In happy times, or sad times; good times, or bad times, it’s always a good time for a drink. Finding a reason to drink has never been difficult. We drink for all kinds of things – whatever the occasion, it pairs nicely with our favorite adult beverage.
Humans love to drink, and cocktails have been with us through thick and thin. It’s interesting to note that one of the most popular classic cocktails, the Gin & Tonic, was actually created as a health tonic in the 19th century. It was created and used by Brits who were beginning to travel to India and hotter climates. Another classic cocktail, the Mai Tai, was created in 1944 and originally contained rum with lime, orgeat, orange curacao, and simple syrup. However, in 1954 the Royal Hawaiian Hotel began adding pineapple and orange juice for a sweeter flavor, and this became the Mai Tai we still love today.
In our most current (cocktail) history, the year 2020 brought us a new, unexpected (and truly unappreciated) reason to drink; the COVID pandemic. Even though bars were closed and we couldn’t spend much time with our favorite drinking buddies, alcohol consumption was still up last year by 14%, and 44% of Americans began buying their alcohol online. In fact, online alcohol purchases were up by a whopping 243%.
Along with this extra alcohol consumption, home bartending, and the best excuse for 8am drinking since the Spanish flu of 1918, COVID fueled our creativity and brought us some delicious new cocktails, known as “Quarantinis.” Some of these cocktails include the Kombucha Quarantini, a blend of gin, kombucha, and blackberries; the Kumquarantini of rye whiskey, kumquat syrup, lemon juice, saffron liquor, and egg whites; and the Charmin Quartini with vodka, cointreau, lime juice, simple syrup, and cranberry liqueur.
Another exciting cocktail trend, which increased substantially during the pandemic, is the ready-to-drink cocktail. These cocktails make drinking even better with no mixing, no mess, and no clean up. Ready-to-drink was already on the rise, but in 2020, they grew by 43% worldwide, and we don’t see them going away any time soon. Bars may be opening back up, but ready-to-drink is too convenient to let go. In fact, they’re expected to make up 20% of all alcohol e-commerce by 2024.
If the pandemic had you ready to drink, the ready-to-drink cocktail is here for you!