Class(ic) cocktails

Some things just never go out of style … Mark Jarman, Head of Smirnoff GB, shares some timeless, vodka-based serves essential for every bar, far and wide.

No matter the season, cocktails are always in style. While cocktail sales in bars have risen and now account for over half of total cocktail sales, the value of cocktails in restaurants has also increased significantly, proving that consumers are open to cocktails in a variety of settings. The beauty with cocktails is that they can be adapted season by season through distinctive flavours and styles, keeping them fresh yet timeless. Looking at the base of the UK’s most popular cocktails will empower operators to box-clever with their spirit range and back bar space – and with Vodka being used in six of the top ten cocktails in Great Britain, it is a great place to start.

Venues are always set to win with classic serves as they are arguably prevalent all year round. Whilst consumers appreciate the opportunity to explore different options, there’s a continued desire for cocktails that consumers trust are a worthy investment with just over half of people (51%) preferring classic cocktails in the On-Trade.

Using a recognisable name on the menu and talking up quality ingredients in menu descriptions and imagery, speaks volumes to customers, with 57% of people likely to pay more for a better-quality cocktail.

The leading cocktail in Great Britain is, and has been for some time, the Passionfruit Martini. Ensuring you have crowd pleasers and trending cocktails like the Passionfruit Martini within your offering is essential, not only to unlock potential revenue streams, but also to create quality experiences for their guests.

Smirnoff Passionfruit Martini – 1.875 UK Units


50ml Smirnoff Vodka

12.5ml lime juice

12.5ml vanilla syrup

12.5ml passionfruit syrup

100ml passionfruit puree

½ fresh passionfruit, to garnish


Take a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice and add Smirnoff Vodka. Next add the lime juice, vanilla syrup, passionfruit syrup and passionfruit puree. Seal your shaker and shake hard to mix, chill and dilute your cocktail. Fine strain your cocktail into a premium coupette glass. To finish, add a side serve of chilled Prosecco and garnish with half a fresh passionfruit, and serve!

Using a well-known, popular spirit such as Smirnoff, the No.1 spirit in GB and currently worth £1.3m in the On-Trade, not only resonates well with consumers but provides operators with a trusted spirit that can be used across a menu. Known and loved for its long-standing reputation as a versatile spirit, the historic brand has built a loyal customer base over the years. It has successfully attracted new adult audiences into the category through its line of exciting innovations. It also speaks to people through its price point and accessibility.

Being one of the top ten mainstream cocktails based on share of serves across the On-Trade, Espresso Martini, iconic for its rich taste and smooth finish, remains a strong favourite and can be enjoyed both as a pre-evening drink or an after-dinner treat.

Smirnoff Espresso Martini – 2.375 UK Units


50ml Smirnoff Vodka

25ml Fresh espresso or alternatively, 50ml of cold brew espresso concentrate

25ml coffee liqueur

Coffee beans, to garnish


First, take a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice and add Smirnoff Vodka. Next, add the fresh espresso (or the cold brew espresso concentrate) and coffee liqueur. Seal your shaker and shake hard to mix, chill and dilute your cocktail. Fine strain your cocktail into a premium coupette glass. To finish, garnish with three coffee beans placed in the centre of the glass, and serve!

Alongside classic cocktails such as the Passionfruit Martini and Espresso Martini, Spritz serves now account for 1 in 10 cocktails served in the On-Trade, making them an essential on cocktail menus[9].

Smirnoff No.21 Classic Spritz – 2.475 UK Units


50ml Smirnoff Vodka

75ml Lemonade

50ml Prosecco

Fresh lime and raspberries, to garnish


First, take a premium wineglass. Next, fill your wineglass with ice and add Smirnoff Vodka, lemonade and Prosecco. To finish, garnish with a wheel of fresh lime and two fresh raspberries, and serve!

Another way to guarantee quality and consistency through cocktails is through Draught innovation – Draught Cocktails not only help to ensure quality, but speed of service. Particularly valuable for operators that may not have the expertise amongst the staff or the time to be creating cocktails from scratch. It provides operators the opportunity to help drive sales and increase profit margins, all whilst guaranteeing perfection when it comes to taste and presentation of every drink. Diageo’s Draught Cocktail range includes Smirnoff Passion Fruit Martini Cocktail (12.5% ABV) and Smirnoff Espresso Martini Cocktail (12.5% ABV), delivering some of the most popular cocktail serves in the UK made with recognisable spirit brands in less than 10 seconds.

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