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< Back to news 22 April, 2015

The Cocktail Market Lightens Up

High-alcohol cocktails are being replaced in drinkers’ affections by more indulgent drinks, elaborate combinations and lighter versions.

That is among the top-line findings from The Mixed Drinks Report, the annual survey of the market by CGA Strategy, which is compiled using data from many of Beacon's expert drinks suppliers.

It reveals sophisticated and lower strength drinks like the Pornstar and Espresso Martini have risen in popularity among consumers over the last six months, while other more established serves including the Long Island Iced Tea have fallen slightly out of favour.

The report also highlights the rising popularity of ‘skinny’ and light mixed drinks, with a fifth (20%) of frequent cocktail drinkers now saying they always prefer to order one. Both trends are likely to continue through this summer—the peak trading season for cocktails.

Other key trends revealed in the report include: 

  • The mojito remains the UK’s favourite cocktail, with 41% of respondents saying they like to drink it
  • Vodka is the most commonly used spirit in cocktails—but speciality spirits are now close behind in second place
  • Cocktails are most popular among women—but men enjoy them too. Half (52%) of women say they drink cocktails, and a third (35%) of men
  • The report confirms the huge importance of cocktails to the on-trade now. The volume of cocktail sales has risen 4% in the last six months, this is in contrast to total wet sales which are down -7% versus the previous 6 months


CGA Strategy’s research also highlights opportunities for the on-trade to get a greater share of the cocktail market. Cocktail promotions are a big driver of footfall, with four in five people (80%) likely to visit a venue because it was running one. Two in five (39%) are meanwhile influenced in their choice of drink by bartenders’ recommendations. Price is an important consideration too, and a third (34%) of those who don’t drink them say they are put off by the expense.

Picture supplied by Beacon supplier: Lockhart Catering Equipment