January 14, 2014 15:26 ET

Calling Time on Sweet Cocktails

New research unveils Brits have a growing thirst for sour drinks

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Jan. 14, 2014) - A new report from thebar.com reveals that British taste buds are favouring sour cocktails and mixed drinks, with sour drinks from decades gone by such as the Old Fashioned and Gin Fizz, making a comeback.

The Top 5 classic, sour-inspired drinks of the moment

  1. Old Fashioned (whisky muddled with sugar and bitters) - new versions with rum are also becoming popular
  2. Gin Fizz and Tom Collins (lemon or lime juice and carbonated water - add sugar for a Collins)
  3. Martini (gin or vodka and vermouth) - Gibson Martinis (gin, vermouth and a pickled onion) are especially popular
  4. Mojito (white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, sparkling water, and mint)
  5. PickleBack (neat whisky followed by pickle juice)

It would appear that our tastes have evolved throughout the years, with modern consumers demonstrating an increased interest in sour flavours and consumers ready to embrace food and drinks with elements of sour, evidenced by the renewed popularity of cocktails containing bitters or with dominant citrus flavours.1

Ambassador for thebar.com, BarChick, said:

'Whilst we'll always see the occasional unusual, savoury ingredients popping up in drinks - such as bacon and goat's cheese, this is usually a bit of a novelty- something that a bartender does to make a statement, but after the buzz dies down, these drinks lack longevity and fade away. One trend that we do feel will really take off is the return of simple, classic drinks and cocktails with sour flavours. We're seeing a rise in the popularity of sour and citrus flavoured drinks, like the Mojito. Whilst the Mojito has been around since the 1500s, it has become exceptionally popular in recent years thanks to its simple, yet refreshing citrus flavours. We've also seen the rise of Mad Men style and Prohibition cocktails such as the 'PickleBack' (neat whisky followed by pickle juice)."

Other trends on the rise as revealed by research from thebar.com include:

  • The Rise of Rum - now the fastest growing UK spirit2
  • The continued popularity of vodka and gin - vodka remains a stalwart and gin continues to have its heyday3
  • An increased interest in creative cocktail making and experimentation

The Rise of Rum

Having remained on an upwards trajectory, recent sales figures indicate that rum is moving to the forefront of Brits' drinks cupboards and is more likely to be found in the average UK shopping basket than a bottle of Champagne4. The likely growth factors include the increased popularity of rum-based drinks such as the Mojito, Caipirinha and Daiquiri.

To help to illustrate the evolution of drinks throughout modern times, thebar.com has compiled a cocktail timeline, highlighting the evolution of drinks and the cocktails and mixed drinks that have stood the test of time.

The Evolution of Drinks (1950s- present)
1950s and 1960s 1970s and 1980s 1990s- noughties Present
Heyday of the cocktail, introduction of the cocktail dress and 'cocktail hour' 'Dark Age' of Cocktails and the Birth of Flair- Emphasis on style over substance
Swing towards quality and the birth of mixology
Strong emphasis on quality and simple classics; link between food and cocktail culture with food trends translating to cocktails
Popular drinks of the decade: Old Fashioned and Moscow Mule Popular drinks of the decade: Long Island Ice Tea and Tequila Sunrise Popular drinks of the decade: Cosmopolitan and Appletini Popular drinks of the decade: Old Fashioned and Negroni
Other 2013 key findings from thebar.com reveal…
1 in 5 Brits have tried a new cocktail based on recommendations that they've received from a barman or a mixologist People are opting for more premium spirits- 13% of Brits add a premium spirit to their drink to make it more special Rum is on the Rise- the Top 25 selling rums have increased in sales volumes by 6,247,800 litres

So, what trends will we be likely to see in the future?

Spokesperson for thebar.com, Oliver Shayer, said: "Predictions for 2014 include a focus on quality and presentation, the rise of more adventurous consumers and the continued influence of 'Millenials'5, who are more likely to be open to trying new flavours, which we may see have an impact on drinks trends."

Drinks inspiration from thebar.com- your one stop shop for making great cocktails and mixed drinks…

If you're looking for creative cocktail inspiration and education for a wealth of classic cocktails, visit uk.thebar.com, a new website that has been specially designed to offer tantalising creations using the spirits and mixers you have at home. The site explains which different mixers to try with spirits to create a variety of different flavours from a sweet finish to a refreshing bite.

Notes to editors

Visit uk.thebar.com

For more information about your drinks Ask Dave, the DRINKiQ expert, by visiting www.drinkscalculator.com.

For additional recipes, images or further information, please contact the undersigned.

About Diageo

Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.


*Survey data obtained from a thebar.com OnePoll survey conducted with 2,000 respondents in September 2013

1. Research obtained from and trend witnessed by BarChick; Sour cocktails trend research also highlighted in 'Savouring Sour' by Priscilla Martel (2013) referencing Dale DeGroff, author of The Essential Cocktail and The Craft of the Cocktail (Random House)

2. According to data obtained from Tesco PLC (2013) http://www.tescoplc.com/index.asp?pageid=17&newsid=769

3. Statistics obtained from Diageo's Global Consumption research 2012

4. Statistics obtained from the Office for National Statistics 2013 ('The basket', as described by the ONS, is a compilation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI) and is reviewed each year to reflect changes in consumer buying habits) http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2013/03/ons-rum-replaces-champagne-in-shopping-baskets/

5. Information on Millenials obtained from Mintel 2013.

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