In an online poll of more than 400 people conducted by CGA Strategy, 24% of respondents claimed the Cuban classic to be their number-one drink of choice.
In a separate survey of 1,600 licensees, 55% confirmed it was their best selling cocktail, followed by the Cosmopolitan (of Sex and the City fame) with 18%, and holiday favourite Sex on the Beach in third on 12%.
According to CGA, cocktails are more likely to be consumed over the weekend, accounting for 31.5% of weekly sales on Saturday nights but only 7.3% on Mondays.
CGA found that one in five pubs and bars offer cocktails to differentiate themselves from their competitors and 16% of outlets have added a cocktail list within the past 12 months, giving consumers another reason to visit their venues.
“The number of outlets able to benefit from increased cocktail demand can increase significantly by capitalising on different trading times,” said CGA Strategy account manager Jamie Campbell.
The survey also found that beer consumers are moving away from the ‘big night out’ mentality often associated with cocktail consumption, towards more laid-back occasions like after-work drinks or drinking with food.
Campbell said: “Cocktails can form an important and profitable part of the product mix during these sessions. Training is important, but shouldn’t act as a barrier.
“Selling cocktails is not just about luxury brands in top-end bars.”