The Drinks Trends in Ireland for 2023 (Including WSET Courses) - By Philip Dunne - Vinspire Wine and Spirit Academy

The Drinks Trends for 2023 in the Irish Beverage Industry
By Philip Dunne – Owner, Vinspire Wine and Spirit Academy – Beverage Education for the Hospitality Industry.

2022 was a year full of highs for the drinks industry in Ireland. Irish whiskey, canned RTD (ready to drink) cocktails and premium rosé wine continued their ascent in the domestic market. It was also a year for ‘lows’ too, as the alcohol-free market boomed across both the off-trade and on-trade throughout the year, not just in the month of January like years gone by. While we’re often masters of innovation and creativity in setting trends here in Ireland, it's sometimes worth looking further afield in drinks capitals like New York and Hong Kong to see what’s happening in their beverage industries – often influences in wine and spirit trends tend to travel far.
Here's my top eight Irish drinks trends I’m predicting for 2023:

1. Asian Spirits – Asian spirits like ‘Baijiu’ from China (this is reportedly the most consumed spirit in the world), ‘Shōchū’ from Japan, and ‘Soju’ from Korea have dominated the big bars in the bright lights of Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo and Singapore over the last few decades. In recent years, Asian spirits have ushered in a new global audience, with top bartenders across the world keen to explore new base spirit styles for their always evolving cocktails. Big brands like Moutai Baijiu have invested heavily in their marketing in Ireland in 2022 and it’s clear in 2023 we’ll see continued presence in the industry here.

2. Low and no-alcohol drinks– From 2020 to 2021 the growth of this category in Ireland grew by an astounding 313% (ISMR, 2021), much of which can be attributed to the wave of health conscious ‘Gen-Z’ who are fuelling a great portion of this increase.
Expect more alcohol-free bars to pop up across the country, further creativity and menu space awarded to ‘low and no’ offerings in bars and restaurants, and more shelf space dusted off in off-trade outlets for the arrival of new zero-alcohol brands in 2023.
It’s very likely some innovation will be found in the next year on the alcohol-free RTD canned cocktail market also.

3. Higher ‘By the Glass’ Prices – 2022 has been an incredibly difficult year for those trading in the hospitality industry, with price increase after price increase relentlessly landing on the desks of business owners and managers throughout the year. There’s no one root cause for these excessive increases, however, on the drinks side, the cost of glass bottles amongst other raw materials in production and shipping costs has played a big part.

While most businesses have done their best to soak up as much of these increases without passing them on to the consumer, with continued increases forecasted it’s very likely 2023 is the year when we see the €7/€8 glass of wine in your favourite restaurant move to €10, and the cocktail in your favourite bar go from €11/€12 to €15.

4. Drinks Inspiration on Social Media – TikTok is proving to be a breakout star in helping brands and businesses grow, with some seeing overnight and viral success. 2022 saw the stardom of the ‘Negroni Sbagliato’ – and within days of its new found fame, this Campari and Sweet Vermouth cocktail topped up with Prosecco landed on drinks menus all around the country. In 2023 expect more #drinkspo, #drinkstok, and #toktails on Tiktok, and the minefield of drinks, bottles, and cocktails being posted on Instagram, all ready to ‘influence’ you.

5. Wine and spirit education training in the hospitality industry – As the beverage industry continues to evolve here in Ireland with new and diverse drinks, and as customers become more savvy and discerning on their choices, it’s important that the staff in restaurants, bars and hotels have the knowledge and confidence to make the guests experience a top one. My company Vinspire Wine and Spirit Academy which I launched in 2022, provides WSET Level 1 and 2 education to hospitality staff from a very discounted price €150pp (

6. Agave spirits – For a long time Tequila, the most famous of Agave spirits from Mexico, was only available in mass-produced low quality styles, drunk in cheap shot glasses at 2am of a nightclub with sticky carpets just before the lights went up. Nowadays, Tequila and it’s sibling the smoky Mezcal made also with Agave, is much more refined – literally. Exceptional quality and choice of Agave spirits has landed on Irish shores in recent year and look set to continue to do so in 2023, with over 45% growth year on year in this category alone in the last 2 years. Celebrity endorsed Tequila brands like 818 (Kendall Jenner), Casamigos (George Clooney) and Teremana (Dwyane Johnson) have further fuelled growth within this category.

7. Cava and Crémant – Champagne and Prosecco have dominated drinks lists across Ireland for the last two decades. Champagne of course being the splurge or celebratory quality sparkling wine, and Prosecco for the casual, cheaper alternative which can offer a lot of the same celebratory theatre as Champagne does.
Cava, a traditional method sparkling wine from Spain, and Crémant, a traditional method regional sparkling wine mostly found in France (but outside of Champagne) are being spotted on much more drinks lists across the country. These are seen as a price value alternative to Champagne and as a step up to Prosecco in regards quality. Expect to see much more of Cava and Crémant pouring by the glass in the hospitality industry over the next year.

8. Portuguese Wine – As the prices of wine go astronomical in famous wine regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy and Napa Valley, more people are happy to explore different territories, regions, styles, and varieties when it comes to wine. Portugal is no newbie to making wine – in fact they have one of the oldest histories in wine production. Look no further than the old classic fortified wine, Port. Portugal is much more than Port wine nowadays. Top restaurants and bars who seek incredible value for money in Ireland are listing the likes of Encruzado from the Dão region (Portugals answers to Burgundy Chardonnay), and the exceptional still blended red wines made from the likes Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca from Douro.

Philip Dunne is the founder of Vinspire Wine and Spirit Academy ( and also the Wine Consultant for The Doyle Collection in Ireland, UK, and USA.