13 Classic Cocktails That Will Be Everywhere In 2023

While it's seemingly possible to get any kind of booze in a ready-to-drink can these days, nothing can beat a classic cocktail. The category of classic cocktails is pretty big and can inspire a lot of debate. We consider a classic to be a drink that any well-trained bartender could make at a moment's notice. They're a little more involved than a vodka soda or a rum and Coke and usually require a cocktail shaker or other bar tools. That level of intricacy is what makes sipping on a classic cocktail feel like more of an elevated event.

The classics, like a Cosmopolitan or a Negroni, have stood the test of time for a reason. But much like in the worlds of fashion or food, specific trends in the cocktail world go in and out of style. The changing fashions of cocktail culture leave some good drinks behind unfairly, and there are many classic cocktails that deserve to be put back in the spotlight

Only time will tell what classic cocktails will make a huge comeback in 2023 like the espresso martini and Aperol spritz trends of recent years. However, when examining drinking trends and alcohol sales, it's easy to give an educated prediction on what will be big. We decided to do a little digging and figure out 13 classic cocktails that are very likely to be big in 2023 to make sure you're always ahead of the curve. 

1. Daiquiri

The average person might think of a daiquiri as the alcoholic version of a slushy that you'd drink at a tropical resort, but the classic version bears little to no resemblance to these concoctions aside from containing rum. The classic daiquiri is simple to make using just rum, lime juice, and a little sugar. The drink originated in Cuba in the early 1900s and gained widespread popularity during World War II when rations on whiskey and vodka turned more drinkers onto rum (via MasterClass). 

We believe 2023 will be the year of the proper daiquiri because it's long overdue. Frozen versions of so-called "daiquiris" made with endless flavors of artificial syrup have long given the drink a bad reputation, as pointed out by Vinepair. Everyday drinkers deserve to try and appreciate this simple cocktail, especially because there's a growing interest in rum. Based on a survey and sales reports from Drizly, BevAlc Insights found that 33% of adults plan on spending the majority of their alcohol budget on rum this year, which was just behind tequila and more than bourbon and whiskey. 

2. Pisco sour

Pisco might not be a familiar spirit category to the inexperienced bar patron, but the South American brandy might be exactly what drinkers looking to spice up their cocktail orders are looking for. Pisco is a distilled grape wine that's run through a still to make it more potent, and it's typically made in Peru and Chile. The spirit first gained popularity in the U.S. during the Gold Rush but has never become as mainstream as rum or tequila (via Tasting Table). However, according to a 2023 survey conducted by Drinks International, a growing number of bars around the world are stocking the spirit and getting creative with their cocktails. The most popular brands, according to the research, are the Peruvian Barsol and Chilean El Gobernador.

Those new to the world of pisco should experience it in a classic cocktail like the pisco sour. The origins of both the spirit and the drink are shaky, but the classic version includes pisco, lime juice, and egg white shaken without ice to make it froth. Then it's chilled with ice and topped with Angostura bitters to cut through the acidity. Considering the rise in interest in pisco and the ease of making this cocktail, 2023 seems like a great year to check this drink off of your "must-try" list. 

3. Sidecar

The Sidecar should be a more popular order for the sole reason that it sounds sophisticated when you ask a bartender to make you one. The current iteration of the cocktail, featuring Cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon, came about sometime near the end of World War I, but the exact origins are unknown. The drink is similar to the Brandy Crusta, which is basically a Sidecar but made with brandy and served with a sugar rim. The Crusta has roots in 1800s New Orleans (via Alcohol Professor). A Sidecar is noticeably tart from all the citrus, but with a pleasant balance of sweetness (especially if you ask for the old-school sugar rim). 

Popular Cognac brands like Hennessy and Remy Martin are common sights behind bars, as well are staple orange liqueurs like Cointreau. It makes it easy to get adventurous and order this drink at the bar. You may find out that Cognac is more of a versatile spirit than you might have previously thought, which could be the reason why it grew 160% in popularity in the 2010s (via Distilled Spirits Council). Forbes reports that thanks to recently-imposed tariffs, Cognac is a little more expensive than usual. So if you're looking to treat yourself to a pricy yet sophisticated cocktail, nothing screams class quite like the Sidecar. 

4. French 75

Another classy classic cocktail that might make a 2023 comeback is the booze-heavy French 75. The cocktail features a simple base of gin, lemon juice, ice, and sugar, but it's topped with Champagne and served in a flute to take it up a notch. The cocktail, which has had many names in the past, is named after a field gun used by the French during World War I (via Difford's Guide). French 75 in its current iteration has been a well-known bar recipe since the 1920s, although it used to be served over ice in a highball glass (via Vintage American Cocktails). 

