Cocktails set to sparkle when Irish hospitality opens its doors

Cocktail drinkers in Ireland are keen to make up for lost time in bars, pubs and restaurants, according to new CGA research that reveals crucial insights into target markets for drinks suppliers and operators.

It shows that cocktail consumers in the Republic of Ireland tend to be much younger than average drinkers, with 72% aged 18 to 34, while 66% are female. Average incomes are a little lower than average, but they are frequent visitors and spenders in the On Premise, over-indexing by eight percentage points on those visiting at least weekly. Three in five cocktail drinkers in the Republic, and four in five in Northern Ireland, now plan to visit more than they did before COVID-19—eight percentage points more than the average in both cases. Over a third plan to spend more than they previously did.


CGA’s research also indicates that cocktail drinkers in the Republic are more heavily concentrated in town and city centres. In Northern Ireland however, just over half live in suburban and rural areas—and with many still working from home and likely to stay local for now, these will also be important target areas in the months ahead.


CGA’s global research has revealed widespread interest in cocktails in both the US and the UK since the end of lockdowns, and the On Premise across the Irish Sea seems to be well set for a surge in sales too. Hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland are already serving customers inside, but while venues in the Republic were scheduled to do so from Monday (5 July), reopening has just been pushed back.


Cocktail drinkers are going to be crucial contributors to the recovery of Ireland’s On Premise after COVID-19, and it’s encouraging to see they are so keen to drink out again,” says Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland. “Many will have missed the cocktail experiences that are hard to recreate at home, and those who have saved money during lockdowns could well be ready to treat themselves. To make the most of the opportunities, suppliers and operators will have to work hard together to understand this young, dynamic and valuable market, and be ready to deliver the drinks and experiences they want after so long away.”


CGA’s research provides detailed portraits of drinkers of various categories in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to help suppliers and operators make the most of reopening opportunities. CGA’s On Premise User Service meanwhile provides deep insights into the cocktails that consumers are drinking and where. To learn more, email Sian Brennan at

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