Although a cocktail is actually a type of mixed drink, not every mixed drink is considered to be a cocktail. Cocktails often contain at least one type of flavoring or liquor, as well as sauces, fruit juices, milk, honey, spices, cream, etc.
The cocktail has been around for quite some time. The word was first printed in 1803, in “The Farmer’s Cabinet.” A few years later, in 1806, it was again recognized in print when its definition was described in Balance and Columbian Repository. Sazerac, a cognac-based drink known to be one of the earliest cocktails, dates back to the 1850s.
Cocktails became popular in the prohibition era when mixing drinks was used as an acceptable way to hide the strong taste of bootleg spirits. Speakeasy bartenders would often mix the spirits with both non-alcoholic and alcoholic ingredients to create a tasty drink.
Even after prohibition ended, cocktails still remained a bar staple. The skills and recipes created in illegal bars soon spread, and the 1930’s saw the drink becoming a trendy choice among bar patrons. Prior to the 1970s, most cocktails were created using rum, gin, and whiskey. Vodka was also used, but not as often. After that time, vodka became a more popular ingredient and even replaced the other liquors in well-known drinks.
Today, cocktails are more popular than ever and come in a wide array of flavors, ranging from fruity to potent. Both men and women enjoy the variety of drinks that are available on bar menus worldwide.
Please start by choosing a letter at the top of the page, or try one of the examples below.