What Are We Drinkin’ in 2023?

Drink trends wax and wane, that’s true, but there are a few crazes that seem to be sticking around for the long haul. 

(Another) Rise of the Martini
While this simple cocktail has been around since your grandparents were drinking, its many iterations are coming back into mainstream consciousness in a major way. Whether you find yourself partial to the classic dry gin, dirty vodka, espresso or chocolate, you really can’t go wrong. Another popular variation, which we’ll just call the ‘P Star,’ includes vanilla-flavored vodka, Passoã, passion fruit and lime juice, accompanied by a chilled shot glass of prosecco. 

Getting Nice with Spice 
Imbibers are looking to kick things up a notch in 2023 with spicy creations. Think bloody marias (the classic with tequila instead of vodka), alongside jalapeno margaritas, red pepper sangria and habanero martinis. 

More At-Home Creations
It’s never been easier to be your own bartender. All you gotta do? Order a few ‘bartending tools’ online and visit the world wide web to see what the pros can help you make.

Agave or Nothin’
It all started with agave-based artisanal tequila and mezcal, and now people are realizing just how great agave really is. A couple of lesser-known options you might see this year include raicilla – similar to mezcal; and bacanora – a spirit found in northern Mexico.

Conscious Cocktails
As we collectively move towards a more sustainable future, the booze industry wants in. You’ll likely see restaurants and bars opting for green ingredients, alongside a focus on recyclable packaging and general sustainability. 

Learning the Origins

When you’re waiting at a crowded bar, you probably don’t stop to wonder why, exactly, it’s called a ‘Fuzzy Navel.’  But often, some of these curious drink names have funny backstories. We explore a few. 

Screwdriver – Legend has it, American oil workers used to add vodka to their orange juice while on the job in the Persian Gulf. They didn’t have mixing tools, so what did they use to stir the new drink? An actual screwdriver, of course! 

Mai Tai – A pretty simple translation, “maitai” means “good” or “nice” in Tahitian. You’ll probably be feeling both good and nice after a few of these rum-heavy concoctions.

Mimosa – The combo of sparkling wine and juice most likely gets its name from a plant, acacia dealbata, also called the “mimosa tree.” The tree grows orange-yellow flowers that look a lot like – you guessed it – the color of champagne and orange juice mixed together. 

Fuzzy Navel – A drink created as a marketing tactic for DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps, the Fuzzy Navel refers to peach fuzz (peach Schnapps) and the navel of an orange (orange juice). Get your mind outta the gutter! 

Old Fashioned – During the cocktail renaissance of the 1800s, more drinks began using sweet liqueurs. The cocktails that remained popular without those elements were called “old fashioned” drinks – and the most popular of all got its name from that sentiment: just sugar, bitter, waters, orange and whiskey. 

Mojito – According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this delicious cocktail takes its name from a relatively normal place –  the Spanish word mojo, which is a Cuban sauce made with citrus fruit. 

Cocktail – Perhaps the weirdest of them all, the word ‘cocktail’ comes from the French. Many a drink was served in an egg cup called a ‘coquetier.’ After a few too many, the pronunciation got a little slurred, leading to ‘cocktail.’

Oklahoma-Based Brands

If you’re looking to shop and drink local, try these brands/establishments on for size – either at the liquor store, bar or restaurant you visit next. 

405 Brewing 
American Solera
Anthem Brewing Co.
Cabin Boys Brewery
COOP Ale Works 
Elk Valley Brewing Co.
Fat Toad Brewing Co. 
Heirloom Rustic Ales 
Marshall Brewing Co. 
Nothing’s Left Brewing Co. 
Prairie Artisan Ales 
Roughtail Brewing Co. 
Stonecloud Brewing Co. 
Twisted Spike Brewery
& Tap Room
Welltown Brewing 
Vanessa House Beer Co.

Seltzers and wines: 
Blue Coyote Winery
Clauren Ridge
Vineyard and Winery 
Will and Wiley 
Sparks Winery
Native Spirits Winery
Water’s Edge Winery

Cane Creek Distillery 
Castle Spirits Distillery 
Gambill’s Distilling Co.
Morton Distilleries
Red Fork Distillery
WanderFolk Spirits

Recipe Corner

Valkyrie, Tulsa


1.5 oz. Hibiscus gin (house-made) 

.5 oz.   Lemon juice

.5 oz. Hibiscus syrup

.25 oz. Honey syrup

.25 oz. Cardamom syrup

.25 oz. St. Germain

6 drops Rose water 

4 drops Salt solution

Shake and dump into an
old fashioned glass.

