New research conducted ahead of World Cocktail Day, shows more than half (53%) of Brits surveyed believe the cocktail hour has made a comeback in recent weeks, with 7.30pm emerging as the time people are most likely to raise a glass with loved ones.
While “cocktail hour” was born in America, it reached the height of fashion in Britain in the 1920s. In fact, the first cocktail party in the UK is said to date back to 1924 and was reportedly thrown by war artist Christopher Nevinson.
But today, according to the findings from Bacardi’s survey, the cocktail hour has made a virtual comeback with as many as 43% of respondents attempting to perfect cocktails at home since lockdown began.
Almost a third (31%) of participants have enjoyed virtual drinks parties with friends as a way of keeping in touch and one in five (21%) have even dressed up for their virtual drinks occasion. 29% of respondents have been dusting off specialist cocktail glasses and 27% are going all out by making use of a shaker ahead of virtual get-togethers.
What’s more, the contemporary cocktail hour is here to stay, with over a quarter of those surveyed (27%) claiming they will continue hosting virtual cocktail hours with friends and family beyond lockdown.
Nearly a third (32%) of these budding mixologists claim they were inspired to try their hand at a cocktail because they are a more interesting alternative to wine and beer. When it comes to mixology, we’re an adventurous bunch as one in five surveyed has treated themselves to different types of drinks which they wouldn’t usually have and nearly three in 10 (29%) said they enjoy cocktail-making because they like to experiment with different ingredients.
Joe McCanta, global head of education and mixology at Bacardi, commented: “It’s great to see Brits embracing the ‘cocktail hour’ once more, getting dressed up and enjoying their favourite serves over apps such as Zoom, as the virtual cocktail hour becomes our new normal.”
According to the survey, the Mojito (made with rum, sugar and zesty lime) is the most popular make-at-home cocktail. The classic Pina Colada, made with coconut cream, rum and pineapple came second, with the Californian-born Margarita coming in third place.
McCanta continues: “The Mojito is perfect for celebrating World Cocktail Day – it’s fresh, crisp and one of the best cocktails for ringing in Spring. Alongside Bacardi White Rum, the classic Mojito features fresh mint which is one of the easiest herbs to grow at home while we are in lockdown. Mint will grow in just about any sunny space and doesn’t need a whole lot of fuss. Using home-grown herbs can really make sipping at home feel a little bit more special!”
While the Mojito proves the number one serve, vodka is the spirit of choice for 35% of those surveyed when making cocktails at home, closely followed by gin (33%) and rum (23%).
Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents have shared a virtual toast over a non-alcoholic or low alcohol cocktail according to the report, with Virgin Pina Coladas, Virgin Mojitos and Virgin Marys topping the poll of favourite non-alcoholic cocktails. Millennials prove the most mindful drinkers as data shows 41% of 25 – 34 year-olds surveyed have raised a low alcohol or non-alcoholic cocktail during virtual drinks.
McCanta continues: “People enjoying no and low alcohol cocktails was a known trend before lockdown and one we are seeing continue to grow. ST. GERMAIN elderflower liqueur or MARTINI Fiero vermouth with a taste of bitter orange are my two lower-alcohol favourites. Add tonic in a tall glass with lots of ice for a delicious, lower alcohol serve. Or try new MARTINI Non-Alcoholic Floreale or Vibrante for a non-alcoholic option.”
TOP 20 LOCKDOWN COCKTAILS
- Pina Colada
- Bloody Mary
- Gin Fizz
- White Russian
- Classic martini cocktail
- Whiskey Sour
- Long Island Iced Tea
- Non-Alcoholic Cocktail / Mocktail
- Espresso martini cocktail
- Spritz style cocktail
- Elderflower Fizz
- Moscow Mule
- Tom Collins
- Whiskey Highball
- Cuba Libre
In celebration of World Cocktail Day, Bacardi will inspire the nation to put their mixology skills to the test and raise a glass with a virtual mixology masterclass live on Instagram. Hosted in collaboration with cocktail bar Grind, the free class will provide tips and tricks for perfecting a range of the nation’s favourite lockdown cocktails, using GREY GOOSE vodka, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, MARTINI vermouth and BACARDI Rum. Tune in to @Grind on Instagram on 13May.