When is World Cocktail Day 2022? Why it’s called a cocktail, best recipes - cosmopolitan, blue lagoon, woo woo

It may be Friday the 13th, but you can wash away fears of bad luck with a mix of spirits and syrup

Friday the 13th is usually regarded as one of the unluckiest days of the year.

But this Friday could perhaps be one of the luckiest as we celebrate World Cocktail Day 2022.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

Many of Britain’s 106,000 bars, pubs and restaurants will be marking the occasion, while households up and down the country are likely to be dusting off out their cocktail shakers.

So why is a cocktail called a cocktail - and how can you make your favourite cocktails at home?

The better the spirit, the better your cocktail drinking experience will be (image: AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s what you need to know.

When is World Cocktail Day 2022?

World Cocktail Day 2022 is on Friday 13 May 2022.

It’s held on this day because it is said to be the first date on which a cocktail was officially defined.

In 1806, New York newspaper ‘The Balance and Columbian Repository’ received a letter asking what a cocktail was.

Responding in the outlet’s 13 May edition, editor Harry Croswell described one as: “A stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.”

Cocktails originated in either the 18th and 19th centuries (image: Getty Images)

He also wittily referred to the style of drink as being “an excellent electioneering potion”, as anyone who swallows it “is ready to swallow anything else”.

Historians have also found mentions of the word dating back to another US publication in 1803 and a UK one in 1798 - although it’s unclear whether the word meant the same thing then.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the word used to mean “a horse with a docked tail which sticks up” in 1750.

The term ‘cocktail’ now has an extended meaning in the drinks world, being ‘any alcoholic drink made by mixing a spirit or spirits with other ingredients such as a liqueur, fruit juice, etc.’ according to the OED.

It’s nearly Pimm’s season in the UK (image: Getty Images)

How can you make cocktails at home?

While cocktails at bars tend to be made using fancy shakers and techniques, all you need to make them at home is ice, a spoon, several spirits and mixers, and some theatrical looking glasses to provide that special, ‘night out’ vibe.

Use the ice to keep your glasses cool and then add in your spirits, mixing them with the spoon.

Here’s what you need to do to make some of the UK’s most popular cocktails.


You’ll need to crack out a measuring cup for this classic cocktail.

To make one cosmo, you’ll need:

  • 45ml lemon vodka (you can add 5ml lemon juice to 40ml vodka if you can’t find a readymade bottle)
  • 30ml cranberry juice
  • 10ml lime juice
  • 15ml Cointreau

You’ll want to give these a good stir together and then add a slice of lemon or orange as a garnish.

The cosmopolitan is one of the most searched for cocktails in the UK (image: Adobe)

Blue Lagoon

A bright blue incarnation, a Blue Lagoon can be spotted from a mile away in a bar.

To make it, you need to mix together:

  • One part Blue Curacao
  • One part vodka 
  • Four parts lemonade

With vodka it goes without saying that the better the quality of the vodka you use, the better the drinking experience will be.

Use a lemon or orange slice to garnish the drink.

Woo Woo

This cocktail is expressly intended for the cocktail umbrella brigade, or those who are out for a good party.

You will need to stir together:

  • One part peach schnapps
  • Two parts vodka
  • Four parts cranberry juice

Typically, you’d garnish this creation with a lime wedge.