A toast to World Cocktail Day: Make your favourite tipple at home

World Cocktail Day falls on May 13 and if you want to celebrate the occasion, check out how to create some delicious cocktails at home…

World Cocktail Day is a global celebration of cocktails, and the drink is often defined as "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits, sugar, water, bitters, fruit juice, flavored syrup or cream.”

It was on 13th May 1806 when the word ‘cocktail’ was first officially defined, hence marking the day as World Cocktail Day. Since then cocktails have not only been a celebratory part of parties but also a beautiful drink we like to order regularly, when out with our friends. Cocktails have always known to pique the interest of many patrons looking to enjoy their choice of liquor combined with complementary additives.

As we celebrate World Cocktail Day in 2020, we cannot help but reminisce the many occasions we have enjoyed our favourite cocktails. With the on-going pandemic, virtual happy hours have replaced stepping out, but that does not mean one cannot be their own bartender and make themselves a cocktail from the comfort of their homes.  

How to make the perfect cocktail

It is essential to use premium spirits as it brings a lot of character to the cocktail. Good quality local, seasonal, fresh produce (fruits & herbs) as mixture and flavor enhancers make them a good choice for cocktails. Lastly, never miss out on making good quality ice, as it is one of the most important ingredients for a cocktail.

Popular cocktails around the world 

Drinks International’s latest data (Jan 2020) highlights the top 10 most popular drinks in the top 106 venues across the globe). Here are the top favourites...

1. Old Fashioned

2.   Negroni

3.   Daiquiri

4.   Dry Martini

5.   Whiskey Sour

6.   Ketel one Espresso Martini

7.   Margarita

8.  Manhattan

9.   Mojito

10.  Aperol Spritz

Skills of a bartender

A good bartender has the following qualities...

  • Follows best hygiene practices
  • Understands customers and is friendly
  • High communication skills
  • A sense of exploration
  • Enjoys trying out new flavours
  • Knowledge of fresh produce and how to use them to its best
  • Knowledge of spirits
  • Accuracy and a fantastic memory
  • An ability to pay attention to detail
  • Passion for the job

Foods that go best with cocktails and how to enjoy them

Cocktail pairings are not typical, but they are delicious and become approachable eventually. The beauty of a cocktail pairing is that you can match bold flavours with subtle foods and vice versa. Bartenders and chefs work together in the same way sommeliers and chefs have for years, matching flavours of food and drink together.

A sessional, acid forward, juice-based whisky sour serves as a non-competing and neutral partner to a salad dish which is a refreshing add-on to any salad course. Despite the simplicity of an Old Fashioned, which is no more than whisky that is seasoned and sweetened, it can add so much flavour when paired with a rich flavourful bisque.

Lastly, the freshness and the crisp bubbliness of a Gin & Tonic works exceptionally with deep fried dishes as its cuts to the oiliness and keeps the palate cleaner throughout the meal.

As for my favourite Indian dishes with cocktails

* I switch over to a very Bubbly Highball Cocktail – Johnnie Ginger as it is refreshing sweetness bubbles to brighten the flavours of a Chicken Tikka Masala with garlic butter naan

* I would opt for Ketel One Espresso Martini with Gulab Jamun as it is a match made in heaven. The sweet bitterness and smokiness of the coffee adds a creamier layer to your palate.

This World Cocktail Day here’s how to set a new tradition, and learn the art of making a few of our favourite cocktails at home.

Taste summer in a sip with these delicious DIY recipes curated by Diageo’s Brand Ambassadors to celebrate this iconic day....

Here are some cocktail recipes to try at home...


The Dutch Mule


60ml Ketel One Vodka

15ml Fresh lime juice

15ml Ginger juice

15ml Orange Oleo Saccharums*

120ml Soda water


  • Add all ingredients to a rocks glass (copper mug if you have one)
  • Stir to combine
  • Fill glass with ice
  • Garnish with a slice of lime


Orange peel is the main ingredient in summer cocktails


1 cup Orange peel

1 cup White Sugar


  • Remove as much as pith (the white bit) from the orange peel as you can
  • Place the peel in an air tight container with the sugar. Squash it with a wooden spoon/ muddler and refrigerate for 8-10 hours
  • Strain the contents into a clean bowl and use warm water to dissolve the remaining sugar
  • Bottle the syrup and refrigerate


Tanqueray and Tonic


50ml Tanqueray London dry gin

150ml of Indian tonic water

That’s It!


  • At first, fill a large wine glass with some ice
  • Now pour Tanqueray and tonic water together into it
  • Stir it well and finally garnish with a twist (or slice) of fresh citrus


Johnnie and Lemon cocktail


50ml Johnnie Walker Red Label

150ml White Lemonade (Lemonade with sugar and lemon)


  • In a highball glass filled with ice pour the whisky
  • Add in the sweet lemonade and stir
  • Garnish with an orange slice or orange peel


Watermelon Martini


50ml Ketel One Vodka

80 -100 gms cubes of fresh watermelon

2-3 TSP Sugar depends on the sweetness of the fruit


  • Cut watermelon into 16 segments, chop the flesh from one segment into cubes and muddle in base of shaker. Add other ingredients, shake with ice and strain into chilled glass.
  • Use a Martini glass. If you don’t have one, feel free to use any glass.
  • Garnish with a slice of watermelon


Tanqueray Tom Collins


50ml Tanqueray Gin

1 Lime

20ml Honey



  • Fill the shaker with ice cubes
  • Add Tanqueray, sweetener, squeeze lime, shake well, pour in glass, top with soda
  • Garnish with a slice of lime
Edited by Asha Chowdary

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)