June 2, 2021 • News5 min read

Cocktail Championship: The UK’s top cocktails and mocktails revealed

Just Eat for Business’s Cocktail Championship uses data from the nation’s leading recipe site to collate the UK’s favourite cocktails and mocktails.

Everyone has a favourite drink - whether it’s an insta-worthy cocktail that regularly makes a cameo on your social media, a trusty pint from your local brewery or a non-alcoholic mocktail that leaves you feeling fresh the morning after.

But with so many delicious drink deliveries out there to choose from, how do you decide what to order at your next work social?

Using data from the nation’s leading recipe site, the Cocktail Championship looks into some of the most popular cocktails and mocktails to determine which components are key, analyse how the nutritional values of both compare, and name the nation’s favourite cocktail. So, what came out on top?

Espresso Martinis named the UK’s favourite cocktail

Recent statistics show that a fifth of drinkers now opt for cocktails over beer and wine when on a night out, while recent years have seen us buy 300% more liqueurs and cocktails than we did 25 years ago. And with Google data revealing that searches for ‘cocktail bar’ saw a substantial 56% increase since indoor bars reopened on the 17th May, it’s clear that cocktails are a firm favourite across the UK.

As with any popular commodity, people hold strong opinions on which cocktail they prefer. But regardless of which drink takes your fancy, the Cocktail Championship reveals that it’s the Espresso Martini that boasts the highest average rating compared to the number of reviews left, making it the best cocktail overall.

Most Popular Cocktails-m

The polarising beverage beat other fan favourites - including Mojitos, Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris - despite coffee and alcohol pairings being a controversial choice among cocktail drinkers. When it comes to which cocktails drinkers are happy to leave on the sidelines, it’s a Black Russian, Cuba Libra and - surprisingly - Bloody Mary that report the lowest rankings.

Virgin Mojitos found to be the UK’s favourite mocktail

The study also found that for those of us who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, it’s Virgin Mojitos that prove the most popular choice. Given that these prove the most popular mocktail and Mojitos claimed the second spot in the cocktail ranking, it’s likely that it’s the drink that bears the closest similarity regardless of whether it includes alcohol or not.

On the other end of the scale, it was Sidecar Mocktails, Virgin New York Sours and Negroni Mocktails that people were the least impressed with.

Most Popular Mocktails-m

But for those of us who like to switch between both cocktails and mocktails depending on our preference, how do the two drink types compare when it comes to nutritional value? The data reveals that mocktails prove slightly more popular on the whole with an average rating of 4.7/5 compared to 4.5/5 for cocktails, and boasts 111 fewer calories than their alcohol counterparts.

Other key findings from the study include that the most popular spirit across all alcoholic drinks analysed was vodka, which appeared in 20 of the recipes, followed by gin and rum. Other spirits analysed included tequila and wine.

Spirit Showdown-m

Commenting on the popularity of cocktails and mocktails in the UK, London-based Mixologist Harp Mann (Mix.Mann on Instagram) weighs in, saying: “Cocktails have seen a great resurgence since the dark days of the 80s where sweetened watered down drinks were bedecked with umbrellas.

“The interest in better food and wine since those times has evolved the British palate and has seen a growth in the popularity of better drinks too. The gin craze over the past decade is evidence of this and cocktail culture has benefitted as a result. Better bars has resulted in the better quality of drink and that has helped create huge interest in cocktails again over the past few years.

“Cocktails offer theatre, a treat, opulence, fun, good times - essentially an experience - so there’s the social element of them. Also mixed drinks offer a great way to experience new flavours, new spirits and aperitifs, more premium or better quality ingredients too.”

With that aesthetic appeal, social element and diverse flavour profile in mind, it’s no surprise that DIY cocktail-making kits proved popular with remote offices during lockdown.

Katia Manktelow at GOAT, provider of virtual cocktail classes, saw increased demand from offices looking to diversify their socials while working from home over the last year, saying: “We were incredibly busy in November and December with corporate bookings, and January was much busier with private classes. Every time any new lockdown-related announcement from the government came in, we would have a small surge in bookings.

“I anticipate virtual classes to continue with corporate clients, especially those who trust us already, as lots of people are working from home and will continue to do so. The other wonderful aspect of events that virtual has opened up is for people to connect with friends and family who don’t live in their immediate vicinity.

“With birthdays and other such events, I think we will of course see a return of celebrations in bars and restaurants, but also a continuation of staying in touch with family and friends further afield through virtual events.”

With cocktail bars rising in popularity and provisions of at-home cocktail and mocktail kits becoming more accessible, there’s never been a better time to look at activities like cocktail mixing or tasting to bring the team together. Why not work through our cocktail and mocktail rankings and see if you agree?

Summary

At Just Eat for Business, we encourage teams to celebrate the end of the working week or toast a major client win by arranging a drinks delivery to home or the office. We provide alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to suit all dietary requirements and encourage responsible drinking at all times.