Some like them shaken, whilst others prefer them stirred, but could you imagine a world absent of a cheeky little evening cocktail? The Sex and The City girls would be perched at the bar, sipping on an ice cold Guinness in replacement, whilst the olive would lie lonely nearby, not a martini in sight to float in!
The official definition of the word cocktail is as follows: “an iced drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavouring ingredients”; not the most exciting way of describing something so delicious and glam.
People had been mixing their drinks for centuries but it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that the doctors of cocktails stepped forward to experiment with different alcoholic beverages and the tasty trend caught on!
And what about the name? Many theories are thrown around, some far-fetched explanations are included but I’ve taken the liberty to deliver the more plausible of the bunch… Some say the name “cocktail” came from the penchant of some to garnish their drink with a feather taken from a rooster’s tail. The British publication Bartender supports this theory somewhat, claiming drinks in Mexico were stirred using a rooster’s tail.
Stuck for an idea of what to mix? Take inspiration from the first known cocktail recipe in print, which called for a mix of brandy, rum and gin – a third of the spirit to two thirds of the water; add bitters and a sprinkling of sugar and nutmeg, and sip.
So what in the world are you waiting for? Whether you’re a Tom Collins, Cosmo or Black Russian fan, pour yourself another drink, there’s no better way to absorb yourself in the history than a good old taste test!