Garnish with an edible flower.

O Bar, OKC

Osler’s Fix

2 oz. Bacon fat washed whiskey

.75 oz. Fresh lemon juice

.75 oz. Grade A maple syrup

2 dashes Orange bitters

Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass.

Use orange expression and blueberries as a garnish.

Vintage Wine Bar, Tulsa

New York Sour

2 oz. Bourbon

.75 oz. Lemon

.5 oz. Simple syrup

Shake with egg whites.

Float red wine. 

Top with cherry.

Jones Assembly, OKC

Tiny Dancer

.75 oz. Olive oil washed Dr. Bird rum

.5 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal rum

.5 oz. Pasubio

.25 oz. St. Elizabeth allspice dram

.5 oz. Rosemary syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Hodges Bend, Tulsa

Pastry War 

.75 oz. Angostura aromatic bitters

.75 oz. Orgeat 

.75 oz. Banhez Mezcal Artesanal

.75 oz. Lemon juice

Shake, garnish with dehydrated lime
 and serve.

Saturn Room, Tulsa

Surfers On Acid #2

.75 oz. Plantation Pineapple

.75 oz. RumHaven coconut rum

.5 oz. Coconut cream

.5 oz. Lime juice

.5 oz. Pineapple juice

.75 oz. Jäegermeister (Float)

Shake everything except Jäegermeister with crushed ice. 

Dump into pearl diver glass, float the Jäegermeister and garnish with pineapple.

Flamingo Tiki Room, OKC

Sidewinder’s Fang

1.5 oz. Lime juice

1.5 oz. Orange juice

1.5 oz. Passion fruit syrup

1 oz. El Dorado three year rum

1 oz. Dark Jamaican rum

3 oz. Topo Chico

Add all ingredients, sans Topo Chico, to shaker tin, shake with ice.

Strain into oversized brandy snifter, add three oz. Topo Chico, add ice.

Garnish with mint and orange peel.

Mr. Kim’s, Tulsa


1 oz. Tito’s vodka

1 oz. Olema Sauvignon Blanc

1 oz. Choya Ume plum liqueur

.5 oz. Chai tea demerara syrup

.25 oz. Lime juice

1 dash plum bitters

Top with soda and a couple shakes of plum sugar.

Vast, OKC

Florence Nights

1 oz. Meletti Cioccolato liqueur

1 oz. Raspberry vodka

.5 oz. Raspberry purée

1 oz. Half & Half

Served with a chocolate swizzle stick

Wild Fork, Tulsa

Dancing Cherries



Amarena cherry syrup

Lemon juice

Orange bitters

Simple syrup

Must-Try Hotspots

On the hunt for your next Cheers experience? Here are a few places where everyone will know your name … eventually, and if you tip well enough.

The Merritt – Nichols Hills

Experience: A reservation-only champagne lounge 

Sidecar Barley and Wine Bar – Tulsa

Experience: Cherry Street’s sky-high, sleek bar

Palo Santo – OKC

Experience: An upscale cocktail bar with small bites

Roof 66 – Tulsa

Experience: A swanky lounge with great views 

Parlor – OKC

Experience: Seven restaurants and a massive bar

Deco Lounge – Tulsa

Experience: An eclectic space with delicious drinks 

The Daley – OKC

Experience: An intimate bar with great brunch options

Bar 473 – Tulsa

Experience: A laid-back watering hole with plenty of outdoor space

Bunker Club – OKC

Experience: A no-fuss joint with popular karaoke 

The Blok – OKC

Experience: A friendly, industrial space with delicious bar eats

Bull in the Alley – Tulsa

Experience: An upscale speakeasy with high-end cocktails

The Beer Lexicon 

The craft beer industry has exploded over the last two decades, with an entirely new vocabulary to learn. Maybe you’re a beer enthusiast or just like to order what sounds the most tasty. No matter how you ‘experience’ your brews, we offer a few vocab words that will help you out during your next beer-centric experience.

Types of Brews: 

Ale: Ale is the original brew our forefathers (and mothers!) were drinking back in the day. What makes it specifically ‘ale’ is the warm-temperature fermentation and the introduction of top-fermenting yeasts. 

Lager: The lager ferments for a longer time and a lower temperature than the ale. It also relies on bottom-fermenting yeasts. 

Porter: Under the ale umbrella, porters are dark, malty beers that can be fruity or dry.

