AN Ayr bar has defended a new cocktail which is served with a plastic syringe after a drugs and alcohol support charity blasted the gimmick as “unnecessarily offensive”.

The Smoking Goat Bar & Grill shared a picture of its new 'Cooncil Lilt' drink on social media, showing an old fashioned glassed filled with ice and a yellow-coloured alcoholic cocktail - topped with a Cherry Sourz-filled plastic syringe.

The Academy Street pub said in the post that staff came up with “this belter on the spur of the moment”.

The post added: “Drop in and blitz through a wee cooncil lilt like your mither used to buy from the corner shoap!”

Ayr Advertiser: The Smoking Goat Bar & Grill shared news of its new cocktail on social mediaThe Smoking Goat Bar & Grill shared news of its new cocktail on social media

The pub has since been criticised by charity Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs for its depiction of drug abuse.

The backlash follows recently published figures which revealed more than 1,000 people died from alcohol and drug abuse in the past year in Scotland, 100 of which were in Ayrshire.

Justina Murray, CEO of SFAAD, told the Advertiser the business seems to be mocking people from the very communities some of its customers will belong to.

She said: “At risk of playing into the alcohol industry marketing textbook – in that any publicity is good publicity – I would have to say that this seems like an unnecessarily offensive way to brand and market a drink.

“The Smoking Goat team seem to be mocking anyone in Scotland who rents their home from the local authority and anyone in Scotland who takes drugs via injection – even though their own customers will include many people who are part of one or both of these communities.

“More people contact the Scottish Families Helpline each year with concerns about alcohol than any other single drug (injected or otherwise), and families who live in every type of housing across every corner of Scotland reach out to us for help.

“Over 1,000 people died specifically from alcohol in all but one of the past 20 years in Scotland, so we would love to see the team’s creative energies directed towards that issue, rather than promoting lazy stereotypes to get a few headlines.”

Ayr Advertiser: The Smoking Goat Bar & Grill in Ayr's Academy StreetThe Smoking Goat Bar & Grill in Ayr's Academy Street

In response, a spokesperson for The Smoking Goat Bar & Grill apologised for any offense caused and said staff often support many local charities.

They said: “These drinks are all over Glasgow and Edinburgh, I hope they are also having a go at them as well.

“It was these venues - some of which have won some top awards - that we got the idea from.

“It was never aimed at anyone at all, we have not mocked anyone who rents their home or even mentioned it or anything about injecting drugs?

“People forget that syringes can be used for more than just taking drugs. We feel this is a bit far fetched and taken way out of context from what was a harmless cocktail that tastes like Lilt.

“As a company we are constantly supporting charities like Ayrshire Hospice and giving vouchers away on a weekly basis to many others. Our staff even offered their tips for a day to Ayrshire Hospice.

Ayr Advertiser: A spokesperson for the pub said it was supposed to be a "harmless cocktail" A spokesperson for the pub said it was supposed to be a "harmless cocktail"

“If these were to come out at Hallowe’en, which they have over the years and will do again this year, will people create such a fuss then? I think it’s very unfair to pick out a single venue without knowing the facts.

“There are many cocktails, shots, etc that have different names that everyone could get offended by. If people are offended by this then we are sorry but it was never intended to do that.”

The local bar has received many messages of support for the drink when it was unveiled on social media.

One person said "we need to try this soon,” while another added: “Well done, keep on going."

Another reader said: “I don’t know how I feel about this.”