In this week’s RN, I’ve looked at the effect that a culture of cocktail making and drinking is having on the RTD and pre-mix market.

Talking to several retailers, it is clear that this will be the first Christmas that many will be selling ready-made cocktails after they proved wildly popular among customers this summer.

One Simply Fresh retailer – Mehmet Guzel in Bethnal Green – experienced a huge surge in demand for certain spirits during the holidays, where the popularity of cocktails like Negronis (a Sicilian favourite containing gin, vermouth and Campari boosted sales of his Campari and the Paduan equivalent, Aperol, considerably. For this reason, Mehmet keeps ready-made cocktails available throughout winter too.

Spar retailer Ammo Bhdaal and Simply Fresh Faversham’s Sandeep Bains, meanwhile, told me that they plan to stock Smirnoff and Parrot Bay frozen cocktail pouches for the first time.

Cocktails will continue to be used by drinks manufacturers to attract consumers to the category, and next year Diageo will launch ‘Smirnoff Remix into bars and clubs around the UK. These units will allow staff to dispense over 150 flavoured Smirnoff shots, which can be served neat or with mixers. Diageo believes that the benefits of this investment will be seen beyond the bars where Smirnoff Remix systems are located, with its emphasis on experimentation giving consumers the confidence to try new flavours at home, according to Smirnoff’s marketing manager of western Europe Karen O’Shea.