Cocktail!! Yes, cocktail! You heard right. How well do you know your drink? Typically, cocktails are mixtures of alcoholic drinks and are often a combination of two or more spirits. They are spiced with different types of ingredients and flavors such as fruit juice or syrup. Ingredients may also include herbs, sugar, citrus, orange, milk, and many other fruits.
In truth, the origin of the cocktail remains unclear and widely disputed. However, the Morning Post and Gazetteer, a tabloid in London first mentioned the name on the 20th of March 1798. Allegedly, the origin of cocktail has been ascribed to the United States where it was first recorded as a beverage in 1803. The Oxford dictionary further corroborates this claim as it states that cocktails originated from America.
Also, history has it that the first party ever – a cocktail party was recorded in 1917 in St. Louis, Missouri. The party was thrown by an American, Mrs. Julius Walsh Jr., and fifty guests were in attendance while the party lasted for one hour. In fact, Mrs. Walsh’s building still stands till date at 4510 Lindell Boulevard but was eventually bought over by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the district.
Regardless of the contentions facing the origin of cocktail, it is clear that it’s a drink for the fortification of the inner man. The acceptance of cocktail has grown over the years with many recipes and cocktail types being churned out. Jerry Thomas in his book titled “How to Mix Drinks”; and “The Bon Vivant’s Companion” was the first promising detailed recipes on cocktail.
The recipes of cocktails vary and have been refined to indoor and outdoor use; as well as to health and safety standards. Popular types of cocktail includes Mojito recipe, Rhubarb gin, Easy sangria, Espresso martini, Sweet Manhattan cocktail, Clover club, Blueberry Mojito, Vodka Martini and so on. Recently, herbal medicinal recipes have joined the list of cocktails containing herbs, fruits and fruit extract spicing. However, the efficacy of these herbal cocktails is still being argued in many quarters. Some arguments have tilted toward the popular perception that they contain no alcohol but natural extracts of plants only.
In terms of classification, cocktail recipes are subtly grouped according to the mood or occasion and they are classified as classic cocktails, recipes by spirit, recipes by theme and cocktail recipes by occasion. Obviously, the cocktail is indeed for the strong. Think you’re strong enough for the challenge? Then this cocktail quiz is yours to dismantle. Give it a try and see how much you know.