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Classic Drinks for everyone
Cocktails, mixed drinks, long drinks and mocktails have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are drunk and enjoyed in bars, restaurants, clubs and at parties. The drinks are characterised by mostly fruity-sweet (as with Mojito and Tequila Sunrise) or bitter and tart flavours (as with Old Fashioned and Dry Martini). Mixed drinks usually mask the alcoholic taste of spirits, which is why cocktails are more appealing to many people than drinking spirits neat.
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History - Why were spirits mixed?
The first cocktail-like drinks were probably mixed and enjoyed as early as the 17th century. That was during the British colonial period. At that time, however, the term “cocktail” did not yet exist. This term developed much later, probably in the 18th century. It is still not possible to say exactly when the term originated. What exactly the drink was called back then is still not known.
The first “real” cocktails were probably prepared in North America in the middle of the 19th century. At that time, spirits, especially the local whiskey, were still of very poor quality. They were strongly alcoholic drinks whose consumption was to be made more enjoyable with the addition of fruit and/or sugar. The excellent quality that today’s American whiskey possesses could not yet be achieved at that time. That is why the pure enjoyment of American whiskey is possible today without any problems.
Over the decades, new drink variations developed and the quality of the spirit itself improved. As a result, the consumption of the American population also increased. When the consumption of alcoholic beverages got out of hand, spirits were banned and with them any form of cocktail. During Prohibition, the consumption of alcohol was strictly forbidden for 13 years. In the period from 1919 to 1932, people nevertheless sought ways and means to consume their much-loved mixed drinks.
At the time of Prohibition
During the time of Prohibition, however, spirits were much easier to smuggle than wine or beer. Therefore, more and more people enjoyed mixed drinks made from different spirits. Beer and wine became increasingly unpopular and cocktails increasingly popular, which is why more and more mixed drinks were consumed after prohibition was lifted.
After this time, more and more different drinks developed in America. Over the years, however, this cocktail culture spread beyond America’s borders and the drinks became more popular in other countries. From the 1980s onwards, cocktails also gained increasing fans and popularity in Germany. This bomm continues to this day and in almost every town there are special cocktail bars that offer both classic drinks and new, fancy drinks on their menus.
The development over the years
- 1579 According to an old story, the first cocktail was prepared in this year by a captain named Sir Francis Drake.
- 1847 The first report on mixed drinks is published in a Californian newspaper: “Punch Drinking and Its Effects” is still a legendary article that is read and studied by cocktail enthusiasts from all over the world.
- 1851 The world’s first cocktail bar is founded. The Old Ship Saloon is probably the oldest cocktail bar to have opened its doors to connoisseurs from all over the world for more than 160 years.
- 1862 The “Professor” Jerry Thomas publishes a cocktail book that is still legendary today called “How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion”. It was the first cocktail book ever published.
- 1919 – 1933 Prohibition. During this time, alcohol and cocktails of all kinds were strictly forbidden in the USA. Famous cocktail recipes, such as the recipe for Long Island Iced Tea, are said to have been created during this time. In addition, a kind of “alcohol tourism” developed during this time. Various Americans travelled to the Caribbean to enjoy alcohol and cocktails there.
- In 1934, Victor “Vic” Bergeron opened his first bar, where the legendary Tom Collins cocktail is said to have been invented.
Until today: During this time, countless well-known and legendary bars were opened all over the world. In addition, various cocktail recipes were developed and existing recipes refined. Even in the time of Prohibition, cocktails were able to persist and even found rather increasing popularity. It is likely that cocktails and their variations will always exist. Even the health-conscious lifestyle of many people in the 2010s did nothing to dampen the hype. Rather, mocktails have developed, a type of cocktail in which no alcohol is used.
- After Dinner Drink: Drink that is usually drunk after a meal. Also called digestif
- Amaro: Amaro is a name for a bitter spirit.
- Aperitif: A type of cocktail that is drunk before the meal.
- Before Dinner Drink: This is the American term for aperitif.
- Bar spoon: A very long-handled spoon that can be used for various tasks in the preparation of cocktails (e.g. measuring out ingredients or stirring).
- Crushed ice: Ice that has been crushed into small pieces. Optimal for the Caipirinha recipe.
- Digestif: A type of cocktail that is drunk after a meal. The American equivalent is after dinner drink. This often involves spirits such as calvados, grappa, fruit brandy, pastis, sake or raki incorporated into cocktails.
- On The Rocks: Term for the consumption of a spirit neat, with ice. In the meantime, you can even buy whisky and gin rocks. These can be placed in the freezer and then added to the drink. This way the cocktail is not unnecessarily watered down by melting ice.
- Rye: Is English for rye and is mainly used as an additive in whiskeys in the USA.
- Shaker: A cocktail shaker is a cup that can be closed so that the inner ingredients cannot escape. The shaker is very important in the preparation of mixed drinks.
- Triple Sec: Term for liqueurs that have been “triple dried”. May only be used for liqueurs made from citrus fruits.
Definition - The meaning of the word "cocktail
A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink consisting of at least two ingredients. One of these ingredients must have at least a small alcoholic content. A mixed drink is stirred with a bar spoon in a mixing glass or shaken in a cocktail shaker before serving.
After a drink has been freshly prepared, it is usually consumed immediately. Many of these drinks have fancy and world-famous names. For example, it is possible to order a Bloody Mary in Germany as well as in Japan or America and always be served the same drink.The word cocktail comes from the English language and freely translated means something like “cock’s tail”. However, the actual meaning of the word is highly disputed. For example, the historical spelling is said to have been written with a hyphen, i.e. “cock-tail”. It is also disputed whether the word was first used in America or England. What is certain, however, is that the term has historically stood for alcoholic mixed drinks.