Expert mixologist reveals golden era of cocktails for World Cocktail Day

It’s undeniable that cocktails remain a firm favourite for bar-goers, with their popularity even gaining them their own global day. The 13th of May is World Cocktail Day, and to help celebrate, Cunard’s resident mixologist extraordinaire, and first female President of the UK Bartenders Guild, Claudia Carrozzi, shares why we are in the golden era for cocktail drinkers.

Claudia Carrozzi of Cunard.
Photograph by Christopher Ison ©

According to Carrozzi, quality cocktails are enjoying an exciting renaissance, and on board the Cunard Queens, guests are spoilt for choice. Since their maiden voyage, Cunard has been shaking up a storm, serving their guests a range of cult classics to innovative creations in their several bars. From the auspicious ‘Chart Room’; to the elegant ‘Commodore Club’, Cunard’s unique cocktail blends aren’t to be missed when heading on one of their luxury voyages.


“I believe we’re enjoying the best cocktail era in the history of bartending. Between the 1970s and 1990s, quality was sacrificed for quantity and showy presentation. I call it the dark age of the cocktail! Now there’s much more to focus on from the quality and balance of the ingredients to the beautiful and considered presentation.”

Claudia Carrozzi, Cunard’s beverage development manager


Claudia equates this revival in quality cocktails to a change in consumer demands, as customers favour quality over quantity with an authentic touch. With greater accessibility to recipes, there is a new respect for traditional mixes and lost techniques which have been rediscovered via bar historians and vintage cocktail books online. And whilst the latest trends are undoubtedly influenced by old recipes, many are being updated with a twist of spirit infusions, in-house fermentations, handcrafted syrups, and flavoured waters, creating a magical fusion between culinary skills and bartender techniques.

Claudia maintains, however, that whilst the bartending world is taking inspiration from the past, that attention must be firmly placed on the long term, not least when it comes to inclusivity.


“Cunard takes this responsibility seriously, and in all our bars on board that is very much in evidence. When it comes to customers’ needs and wants, there is a growing interest in low-alcohol or alcohol-free drinks. We ensure that our non-drinkers are no longer restricted by a cocktail choice made primarily from sugary fruit or dairy products. Now, our bartenders create fabulous recipes following a logical cocktail structure, which is as complex, elegant and unique as their alcoholic counterparts.”


Want to try some of these bespoke cocktail recipes for yourself this World Cocktail Day, why not give Claudia’s favourites a try?

The Gemini

Found aboard the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, at the Chart Room Bar.

  • 1 oz Prosecco,
  • 1 ½ oz Rum,
  • ½ oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice,
  • ¼ oz Sugar Syrup,
  • ¼ oz Pear Cider (Reduction)

Method: For the Pear Cider reduction, In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer the cider until it reduces to a syrup consistency, 20  to 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Then, add all ingredients (omitting the prosecco), with ice,  to a shaker, and shake well. Once combined, fine strain in a coupette, add the prosecco and garnish with a dehydrated pear slice slice. Serve and enjoy!

And for those who are looking for a mocktail, The Bee-Dazzled is a firm favourite on board for summer.

The Bee-Dazzled

Found onboard the Cunard Fleet, at the Steakhouse at the Verandah Restaurant.

  • 2 fl oz Seedlip Spice 94,
  • ¾ fl oz honey water (equal parts honey and water),
  • ½ fl oz freshly squeezed orange juice,
  • ¼ fl oz freshly squeezed lime juice

Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Pour the Seedlip Spice 94, honey water (mix honey and water in equal amounts), orange, and lime juice over the ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds and, using a cocktail strainer, strain the cocktail into a stemmed glass. Decorate with a dehydrated orange wheel or garnish of your choice. Serve and enjoy!

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