolls Royce of Single Malts’, The Macallan is the no.1 single malt whisky (over $100) in Australia (2) and the world’s leading single malt Scotch whisky by value (3).

Trend 3: Low alcohol drink options

The consumer trend to drink less but better quality has also led to growing interest in low-alcohol options. Suppose you’ve observed this trend in your store or venue. In that case, we have several low-alcohol options and recipe suggestions for your customers. Here are three recipes for lower-alcohol drinking, based on three lower-alcohol liqueurs packed with flavour and charisma.

First, there’s Disaronno – the fastest-growing liqueur brand in Australia (4). A low ABV of 20% makes Disaronno an excellent option for low-alcohol cocktails.

With a recipe that hasn’t changed since 1525, Disaronno’s warm, sophisticated taste traces its lineage back to the Renaissance. The world’s favourite Italian liqueur and is made using only the highest quality natural ingredients. These include the pure essence of 17 selected herbs and fruits soaked in apricot kernel oil.

The Disaronno Fizz is the perfect low-alcohol, no-fuss cocktail.

45mL Disaronno
15mL Lemon juice
Top with soda
Lemon wedge

Fill a glass filled with ice and pour in Disaronno. Add some soda water to taste and a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

Then there’s Passoã – the passion drink. With an ABV of 17%, Passoã is another perfect low-alcohol option for responsible consumption.

Passoã is a passionfruit liqueur with a full-bodied sweetness that brings a twist and burst of zest to the palate. Made with natural passionfruit from Brazil, Passoã is unmistakably tinged red with an intensely stimulating flavour.

Passoa Spritz
45mL Passoa​
10mL Lime​
Ginger Beer​
Lime wheel​ & Mint sprig

Combine all ingredients in a wine glass and filled 2/3 with ice.​ Top with Ginger Beer and lightly churn. Garnish with Mint Sprig and lime wheel.

Tia Maria – Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur 20% ABV

Tia Maria owes its unique rich flavour to the pure quality of its natural ingredients – the richest roasted Arabica coffee combined with refined Jamaican rum, with a finishing touch of exotic Madagascan vanilla. Its legend dates back to the 17th century when a beautiful young Spanish aristocrat fled colonial war on Jamaica. Her maid saved one family treasure, a small jewellery box with black pearl earrings, and an ancient manuscript with the recipe for a mysterious liqueur. The recipe was named after the courageous woman: Tia Maria.

Our suggestion for a low-alcohol drink is the Tia Affogato. It features:

30mL Tia Maria
1 shot espresso coffee
2 scoops Pana Vanilla Bean Organic Ice Cream

Scoop the ice cream into a glass, then pour Tia Maria over it. Sprinkle shaved chocolate on top (optional).


The fourth trend is far from unique to our industry. This is the overwhelming movement towards sustainability and transparency, in which consumers vote with their dollars for a better world.

Fifty percent of Millennials say they willing to spend an incremental 10 percent or more on sustainable products (5). Research by the New York University Center for Sustainable Business found that sustainability is where the growth is in virtually every category of consumer packaged goods (6). That makes stocking stainable brands an essential pillar of your future success – and ensuring the future of following generations.

Let’s have a look at two distillers who embody sustainability in every drop they produce – and have the certifications to prove it.

Bruichladdich Distillery, located on the fabled island of Islay on the ‘whisky coast’ of West Scotland, had been independently verified by the B Lab as ‘using business as a force for good’.

Bruichladdich’s ambitions fall under four key pillars of sustainability: Agriculture & Biodiversity, Islay & Community, Packaging & Waste, and Energy.

The partnerships Bruichladdich has created with their local farming community now see over 50% of their annual requirements grown locally across 21 different farms and continue to preserve heritage barley varieties and protect agricultural ecosystems.

A strong sense of responsibility to Islay and the people who live there means Bruichladdich refuses to outsource their warehousing and bottling, making them the largest private employer on the island of Islay.

Bruichladdich creates as little impact and waste as possible from production to disposal, removing 100% of single-use plastic from all of their sites and going 100% recyclable for all their packaging. While to reduce their carbon footprint, they’ve installed a circulatory heating system to recycle all hot wastewater and have switched to 100% renewable electricity.

As a certified B Corp. company, Bruichladdich meets the highest social and environmental impact standards while contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Bruichladdich produces four unique spirits whose fermentation and distillation are still governed by the human senses of sight, sound, and smell. Their flagship whisky is the famous Bruichladdich unpeated single malt– a soft, floral, and elegantly complex whisky as smooth as pebbles in a pool. To taste Bruichladdich is to realise that not all single malts are equal and that you must use 100% Scottish barley to achieve the absolute best.

For those who prefer single malts on the peaty side, Bruichladdich offers the heavily peated Port Charlotte single malt. And when too much peat is never enough, there’s the super heavily peated, cask strength Octomore single malt whisky – unlocking new realms of flavour since the first batch was distilled in 2002.

Bruichladdich’s distillers are also driven to explore beyond whisky, challenging boundaries to create The Botanist Islay Dry Gin. The Botanist is a gin of layered complexity made with 22 hand-foraged botanicals identified in collaboration with two local botanists who live on the island. These local, sustainably sourced botanicals delicately augment nine berries, barks, seeds and peels during an achingly slow distillation to create the first and only Islay dry gin – a truly unique offering to gin connoisseurs.


For Distillerie Francoli in Piemonte, Italy, respecting and safeguarding the environment has always been fundamental. In 2006 Distillerie Francoli became the first grappa distillery to be awarded the distinction of being 100% carbon-neutral (Impatto Zero® – Zero Environmental Impact). Nothing in the distillery is wasted. All heat used in the distillation process is obtained entirely from vegetable waste matter, ensuring a neutral balance when it comes to CO2.

As well as grappa, Distillerie Francoli also produces Opal Nera Sambuca and Fiorente (ABV 20%), an Italian Elderflower liqueur with all-natural ingredients. Fittingly named after Flora, the Roman goddess of flowering plants, Fiorente offers a delightfully floral nose and a clean and zesty taste. Thanks to lower sugar content than most other elderflower liqueurs, the flavour is not too sweet but perfectly balanced, making it an essential ingredient in cocktails.

Fiorente Harvester’s Delight brings out its citrus, floral and herbal character…

Fiorente Harvester’s Delight

50mL Fiorente Elderflower Liqueur
15mL White Moscato
15mL Lemon juice
4 Muddled grapes 

Muddle Grapes into a shaker, add all ingredients, and shake vigorously. Pour over crushed ice with grape slices.

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And if you’d like to get these trends working for your business and stock any of the brands mentioned in this article, please contact your local Spirits Platform State Manager.

2 IRI Australia Liquor Weighted MAT 14 Feb 2021
3 Drinks International Annual Brands Report 2020
4 Drinks Trade: Hottest 100 Brands in Australia 2020
5 The State of Consumer Spending: Gen Z Shoppers Demand Sustainable Retail, Forbes 2019.

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