In the pre-TikTok days, it was a salacious name, or good old-fashioned word-of-mouth, that made a drink go viral. Even some of the more unhinged ideas to catch fire—looking at you, Mountain Dew and Suze—were presented with a wink: It sounds weird, but it’s actually good! There was always, at least, a backstory.
In 2023, amid an all-out firestorm of TikTok drinks, virality is anyone’s game. Drake told us to drink Onda Civics. Kyla Lee, the first person to scoop sherbet and pour prebiotic soda over Aperol, told us to make what she was calling the drink of summer. (The weirdly creamy drink had competition, though, in the downright unassuming, out-of-nowhere Hugo Spritz.) And everyone told us to drink Parmesan Espresso Martinis in a dizzying six months that captivated prominent DrinkTok creators and the Starbucks corporate office alike.
Ever in search of a hack (guilty), in the past year, TikTok pitched us turning the dregs of your Bonne Maman jar into a jammy spritz, making ChatGPT your personal bartender and serving your cocktail over ice, but on an angle. In fact, ice played a major role on For You pages this year, whether tiny, dirty or stockpiled in case of any ice-related emergency.
Then there were the floats. On TikTok in 2023, it was always golden hour, sandwiched between Tequila Sunrises and Malibu Sunsets and sky-blue cocktails with a mini bottle of booze wedged into them. There were also floats—as in, the ice cream and soda drink—that extended the template typically reserved for root beer and Coke to Baja Blasts.
@yevaberez Christmas ice restock part 2🤍✨ #icerestock#restock#ice#icemolds#christmasice#asmr#asmrsounds#satisfying#organizedhome#organized ♬ original sound - Yeva Berez
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbow-colored ice cubes, though. Investigative creators told us about all the ways we may be getting duped, whether it’s via optical illusions and large rocks or overpriced booze.
If there was a champion on DrinkTok this past year, though, it might have been the humble pickle. A symptom of Martini mania, Pickletinis were the drink du jour for many (though, in some circles, they were hardly new). Then came the Pickle Spritzes, Pickle Margaritas, a choose-your-own-adventure for pickle cocktail drinkers. While many of the year’s rising stars were intended solely for the screen rather than your actual home bar (or a real bar), pickle drinks—literally just pickles in any drink—are the rare TikTok recipe with the right combination of intrigue, ease and an ability to elicit reactions of delight or disgust in equal measure, depending on the viewer. As one commenter learning about the trend wrote, “Oh the stomach issues this would give me... where do I get it?”