Be Prepared: Cocktail and Beverage Trends for Events

In order to pull off successful events and cater to their clients’ needs, event planners and their bar staff. need to be in the know with all the upcoming trends. A trendy cocktail and beverage selection can truly transform an event and now is a good time for event planners to recalculate and learn about trends so they will be prepared and armed with knowledge when businesses are back up and running.

Some top trends include a rise in the prominence of mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, demand for sustainable practices, and the addition of CBD drinks to menus across the country.

Low or No-Alcohol Drinks

One of the fastest-growing trends we’ve seen on cocktail menus is drinks with low ABV — alcohol by volume — or no alcohol at all. This is inspired by multiple factors: general health and wellness concerns, the rise in popularity of seltzer-based cocktails (which have less alcohol and fewer calories than other drinks), and sober-curious lifestyles reflected in trends like Dry January.

So, what do you serve instead? Mixologists are experimenting with seltzer-based recipes and teas combined with fewer spirits. There’s also plenty of mocktail recipes to consider that use fruit or vegetable juices, along with seltzers and ingredients like fresh ginger and citrus juices.


Environmentally friendly practices have more impact on your bottom line than you think. The National Restaurant Association found that almost half of consumers surveyed consider a restaurant’s sustainability efforts — such as recycling, donating food, or reducing food waste — when making the decision to spend money on a venue.

Bring sustainability to the bar by using whatever ingredients are already on-hand in the kitchen as garnishes or create daily drink specials based on them. Even better? Work with your chef to choose locally sourced ingredients and garnishes as part of your venue’s food order. If there are leftover ingredients from an event, use them on the next day’s cocktail menu. And be mindful of throwing out fruit or garnishes that are on their way to being past their prime. Use them to create a seasonal sangria or provide what’s left to the kitchen to use in their dishes.

CBD Drinks

Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, is a THC-free derivative. It’s also found just about everywhere from infused seltzer waters at your local store to cocktail menus across the country. What’s the appeal? CBD oil has been known to relieve symptoms like anxiety, pain, and stress. 

Some bartenders are adding CBD to low ABV and non-alcoholic drinks as a way for customers to relax without being impaired. Other combinations include CBD with stronger alcohol like tequila or bourbon to overcome the earthy taste of the oil or creating CBD cocktails by adding it to seasonal ingredients.

Trying one or all three of these trends is sure to pique interest from prospective clients and your business will stand out by adopting something new. Providing them with these new options will help your clients be on-trend and their guests will be spreading the word about the new cocktails they sampled during a successful event.