2024 we can expect greener bars, prettier cocktails, and booze-free alcohol. Check out some of the biggest bar trends to look forward to next year.

1. Sustainability

Food service establishments going green made a big splash in 2021, and it's likely to stay strong in 2022. Sustainability is one of those trends that can be expected to become necessary, with environmental concerns continuing to plague humanity. And it's not just for the environment either. Studies show that millennials, who comprise a vast portion of the market, are willing to pay more if bars are eager to ramp up their sustainability efforts.

2. Booze-Free or Low-ABV Cocktails

While it may be odd for establishments known for selling alcohol to go this route, there's a growing demand for alcohol-free drinks and drinks with low alcohol-by-volume content. These mocktails, a shortcut for mock cocktails, used to be made for drivers and pregnant women. However, more people realize it would be great to enjoy a night out at a bar without a hangover the next day. The rise of mocktails is also a testament to what bartenders have been pointing out all along—that the taste of a drink is still crucial.

3. Instagrammable Cocktails

In an age where people don't get to bite their food without taking a snap of it first, it only makes sense that bartenders will have to up their aesthetics for Instagram. In 2024, bars will continue to put out all the stops to make their cocktails look suitable for the photo, even employing new tricks such as using fire, smoke, and all sorts of exciting containers for their drinks.

4. Lavishly Iced Drinks

Gone are when cocktails were cooled by plain, old, regular ice. While patrons were happy using simple ice cubes, bars have opened up their choices with nugget ice, hand-chipped ice, and even luxury ice spheres made from bubble-free, double-distilled water that melts far slower than a simple cube. In 2024, bars must invest in premium commercial ice makers like a Maxx cold ice machine to keep up with the trend.

5. Exotic Spirits

Vodka and tequila will take a back seat as bars highlight lesser-known liqueurs from exotic locations. Mezcal, for example, is an agave-based Mexican drink typically known for being tequila's smokier, earthier cousin. Another spirit we will see more often on bar shelves is cacha├ža, a Brazilian brandy made by distilling sugarcane juice. Japan's poor man's liqueur Shochu will also take the stage in 2023. Shochu is made from rice, barley, buckwheat, and sweet potato, which tastes like vodka but has a little more character.

6. Vintage Spirits

Gin is sometimes seen as an older generation's spirit, but expect this timeless classic to return in 2024. Younger patrons are jacking up the demand for imported and locally crafted gin. Still, they're open to asking for aside from traditional gin's herbal, piney flavor profile. Other old-timers' favorites that will significantly return next year include bourbon and even shandy, a light, summery drink combining beer and lemon-lime soda.