Cocktails are becoming one of Britain's fastest growing drinks categories within spirits, according to new research.

Nine million consumers are enjoying cocktails when they go out, according to new research by on-trade data firm CGA.

The popularity of cocktails, and the fact they are more widely available, has helped boost sales through Britain's pubs, bars and restaurants by 10 per cent over the past 12 months taking the market value to £587m, says CGA's Mixed Drinks Report Q1 2019.

The number of licensed premises selling cocktails has risen 7 per cent in the past year, with some 42,000 on-trade outlets now stocking them. Drinks-led pubs have been particularly fast to respond to demand, with a growing number opting to sell pre-prepared or draught cocktails.

Based on share of serve through the on-trade, number one in the Top 10 list of mainstream cocktails is the vodka-based Pornstar Martini, served with a shot of Prosecco on the side. Sales of Pornstar Martini have risen 2 per cent over the past 12 months with the drink now accounting for 15.3 per cent of cocktails sold.

Having fallen from its top slot, the white-rum based Mojito is Britain's second favourite cocktail, accounting for 12.4 per cent of mainstream sales, down 1.2 per cent on last year.

Occupying the rest of the Top 10 are Long Island Iced Tea, Sex on the Beach, Daiquiri, Woo Woo, Espresso Martini, Martini, Pina Colada and Collins.

Charlie Mitchell, CGA drinks expert said: "There are two clear trends coming through in the mainstream consumer's preference for cocktails – that of shorter, more complex drinks with a higher ABV like the Martini cocktails, but also a growing preference for longer, more refreshing drinks such as the Collins which has a more sophisticated, less sweet flavour profile.

"Tastes have moved away from fruity, sweet drinks with the Woo Woo, Sex on the Beach and Cosmopolitan losing the most favour over the past 12 months.

"The growing popularity of Aperol Spritz and other spritz serves are part of the trend towards a lighter, more refreshing drink with a lower ABV and fewer ingredients allowing the taste of the base spirit to come though."