UK cocktail sector continues to flourish

More than three out of four bars in the UK sell cocktails, with both health and premium mixed drinks helping drive the market, recent research from CGA Strategy there has revealed.

CGA’s latest Mixed Drinks Report finds that over a quarter of cocktail-drinkers prefer ordering ‘skinny’ options (up 13 percentage points on last year’s survey). This fits with the wider UK trend towards healthier drinking and eating.

When restaurants and hotels are added to the 78% of British bars now selling cocktails, penetration across the hospitality sector as a whole runs to 28% (up by more than four percentage points on last year). Unsurprisingly, cocktails remain most popular in London where 36% of outlets now sell them.

And with cocktails now accounting for 6% of all UK spirit volume sales, according to the report, one in four cocktail-drinkers frequently drinks cocktails made with premium spirits—a sign of surging interest in craft producers and micro-distilleries.

This year’s Mixed Drinks Report also discovered that the Mojito remains the country’s most popular cocktail – but the Pornstar Martini has become the biggest ‘riser’ of the past 12 months and now lies in fourth place as the most-bought cocktail, with a market share of 8%.

Vodka – the most common cocktail ingredient – features in nearly two-thirds (64%) of cocktails served in the UK but gin and sparkling wine are increasingly important elements of the cocktail mix, drawing 16% and 11% of sales respectively.

Males are increasingly taking to cocktails too.

“Men now account for 45% of total consumption—proof that the days of cocktails as the preserve of female drinkers are long gone,” states CGA.

The report also highlights the massive benefits of cocktails and of those who drink them to the licensed trade. It shows that cocktail fans tend to drink out 25% more often than average consumers and they’re twice as likely to try new drinks.

“Our research reveals how bars have transformed the cocktail market, taking mixed drinks from the niches of drinking-out to a hugely popular mainstream consumer choice,” commented CGA Strategy’s Client Services Director Rachel Perryman, “And with the peak cocktail season of Summer fast approaching, this report illustrates the great opportunities that bars, pubs and restaurants now have to take their sales to new heights.”

For more information about the Mixed Drinks Report or to purchase a copy, call CGA Strategy on 0161 476 8330 or e-mail molly.nicholas@cgapeach.co.uk.


Cap: Vodka – the most common cocktail ingredient – features in nearly two-thirds (64%) of cocktails served in the UK.


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