The earliest known printed use of the word cocktail
was in the May 13, 1806 edition of the Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, where the paper provided the following answer to what cocktails are:
"Cocktail is a stimulating liquor
composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters--it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else."
The first publication of a bartenders' guide which included cocktail recipes
was in 1862: How to Mix Drinks
; or, The Bon Vivant's Companion, by Professor Jerry Thomas. In addition to listings of cocktail recipes for Punches, Sours, Slings, Cobblers, Shrubs, Toddies, Flips, and a variety of other types of mixed drinks were 10 cocktail recipes for drinks referred to as "Cocktails". A key ingredient which differentiated cocktails
from other drinks in this compendium, was the use of bitters as an ingredient, although it is not to be seen in very many modern cocktail recipes.
During Prohibition in the United States (1919-1933
), when alcohol possesion was illegal, cocktails were still consumed in establishments known as speakeasies
. Not only was the quality of the alcohol available far lower than was previously used, but the skill and knowledge of the bartenders would also decline significantly during this time.
An iced drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients; B)
Something resembling or suggesting such a drink.
A 'cocktail' is a commonly used term for a style of a mixed drink. cocktails usually contains one or more types of liquor and flavourings, usually cocktail recipes contain one or more of a liqueur, fruit, sauce, honey, milk or cream, spices, etc. The cocktail recipe became popular during Prohibition in the United States primarily to mask the taste of bootlegged alcohol, the bartenders at a speakeasy would mix it with other ingredients, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Until the 1970s, cocktail recipes
were made predominantly with gin, whiskey or rum, and less commonly vodka. From the 1970s on, the popularity of vodka increased dramatically. By the 1980s it was the predominant base for recipes. Many cocktails traditionally made with gin, such as the gimlet
, or the martini
, may now be served by default with vodka
Non-alcoholic carbonated beverages that are used nearly exclusively in cocktails, or in non-alcoholic
soda fountain drinks, such as the egg cream, include soda water, tonic water and seltzer. Liqueurs are also common cocktail recipe ingredients.