At what point in history someone first used an alcoholic substance to fulfil what would become its time-honoured role as an intoxicant may never be answered.
“An alcoholic drink consisting of a spirit or spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice or cream.”
The word ‘cocktail’ is a mystery when it comes to establishing its exact origin. Even the official Oxford English Dictionary confirms that its derivation is lost. However, there are many colourful stories from years gone by that claim to know the exact origin of the word. One such story claims in old taverns, the last dregs from the barrels and spirit bottles were cobbled together and sold cheaply to drinkers known as cocktailing. These attractive prices led to demand for cocktailings which was later shortened to cocktails.
How did these events lead to the sophisticated tastes of today? Well, over the last couple of centuries the inventions of artificial carbonation, refrigeration, the production of ice and the refinement of good quality spirits, wines and beer have made drink service easier and drinking more enjoyable.