If you are over the age of 21 (in America!) and drink alcohol, then there is a chance that you have had a cocktail at some point. But what exactly is a cocktail? Some might think that cocktails are a fairly new invention arriving on the American scene some time in the 50s or 60s, but cocktails are actually much older.
The history of the cocktail could be said to reach back to Britian and Colonial America with the popularity of punch and punch bowls. These drinks were often several types of alcohol (sometimes up to 5!) mixed together with fruit and sugar. People have been mixing drinks since ancient times, however cocktails turned into what we know them as today during the Prohibition Era. Cocktails are often made with hard liquor which made it easier for bartenders to make them when beer and wine were hard to find.
Cocktails come in all sorts of types and new ones are constantly being invented. Made with small amounts of hard liquor, they are often mixed with fruit juice, sugar, salt, bitters, herbs and other ingredients to create specialty drinks.
Cocktails found their place in American popular culture in the good economic times of the 1950s and 60s. Cocktail parties and tiki culture arrived and they began to show up in TV shows and movies. Today, cocktails are a wonderful way to try out a new alcohol that you might not have had before and enjoy a little time with friends. What’s your favorite?
Some of the most famous cocktails are:
- Mint Julep
- Old Fashioned
- Margarita (very Texas!)
- Martini (think James Bond)
- Bloody Mary
- Moscow Mule (my favorite 🙂
- Mai Tai
- Pina Colada
- Gin and Tonic