The History of the UK’s Most Popular Cocktails

Oh, we all love a cocktail or two! Did you know World Cocktail Day is 13th May and mixologists go wild! That’s why the experts at have looked into some of the UK’s most favoured cocktails and the history behind some of these beverage staples.

World Cocktail Day is a celebration of all cocktails, from booze-fuelled long island ice teas to a delicate, refreshing mocktail; this is certainly a date that should be circled in the calendar.


Legend has it that the Mojito originated in Cuba and was traditionally used as a medicinal drink to curb the diseases on the island. Now one of the most popular cocktails on the market, the original moon shine, rum-type alcohol was mixed with mint, lime and sugar cane to ward of illness, but is now enjoyed as a refreshing drink all year around. 

White Rum | Lime Juice | Mint Leaves | Soda Water | Granulated Sugar

Passionfruit Martini (Pornstar Martini)

A surprise to many that this well-known cocktail, the Pornstar Martini, was officially christened as the Maverick Martini in 2002 by bartender, Douglas Ankrah. There aren’t many places you can go without seeing this modern cocktail on the menu, made from Vanilla Vodka, Passionfruit Liqueur and a shot of champagne or prosecco served on the side. 

Vanilla Vodka | Passoa | Lime Juice | Sugar Syrup | Champagne or Prosecco | Ripe Passion Fruits 

Espresso Martini

A firm favourite (my bloody personal favourite, oh yeah!) among many who enjoy a cocktail created to “wake you up.” Creator of this wonderous cocktail was bartender Dick Bradsel, who back in the 80’s was asked by a model in the Soho Brasserie where he was working to create her a drink that would “wake her up” and so, the Espresso Martini was born.

Vodka | Coffee Liqueur | Espresso Coffee | Coffee beans 


Similar to Sangria, Sanagree is a Spanish tipple enjoyed by many and its origins date back to 1774. The two drinks have similarities, they both encompass the Spanish root word: sangree, meaning “blood.” Unlike Sangria, Sangree is made up from mainly Spanish Brandy, Spanish Liqueur, Spanish Shiraz, seasonal fruits as well as fresh orange and lemon juice. Whereas, Sangria mainly used red wine, citrus and sugar – whichever you prefer, be sure to serve chilled and garnish with a sprig of mint, for that extra special touch!  

Spanish Brandy | Orange Liqueur | Spanish Shiraz | Fresh Orange & Lemon Juice | Soda | Seasonal Fruits

Apple Toddy

In 1933 Captain J. E. Alexander, an English Military man, wrote down in his memoir ‘Transatlantic Travels’ a few exciting new drinks he was offered on his American excursion adventure. A traditional Apple Toddy is very involved and uses a wide range of ingredients. Whereas many places now offer a similar more modern take on the traditional drink.  

Apple Brandy | Baked Apple | Pimento Dram | Honey | Christmas syrup | Lemon | Cinnamon

 Berry Blazer

The perfect summer cocktail, created by American bartender, Jerry Thomas back in the 19th-century. A pioneer of his time, Thomas wrote one of the first books to be published on how to mix drinks and put his efforts into popularising cocktails.  

Cognac | Orange Liqueur | Fresh Berries | Plum Bitters | Cinnamon | Orange Slices

One response to “The History of the UK’s Most Popular Cocktails”

  1. We really love the classics! Can’t beat an old fashioned or an espresso martini! Great to find out some more information about some of our favourties!

    Liked by 1 person

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