The writing is on the wall that the French 75 will be big in 2023 because both of its main alcohol sources are having a moment. BevAlc Insights has reported that affordable bottles of sparkling wine are on the rise, and retailers plan to expand sales of cheaper bottles of bubbly. Additionally, gin has gone from being the forgotten spirit to an unexpected winner. There are more ready-to-drink options featuring gin, such as the Finnish Long Drink, as well as more bar menus that are including gin-based cocktails (via Beverage Dynamics). 

5. Paloma

The main tequila cocktail that gets all the praise is the margarita, but the Paloma is its better-balanced and unsung sibling. Margaritas can be sweet, even if made with fresh lime juice instead of syrupy sour mix. The Paloma is a little bitter and a lot more refreshing (via Food Network). Palomas are also, at their core, two-ingredient drinks — a popular method for making them is to mix tequila with Squirt grapefruit soda. The soda didn't make its way to Mexico until the 1950s but has seen been a popular mixer for those looking to sip on the agave-based spirit (via Texas Monthly). 

Tequila is pretty popular these days and is gaining on the ever-popular vodka — BevAlc Insights reports that people are looking to try more tequila-based ready-to-drink canned cocktails in 2023. Whether you go the easy route with Squirt or use soda water and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, a Paloma should be on your radar if you're someone who plans on drinking more tequila in 2023. "I've yet to have a bad Paloma, and I've tried all different specs, but good ol' Squirt is the champ," u/GildedNarrative wrote on Reddit to explain their preference for Palomas over margaritas. 

6. Mint Julep

Many bourbon enthusiasts tend to enjoy sipping the dark spirit straight-up, especially if it's a quality bottle. The mostly corn-based whiskey, however, can add a welcomed depth and sweetness to a variety of craft cocktails. Bourbon has consistently been one of the staple spirits in the U.S., but there has been a particular boom in recent years. As reported by Vinepair, 2020 sales of bourbon in the U.S. were the highest they had been since the 1970s, which is particularly significant considering the great variety of options for liquor store customers. As u/doctormuerto on Reddit pointed out, one of the most underrated craft cocktails is an old-school mint julep, which should have a shining moment in 2023. 

Mint juleps have been around since the 1800s, and they are remembered for being the favored drink of politicians and wealthy Southerners, including a few presidents. It's also been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since the 1980s (via Town & Country). The concoction includes a bunch of muddled mint leaves, simple syrup, and plenty of bourbon served over ice. You can easily cut the sweetness by adding a bit of club soda. Regardless of how you customize the recipe, mint juleps deserve to be just as a popular bar order as the minty mojito, especially considering the bourbon boom of the 2020s. 

7. Dark 'n' Stormy

2023 will be the year of rum, according to predictions from BevAlc Insights' research. If the clear version of the spirit isn't your thing, there are plenty of classic cocktails featuring spiced, dark, and/or, aged rums. One of the simplest yet most satisfying that should take the place of the humble rum and Coke is the dramatic Dark 'n Stormy. Dark 'n' Stormy highball cocktails originated in Bermuda, but the exact origins are as murky as the drink's appearance. The myth is that a sailor thought of the name after noticing that it resembled dark storm clouds at sea, according to CNN

The classic cocktail might sound intimidating, but a Dark 'n' Stormy is just dark spiced rum (typically Gosling's Black Seal dark rum) and ginger beer. It can be as humble or as artisanal as you want. Ginger beer has become such a staple bar mixer that there are a variety of brands and versions that are as complex as some spirits. Add a little rum and a squeeze of lime, and you might have just found your new favorite drink order. 

8. Clover Club

Gin should be right up there with rum as the spirit people should (and probably will be) drinking more of in 2023. According to Beverrage Dynamics, the clear floral spirit was running the risk of going extinct in the craft beverage space up until the last couple of years, when people began to get tired of their usual drinks. Gin is the more flavorful and slightly sweet cousin of the ever-popular vodka. Unlike some types of liquor, gin is one of those spirits that really shines best in a cocktail instead of straight-up (via Jim and Tonic). 

One of the most underrated ways to enjoy gin is the pre-Prohibition cocktail titled the Clover Club (via Standard Spoon). It's tart and sweet thanks to the addition of raspberry and lemon to the base spirit. It's also light and frothy from a frothed egg white (or vegetarian-friendly aquafaba, the liquid that is in a can of chickpeas), to make the texture interesting (via South China Morning Post). Whether a bar uses raspberry syrup or fresh muddled raspberries, the Clover Club is a cocktail that deserves recognition not just from gin lovers, but all sophisticated drinkers. 

