spiritsNEWS July 2023

Let’s Celebrate Europe's Cocktail Culture: Tradition, Innovation & Responsible Enjoyment

The cocktail culture in Europe is driven by passionate individuals who embrace tradition and innovation, shaping the industry and contributing to the economy. This community values high-quality ingredients and responsible consumption, creating unforgettable experiences. To sustain this positive trend, the cocktail culture should be supported and nurtured.

Cocktails play a clear role in social interactions and the economy, from ingredient production to urban hotspots and discerning consumers. It is a community that spans the entire supply chain, with dedicated individuals behind cultural events and brands, contributing to a diverse beverage culture.

Europe boasts a rich and diverse cocktail culture, from traditional distillers to international specialities. Cocktails offer a wide range of flavours and serve as a form of art, allowing mixologists to showcase their creativity. They provide people with the opportunity to explore new taste experiences.

Cocktail culture is not limited to cities; it thrives in rural areas as well. Rural bars and venues offer unique experiences with local cocktails and fresh ingredients. Bartenders in these areas passionately create distinctive flavour combinations.

The fusion of tradition and innovation makes cocktail culture exceptional. Classic cocktails are reinvented with modern influences, while new creations bring surprising flavours and combinations. Many bars focus on regional products, reflecting the culinary diversity of the region in their cocktails.

Current trends, such as food pairing, have also influenced the cocktail scene. Bartenders study key flavours to create unusual yet delicious combinations. The focus has shifted from mass consumption to quality and responsible enjoyment.

Alcohol consumption in Europe has changed, with an emphasis on responsible drinking and the quality of beverages. Premiumization, with its emphasis on high-quality ingredients and artisanal production, is becoming more popular. Cocktails are now enjoyed in various settings, including social gatherings and romantic evenings.

The industry acknowledges the importance of responsible alcohol consumption and has implemented measures to promote it. Educational campaigns, staff training, and responsible marketing are among the initiatives undertaken to encourage responsible drinking.

Statistics show that Europeans are drinking more responsibly, with a significant decrease in consumption. The majority of consumers in the EU follow low-risk drinking guidelines. People are aware of the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

While progress has been made, there is still work to be done to ensure these positive trends continue. Premiumization and the cocktail culture, along with innovation in low- and no-alcohol categories, can help meet consumers' demands and contribute to responsible drinking practices.


Ulrich Adam, Director General*

*In his capacity as permanent representative of SPRL ADLOR Consulting


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