Classic Vesper cocktail.

The Pursuit of Premium Cocktails

Discover the power of premium serves and learn how to elevate every element of your cocktail menu to tap into growing guest demand.

Author: Eve Green, owner at the award-winning Passing Fancies bar in Birmingham

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

54% of 18–34-year-olds are likely to choose a premium drink versus that of just 35% of over 55s.* The scale is really tipping towards quality over quantity for guests. So how can your bar equip itself for this demand for premium cocktails?

Birmingham’s Passing Fancies was voted No.3 in the UK’s best cocktail bars, and its owner and mixology magician Eve Green shares insider knowledge and top tips on how you can raise the bar with some stand out premium serves of your own.


But first up, why go premium? What even makes a cocktail premium? Eve reveals the thinking behind Passing Fancies delicious premium cocktail serves and how you can create something extra special for guests.

“Like all bars striving to curate a menu they can be proud of, we wanted every sip to tell a story; each ingredient would be carefully chosen, and premium cocktails would stand as a beacon of accessible luxury to our guests.”

“From meticulously selected spirits to artful, clean presentation - crafting a premium cocktail is a true testament to the care and creativity of a passionate team. When producing drinks, you want the outcome to showcase your brand, bartending skills, and the passion your team has to put out a product you are proud of.”

“The pursuit of premium cocktails isn't just about concocting drinks; it's a dedication to storytelling, craftsmanship, and authenticity. It's about transforming each moment at the bar into an unforgettable experience, where every sip is a journey and every ingredient a character in the narrative of indulgence.”

Eve Green


Taking the time to put some thought into your premium cocktails will make them stand out and feel exclusive and unique to guests.

Eve shares tips for planning the perfect premium cocktail for your bar:

  1. “Lock in your vision: Start with a vision for the whole serve and have a flavour profile in mind to use as building blocks when curating the finished product.
  2. Represent a cause: For example, we recently created a super fresh and fun twist on a Lychee Martini and the proceeds went to supporting a bartender in Manchester who is currently battling a serious health condition that turned his life upside down.
  3. Showcase an ingredient: Think about a brand-new fresh ingredient that is begging to be put on a delicious pedestal. For example, the first time we got our hands on Calamansi we lost our minds with the possibilities of using this unique Filipino citrus fruit. Our favourite that we landed on was a fun French 75 twist.
  4. Market your masterpiece: When naming your serve, sometimes it can be something as simple as a good pun. Some notable hits we’ve had are “Mangoes Next Door”, “Planet of the Grapes” and my personal favourite, “Lemon Verbena Loca”!
  5. Think about your audience: Be mindful of your guests and ask yourself will this serve fit in with the regular Friday night crowd? If not, perhaps you can win over your guests by featuring the cocktail as a one-off event, where the serve can really shine.”


There’s more to a premium cocktail than just its ingredients. Eve explains how each of your serve’s components plays their part in giving your guests the ultimate cocktail experience.

“The use of premium spirits plays a pivotal role in elevating any serve, however, selecting the spirit is only one part of the process and so many more must be considered… How will that crystal stem feel as opposed to a clunky one? Will the impact of a clear ice block bring about a sense of luxury that serving over wet pebbled ice won’t? Does your garnish enhance your drink or just get in the way?

“Choosing glassware, ice and garnish is paramount when delivering a premium drink to your guests and allows you to reflect on how this aligns with the vision you had for the serve.”


If you’re creating a premium menu, it’s worth remembering that you need to be able to do it justice, so make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

“A big tip we took our time in learning is to keep things manageable and not to over-complicate it!” says Eve.

“Everyone hates it when one ingredient requires 10 different components and 5-7 working days to be ready. The game then turns into how this process can be shortened but still producing the result you’re happy with.”


Eve shares, “Our most valuable resource when building drinks is fresh produce – so, instead of using artificial rhubarb syrups, we feel it’s super important to build flavour from the fresh Yorkshire crops instead.

“Fully understanding your ingredients is key in creating that premium experience for guests. Eve adds “Something so small can have a huge impact on the end result and give you full control of your ingredients at each step of creation.

“There will be no hidden components you aren’t aware of which will translate to a more thorough understanding of the drink you have created for a more intimate guest experience.”


Passing Fancies have taken cocktail crafting to new heights and Eve’s passion for bringing out the best in her bar’s staff and menu is obvious:

"The pursuit of premium cocktails isn't just about concocting drinks; it's a dedication to storytelling, craftsmanship, and authenticity. It's about transforming each moment at the bar into an unforgettable experience, where every sip is a journey and every ingredient a character in the narrative of indulgence.

The biggest changes you can make in creating premium serves are the small ones. You’ve got this.”


Ready to wow guests with your own premium cocktail? Take inspiration from Passing Fancies and their exclusive premium cocktail recipes below.


Eve says, “The inspiration for this drink came from the incense we burn daily inside our venue, and we thought “If it smells delicious, I’m sure we can make it taste delicious”. Palo Santo is an essence used by many high-end perfume producers and is like vanilla in character and we landed on creating a short and booze-led rhubarb and custard style serve”.


This Passing Fancies premium cocktail is a fresh and bright twist on the classic El Diablo, with Don Julio Reposado and a delicious bell pepper cordial.


  • Consider all the elements of your serve and make sure they all align with your original vision.
  • Well thought-out, small changes can make the biggest impact on your finished product.
  • Think about how a premium serve can showcase your brand, produce and skills.
  • Take full control of your ingredients at every step of creating your premium cocktail to give you and your guests a thorough understanding of the drink.
  • Avoid unnecessary pressure by not overcomplicating the recipe for the sake of making something premium.

*According to Adeo Group