9. Rum punch

If the daiquiri is the rum cocktail that's all about proportions, then rum punch is a drink with looser qualifiers — but just as much flavor. Rum punch is one of the drinks on the list that doesn't have a set recipe. Sure, there are variations that are a riff on a classic Mai Tai or Singapore Sling, but the beauty of rum punch is that it provides a lot of drinks for a crowd of people in a pinch. We already know from the 2023 BevAlc Insights report that rum is going to have a moment in 2023. In fact, rum punch is a pretty popular flavor among people looking for something new in the RTD canned options. To make the love go around even more, rum punch should be the party drink of the year with a retro punch bowl to match (via Food Network). 

Rum punch is the grown-up version of jungle juice you often see at college parties served out of plastic storage containers. The idea is to use what you have on hand. The typical rum punch uses light rum and leans heavily into tropical flavors, like our rum punch recipe with pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine. You can make it boozier by adding flavored schnapps or coconut rum like Malibu, and the fun is adding to the mix and seeing what works best. 

10. Bloody Mary

Bloody Marys and brunch go hand-in-hand. It's not fair to say that the Bloody Mary has totally gone out of style as it usually is a common sight on the average brunch menu. However, as pointed out by Punch Drink, Bloody Marys have gone in and out of style many times in the past. Their reputation has gone from highbrow to bottom of the barrel and everything in between. The drink is believed to have been invented around 100 years ago, but its exact origins are unknown. The classic mix of tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt was first written in print in the 1930s, to give you an idea of its longevity (via New York Post). 

The reason Bloody Marys will have another big year in 2023 is because of the evolving tastebuds of the average drinker. Bacardi's 2023 cocktail trend report states that the Bloody Mary is the fourth most sought-after drink these days behind a mojito and a vodka soda. Spicy and savory drinks are on the rise, and there's nothing that can compete with a Bloody Mary with plenty of hot sauce and horseradish. 

11. Dirty martini

The espresso martini has taken center stage when it comes to martinis that have made major comebacks. There are so many versions of the martini that range from classic to complicated, and one highly sought-after version should be an old-school dirty martini. Cocktail snobs may turn up their noses to a dirty martini because of what it represents. A traditional dirty martini is a mixture of gin and vermouth with olive brine added. However, many modern-day iterations of a dirty martini swap in vodka for gin, cut the vermouth entirely, and use poor-quality olive brine (via Boston.com).

The interest in craft cocktail ingredients outside of just basic booze is a prime reason for the dirty martini to make a comeback. Whether it uses vodka or gin, the drink is a great way to experiment with the wide variety of cocktail olives, olive brine, and vermouths on the market. The key to an amazing martini is in its proportions and ice-cold temperature, and a well-made version is enough to convince any drinker to appreciate its unique benefits (via Esquire). 

12. Piña colada

Similarly to a daiquiri, most people might associate piña coladas with a tropical vacation. The frozen drink is meant to be enjoyed in a pool or sitting on the beach as it's endlessly refreshing, with enough rum to sneak up on you in the sun. The drink was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and three different bartenders claim to be its inventor. The cocktail features coconut cream, white rum, pineapple juice, and ice blended together, and Discover Puerto Rico even claims there's some lore that it was invented by pirates in the 1800s. 

Piña coladas have never been totally out of style, at least if you're at a resort or beach bar. They aren't the typical order at a classy indoor bar on the average weekend, however. Waitrose's 2022 drinks report indicates that may be changing, as searches for the cocktail rose 40% in 2022. The general consensus seems to be that people are bored with ordering bland and one-note cocktails at the bar. Something more extravagant like a piña colada feels like more of an experience to drink, whether or not the tropical vacation is included. 

13. Tequila Sunrise

A Tequila Sunrise might be better known as the title of an Eagles song than a cocktail, but it's a basic drink that has seemingly been long forgotten. A Tequila Sunrise is essentially just tequila mixed with orange juice and topped with grenadine for dramatic effect, and it was majorly popular in the 1970s (via Liquor.com). It's not a cocktail you will find on the average bar menu or that you're ever likely to hear someone ordering, by name at least. 

The Tequila Sunrise has made a quiet comeback in recent years, but a covert one. As reported by Punch Drink, bartenders have been experimenting with the cocktail, utilizing fresh-squeezed citrus juice, mezcal and other blends of tequila, and craft liqueurs to make things interesting. These drinks typically have a more clever name so as to not be confused with a run-of-the-mill Tequila Sunrise, even though the classic version is plenty tasty by itself.