Cocktails: A Brief History and Some Popular Recipes
A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink. Most commonly, cocktails are either a single spirit or a combination of spirits, mixed with other ingredients such as juices, flavored syrups, tonic water, shrubs, and bitters[^3^]. The word cocktail first appeared in print in 1806, and it referred to a drink made with sugar, bitters, water, and spirit[^4^]. Since then, cocktails have evolved into a diverse and creative category of drinks that can suit any occasion, mood, or taste.
Some of the most famous and classic cocktails include the martini, the margarita, the mojito, the negroni, and the old-fashioned. These drinks have stood the test of time and have influenced many variations and twists. Here are some brief descriptions and recipes for these iconic cocktails:
Martini: A martini is a simple but elegant drink made with gin and dry vermouth, stirred with ice and strained into a chilled glass. It is usually garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. The ratio of gin to vermouth can vary according to personal preference, but a classic martini is made with 6 parts gin and 1 part vermouth[^1^]. Some variations of the martini include the vodka martini, which uses vodka instead of gin; the dirty martini, which adds some olive brine to the mix; and the vesper martini, which uses both gin and vodka along with a dash of Lillet Blanc[^1^].
Margarita: A margarita is a refreshing and tangy drink made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, shaken with ice and served in a salt-rimmed glass. It is usually garnished with a lime wedge. The origin of the margarita is uncertain, but some stories trace it back to Mexico in the 1930s or 1940s[^1^]. Some variations of the margarita include the frozen margarita, which blends the ingredients with ice; the strawberry margarita, which adds fresh or frozen strawberries to the mix; and the spicy margarita, which infuses the tequila with jalapeÃos or adds a dash of hot sauce[^1^].
Mojito: A mojito is a refreshing and minty drink made with white rum, lime juice, sugar, soda water, and fresh mint leaves. It is usually muddled in a tall glass and garnished with more mint leaves. The mojito is said to have originated in Cuba in the 19th century as a way of masking the harsh taste of local rum[^1^]. Some variations of the mojito include the coconut mojito, which uses coconut rum or coconut cream; the raspberry mojito, which adds fresh or frozen raspberries; and the ginger mojito, which adds ginger beer or ginger ale instead of soda water[^1^].
Negroni: A negroni is a bitter and balanced drink made with equal parts of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. It is usually stirred with ice and served in a rocks glass over ice. It is usually garnished with an orange peel. The negroni is said to have been invented in Florence in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni, who asked for a stronger version of his favorite drink, the Americano (which uses soda water instead of gin)[^1^]. Some variations of the negroni include the boulevardier, which uses whiskey instead of gin; the sbagliato, which uses sparkling wine instead of gin; and the white negroni, which uses Lillet Blanc and Suze instead of vermouth and Campari[^1^].
Old-fashioned: An old-fashioned is a simple but strong drink made with whiskey (usually bourbon or rye), sugar, Angostura bitters, and a splash of water. It is usually stirred with ice and served in a rocks glass over ice. It is usually garnished with an orange peel and a cherry. The old-fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails in existence, dating back to the early 19th century[^4^]. Some variations of the old-fashioned include the brandy old-fashioned, which uses brandy instead of whiskey; the rum old-fashioned aa16f39245