As you sit back and relax with your favourite cocktail in hand, did you ever wonder how it came to be? Many popular drinks have interesting and unique histories behind them. In this blog post, we’ll explore the origins of some of the most popular cocktails in the world. Keep reading to learn something new!
Where Did Cocktails Come From?
In Britain, punches made a mixture of spirits, water, spices, fruit juice, sugar and other bitters, were consumed in punch houses of the 18th century. The term ‘cocktail’ was used for the first time and recorded in a British newspaper printed in 1798. In The Balance and Colombian Repository of Hudson in 1806 in New York, said that a Cocktail was officially defined as a “stimulating liquor made of any kind of sugar water and bitters.”
This hand-mixed alcoholic drink began to gain popularity in the United States in the 1800s thanks to Connecticut-born prolific American bartender Jerry Thomas. This American bartender was a mixologist who used to publish his bartender’s guide in 1862. Thomas used to work all over America and Europe to create the guide. The guides were an encyclopedia of cocktails that served as a standard-bearer for bartenders in the years to come.
The History of the Most Famous Cocktails in The World
- Whiskey Sour
This American cocktail dates back to the 1860s. It comprises whiskey or bourbon, sugar or Gomme syrup, lemon juice and egg white. Even though the written recipe was officially in Jerry Thomas’s 1862 bartenders guide, the Navy British sailors had been consuming a similar drink long before. It is believed that the sailors came up with this cocktail to combat scurvy – a health disorder caused by the deficiency of vitamin C in the body.
The traditional recipe includes an egg white to enrich it with a creamy texture topped with a smooth foam layer. The modern recipes, however, skip this ingredient or an optional one. If the whiskey sour has an egg white, the drink is known as a Boston sour, and if the red wine is included as an ingredient in the cocktail, the drink is commonly referred to as New York sour.
This cocktail originated from Mexico and is arguably one of the most famous tequila drinks in the world. This classic cocktail is a blend of tequila, lime juice and Cointreau, an orange-flavoured triple sec liqueur served in the famous Margarita glass with a salted or sugared rim. You can enjoy this popular cocktail in many different ways, including frozen, on the rocks – over ice cubes and straight-up – chilled with ice and strained.
There are many legends about Margarita’s origins and the drink variations. Some people say a restaurant owner by the name of Carlos Danny Herrera, invented the drink in 1938 in Mexico. He did this specifically for a Ziegfeld showgirl called Marjorie King who was allegedly allergic to nearly all the spirits, barring tequila. Herrera made the drink by adding lime juice and salt to it.
Another legend claims that the drink was named after a Texas-based socialite Margaret Sames after she mixed the cocktail during a house party in Mexico during the late 1940s for the first time. In addition, some swear that the drink got its name from an actress named Rita Hayworth, whose actual name was Margarita Casino when she was at an event in Tijuana in the 1940s.
3. Old Fashioned
Traditionally served with bourbon or whiskey, the cocktail consists of fine sugar or sugar cubes, orange slices, maraschino cherries, angostura bitters, and a bit of club soda or water. The preparation of the old fashion requires the sugars, cherries, orange slices, beaters and a splash of soda or water to be muddled together. Muddling involves lightly mashing fruits, spices and hubs for cocktails to release the essence from the fresh ingredients so that it can be infused in the drink with the different dimensions of flavours.
Legends claim that this cocktail was first concocted with whiskey, water, ice, and the sugar cube at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe is believed to be invented by the club’s bartender while honouring Colonel James E Pepper, the 3rd generation bourbon industrialist and a mater distiller of the time.
TheMojito traces its roots back to the 1600s. This refreshing, citrusy Cuban cocktail was originally believed to be a medicinal drink to ward off diseases. The type of mojito that was drunk by Cubans was one of moonshine mixed with mint, sugar, and lime at the time. Some say that the pirates searching for gold and riches invaded Cuban island, and Sir Francis Drake was offered this drink. Francis Drake promptly reinvented the recipe using white rum in place of moonshine and renamed it El Draque.
After some time, the cocktail came to be known as mojito, derived from the African word ‘mojo,’ which means magic. American novelist and journalist popularized this summer drink by Ernest Hemingway when he visited Cuba. The drink was also featured in the James Bond movie Die Another Day in 2002, and by Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary of 2011.
Making mojito involves mixing sugar, fresh lemon juice or lime juice and adding the mint leaves and white rum. You can stir and top the drink with ice and sparkling soda water.
Final Take Away We hope you’re more aware of the rich history of the classic cocktails that you’ve enjoyed for many years. These 4 cocktails are just a tip of the world’s amazing cocktails. The next time you’re looking for a unique night out with cocktails, visit our Jazz Café to enjoy some of the most popular cocktails in the world as you listen to the best Jazz in town. Whether you’re a fan of Mojitos, Margaritas or Old-fashioned whiskey drinks, there will be something on our menu to suit your taste at the Lincoln Jazz Café. Cheers!