Stout: Another ale, stouts are also dark with roasted flavors. They’ve often got a coffee essence to them, with foam atop. 

IPA: The India Pale Ale is a light beer that’s as hoppy as can be – bitter with citrus, pine or resin flavors.

Pilsner: Under the lager umbrella, the pilsner is hoppy, dry and bitter.  

Sour: Often described as funky, sour beers use wild yeasts and evoke tangy and spicy flavors. 


Crispy: If you see a beer described as ‘crisp’ or ‘crispy,’ it will likely be dry and clean, with very little sugar left behind after fermenting. Another word akin to crispy is ‘bright.’ 

Dank: While ‘dank’ is often used to indicate there’s a smell/taste of cannabis flavor in the beer, it can also mean the drink has an interesting musk to it.

Funky: Typically, a funky beer is one that’s tart and acidic, often fermented with wild yeast. (Sours are often called funky.) 

Hoppy: Hoppy almost always means slightly bitter – with hints of citrus or pine. (You’ll see this a lot with IPAs). 

Roasty: You’ll see this descriptor on a variety of stouts and porters, referring to the taste of coffee. 

Serving Styles/Packaging:

Growler: A 32- or 64-ounce jug for craft beer, sold to-go.

Crowler: A 32-ounce aluminum can for to-go pours. (It’s basically a smaller growler, in a large can.) 

Pony: A 7-ounce glass bottle.

Stubby: A 12-ounce glass bottle.

Tallboy: A 16-ounce can.

Non-Alcoholic Alternatives

If you’re planning on keeping ‘Dry January’ up for a little longer, or even permanently, it’s never been simpler to indulge in alcohol-free options. A few include: 

Zero proof alcohols: If you enjoy the taste of booze but want a clear head and no chance of a hangover, there are plenty of zero-proof options. This way, you get the aroma and bite of booze without the consequences. 

Botanicals: Zero-proof botanicals usually have ingredients like fennel, lemon and jasmine, so you can still make a delicious mocktail with gin-like flavors. 

Seltzers and kombucha: A variety of brands are trying their hands at non-alcoholic seltzers and kombucha drinks. You can still feel involved during social events … without the threat of “hang-xiety.” 

Cannabis cocktails: If you’re looking to move away from alcohol but still want a buzz, research THC and cannabis-infused drinks. 


Photo by Kailey Jones



1 oz. Geijer Aqua Vitae

.5 oz. Plymouth navy strength gin

1 oz.  Carrot juice

1 oz. Cocchi Americano

.5 oz. Campari 

Stir and pour into Old Fashioned glass.

Use one big ice cube.

Garnish with a small dill sprig.

Photos courtesy St. Vitus

St. Vitus

“Cosmopolitan” On Tap

1 oz. Well-Made gin

.5 oz. Caravedo Quebranto Pisco

.75 oz. Triple sec

.5 oz. Simple syrup 

.5 oz. Lime juice

.25 oz. Lemon juice

4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

1 dash Bitter End Thai Bitters

Use Old Fashioned glass and cubed iced. 

Garnish with a lemon peel.

Photos courtesy St. Vitus

“Negroni” On Tap

.75 oz. Gordon’s Gin

.25 oz. Banhez Mezcal 

.25 oz. Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur

.75 oz. Campari 

.75 oz. Cocchi de Torino

1 dash Scrappy’s Cardamom bitters

Use old fashioned glass and cubed ice.

Express and discard orange peel.

Photo courtesy OSO Paseo

OSO Paseo

Vallarta Collada 

1 oz. Honey syrup (equal parts hot water and honey)

1 oz. Cream of coconut

.5 oz. Lime juice 

.5 oz. Smith & Cross rum

1 oz. Hamilton White Stache rum

Add all ingredients to shaker tin, add ice and shake.

Strain into hollowed coconut, add ice and garnish with pineapple fronds and umbrella

Photo courtesy McNellie’s


Flying Lotus

Brokers Gin

Elderflower liqueur


Freshly muddled jalapeño


Lemon juice

Photo courtesy Max’s Retroub

Max’s Retropub


Xrated Lemonade

Blue raspberry slush

Pop Rocks

Photo courtesy McNellie’s

Mr Kim’s 

Jjan Punch

Bombay London dry gin

Jinro soju

Soon Hari fruit soju

Matcha cold brew

Simple syrup


Sparkling wine

Serves 4-6

Previous articleAdapting to the Times
Next articleUnderstanding Black History