World Cocktail Day – The History Of Our Favourite Cocktails

Shutterstock / Olinchuk © Glasses of different cocktails on bar background; World Cocktail Day

On World Cocktail Day, May 13, the expert mixologists at The Lakeside 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 Iced Teas to delicate, refreshing mocktails.


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 moonshine, rum-type alcohol was mixed with mint, lime and sugar cane to ward of illness. It is now enjoyed as a refreshing drink all year around.

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

Crisp, refreshing Jawbox Gin Mojito

Why not try a refreshing Gin Mojito…

Passionfruit Martini (Pornstar Martini)

It’s a surprise to many that this well-known cocktail, the Pornstar Martini, was officially christened 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 among many who enjoy a cocktail created to “wake you up.” Creator of this wondrous cocktail was bartender Dick Bradsel. Back in the 1980s he 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

Coffee cocktails

How about a Kahlua Espresso Martini?


Similar to Sangria, Sanagree is a Spanish tipple enjoyed by many and its origins date back to 1774. The two drinks have similarities, and both encompass the Spanish root word sangre, 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. However Sangria mainly uses 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. A traditional Apple Toddy is very involved and uses a wide range of ingredients. 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

Two bulbous glasses of deep red cocktail drink, 2 bottles, one of cassis and one of framboise, with a vase of lilac blooms behind

Pic: Hungry Communications

Fancy a fruity iced tea spritz cocktail?

Summer cocktail recipes with a twist

Cocktails with a healthy kick

And a whole list of other gorgeous cocktail recipes!