World Cocktail Day 2024: 4 ways to level up your cocktails

World Cocktail Day 2024: 4 ways to level up your cocktails



Cocktails have become a staple drink for many of us on an evening out, with a significant rise in the number of cocktail drinkers in recent years (NielsenIQ). From a light and fruity spritz to a classic martini, having a few of these popular beverages on your menu is sure to elevate your drinks offerings. And with World Cocktail Day 2024 just around the corner on the 13th of May, now is the perfect time to go one step further and expand your cocktail menu. 

Whether you run a bar with an already extensive cocktail menu, or you run a restaurant or pub and are looking to branch out into the extensive world of cocktails, why not take this day as an opportunity to encourage your mixologists and bartenders to get a little creative? To give you some inspiration, bar and catering equipment supplier Mitchell & Cooper is here to share four strategies to ensure your cocktails stand out on this special occasion and beyond.

Consider this year’s hot cocktail trends 

What better way to celebrate World Cocktail Day 2024 than by incorporating some of the most popular cocktail trends of the year into your menu? The good news is that with the rise in popularity of cocktails, there are plenty of trends to choose from so you’re sure to find some options that your customers will love. According to Bacardi’s 2024 Cocktail Trends Report, botanical flavours are set to be all the rage this year. There are plenty of ways to infuse cocktails with natural flavours, from floral twists on classics such as a lavender martini, to adding herbs for a more unique taste, such as rosemary, thyme, and lemongrass. 

Another trend set to dominate the world of cocktails this year, according to The Drinks Business, is coffee-flavoured beverages. An espresso martini is a classic and a staple on many menus, but this year we’ll likely see even more unique twists on this drink, as well as an increase in popularity of other coffee-flavoured cocktails, like the carajillo and the Black Russian. You can also add caffeinated twists to other cocktails on your menu to take advantage of this trend, such as by crafting a cold brew negroni or adding espresso to a dark and stormy for an extra kick.  

Looking for even more 2024 trend inspiration for your World Cocktail Day menu? Here are a few more you may want to try out: 

·        Cocktails inspired by world flavours: Such as a Peruvian pisco sour and a Singapore sling

·        Minimalist cocktails: Such as classics like a martini and a screwdriver

·        Low and no-alcohol options: Such as an elderflower spritz or a minty mojito mocktail

·        Spritz cocktails: Such as a Hugo and an Aperol spritz

·        Savoury cocktails: Such as a spicy margarita or a classic dirty martini 


Know your clientele 

While having a varied cocktail menu is important, understanding your clientele is essential for crafting cocktails that will appeal to your customer base. One way to do this is to look at the typical age group your business attracts. For example, Gen Z are often reported to drink less than older generations, with 40% reporting limiting their alcohol consumption in 2023 (Mintel). It’s therefore a good idea to have a selection of mocktails and low-alcohol cocktails for the “sober curious” generation. 

For businesses with a more mature clientele, you may want to consider using nostalgia marketing and appealing to customers with classic flavours of their youth, such as taking inspiration from retro sweets like aniseed balls and Parma Violets. 

To make an even more tailored approach, take the time to review your best-selling cocktails. Analyse the flavour profiles and see if there is a way to combine the notes of these drinks for a unique new beverage inspired by your customer’s favourites. This is a great way to celebrate Word Cocktail Day in a unique way and make your customers feel valued as their preferences are heard. 

Add cocktail pairings to your menu

Just as wine complements a fine meal, expertly crafted cocktails can enhance the flavours of dishes, creating a harmonious food and drink experience. So to make the most of World Cocktail Day this year, elevate your drinks selection with some delicious dishes to pair with it. If your business has a full commercial kitchen, you can offer a whole three-course meal, along with three cocktails and/or mocktails to complement each dish. 

Even if your kitchen is on the smaller side, you can still offer a selection of bar snacks with your World Cocktail Day menu. For example, a cheese board will pair well with a variety of cocktails, especially gin-based cocktails like a martini or a French 75. Cocktails also complement a range of sweet treats, from rich chocolate to fruity flavours. Just make sure to avoid matching very sweet cocktails with very sweet desserts as this can make for an overwhelming pairing. 

Offer World Cocktail Day deals

As World Cocktail Day falls on a Monday this year, it may be more difficult to tempt customers out. So why not offer some great deals worth coming out on a weeknight for? There are plenty of classic deals which are sure to reel customers in, such as buy one, get one free and free soft drinks for the designated driver. If you’re looking for some more unique deals, you could offer 2 cocktails for £13, as World Cocktail Day falls on the 13th, or offer a discount on the newest drinks on the menu. You could also offer combined food and drink deals if you plan on offering cocktail pairing plates. 

You may also want to extend your celebrations to make the most of the event too. While World Cocktail Day is traditionally only celebrated on the 13th of May, you could make the most of it by turning it into a week-long event. Not only will a longer period allow you to entice more customers in, but it also means you can make the most of the busy weekend foot traffic.

“World Cocktail Day is a fantastic opportunity for a hospitality business to expand their menus and give their bartenders time to shine. From taking inspiration from the drink trends dominating 2024 to considering the tastes of your clientele, there are plenty of ideas you can use as inspiration to make World Cocktail Day one to remember. Not only are these ideas great for celebrating the event itself, but you can use them to enhance your drinks menu offerings in the long term too. 

“To make sure you’re ready for the big day (or even week if you plan to extend your celebrations), don’t forget to invest in the right tools to elevate your drinks selection. Cocktail strainers, shakers, and muddlers are of course an absolute must, but there are some other investments you can make to enhance your drinks, such as a dehydrator for making your own dried fruit garnishes, or canal knives for creating fruit ribbons.” 

o   Guy Cooper, Managing Director at Mitchell & Cooper 

About Mitchell & Cooper

Initially established as a London silversmith in 1879, Mitchell & Cooper has grown into a leading manufacturer of bar and catering equipment. Over their decades of experience supplying appliances to the foodservice industry, Mitchell & Cooper not only created the iconic Bonzer product line but now work alongside French, American, and Italian manufacturers to make premium products sold worldwide. As a family-owned business, operations are overseen by co-founder Arthur Cooper’s great grandson, ensuring that the same passion for quality and innovation he and Alfred Mitchell felt over 140 years ago still inspires the company into the future. 

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