Cocktail lexicon

The history of the cocktail

The name "cocktail" actually means "cock's tail" and does not at all want to match the image of a cool Pina Colada or Planters Punch fit. The drink, which can be varied in many ways, supposedly owes its name to a victory drink after cockfights, where people drank to the winner's cock's tail. In English, this custom is called "to drink on the cocks tail". Allegedly, the term was later shortened to give the name of the type of drink we know today. Other stories would have us believe that the tasty drinks were initially garnished with a cock's feather. But this is now less likely for hygienic reasons alone! A third explanation assumes that the colorfulness of the cocktail was reminiscent of a rooster's tail and was therefore named accordingly. Drinks in which different colored layers are formed are called "Pousse Cafe" today, by the way.

We will dispense with the explanation for this. It is probably just as abstruse as those already mentioned. It is now believed that it was possibly a Frenchman named Antoine Peychaud who was the first to create a mixed drink from Absinthe and whiskey and served it in an egg cup. In French, this is called a "coquetier. Allegedly, the Americans made the current term out of it. Somehow that sounds like the next rather improbable legend surrounding the drink. Another says that in an American bar there was a hollow ceramic tap into which people tipped leftover drinks. These were supposedly sold after some time at a special price and tapped from the tail of the tap. The truth is probably that it is no longer known where the name of the cocktail came from and who the actual inventor was.

Much more we may assume that the cocktail was invented because many alcoholic drinks were too strong pure. In the USA one burned Grain and whiskey itself. It was not so much the fine aroma that mattered, but the alcohol itself. For the ladies, these were undoubtedly not appropriate drinks - so they probably tried to soften them with something sweet. For this purpose, one could take fruit juices, honey and sugar, wine or sparkling wine or the like.

The invention of the liquor also brought drinkable for women and with the numerous immigrants came even more alcoholic recipes to the United States. People experimented with them and gradually invented short drinks, long drinks and numerous cocktail recipes. And what distinguishes these forms of drinks in detail? Long drinks extend one type of alcohol with soda, Coca Cola, water or juice. In cocktail recipes, however, several alcoholic beverages and fruit juices are combined or layered. This can be joined by other ingredients such as spices and decor. In Germany, cocktails found their introduction mainly through the international hotel chains. That was already before the First World War. But it was not until the fifties and after the Second World War that these mixed drinks really became popular in the big cities. The increasing tourism of the seventies did the rest - and today almost everyone knows one or more internationally known cocktail recipes. And as a rule, you've tried them once - on vacation, for example.

Before we name a few classic cocktail recipes, it makes sense to point out the 30 or so different variations that can be used to serve alcoholic mixed drinks.

The Shortdrink and the long drink have already been named. There is also the aperitif before the meal and the digestif after the meal. Flips, medium drinks, egg nogs, martinis, sours, champagne cocktails, shooters, rickeys, fixed and fizz drinks, collins, highballs, juleps, tropical cocktails, fruit punches, coladas, punch bowls and batidas have become known. Another classification would be possible according to the basic ingredient of the cocktail drink in question: so whiskey or rum cocktail, vodka mixed drink and so on.

If we were to ask you to name all the cocktail drinks you know, you would be surprised how many there are! Among those that you get offered everywhere today and know at least by name are Gin and tonic, Caipirinha, Campari Orange, Bloody Mary, Gin Fizz, Kir Royal, Martini, Margarita, Pina Colada or Tequila Sunrise.
Many of them are almost cult drinks, even among young people, and are no longer reserved for the upper echelons of society. Drinking a cocktail means celebrating a relaxed attitude to life and taking enjoyment seriously.

You have time for relaxed chats and also look for a suitable ambience and people with whom you can share the pleasure. The drinks are served chilled in various Glasses and served with different decorations. The classic and modern cocktail recipes are well known and nowadays anyone can download them from the Internet. New alcoholic and non-alcoholic mixed drinks are constantly being invented in international bartending competitions.

Private individuals have long been interested in this beautiful cult and acquire all the utensils needed for it. Today, anyone who is self-respecting no longer stores crates of beer on the balcony, but can mix various classic cocktail drinks - and in the in-house bar.