The origin of the “Cocktail”

origin of cocktail blog

There is a real lack of clarity as to the origins of the ‘Cocktail’, and I can assure you it depends on where you live as to the tales you will be told.

Rumours have it that Catherine Hustler, who is buried in a churchyard in the quaint town of Lewiston, New York could have possibly invented the cocktail.

On the other hand, it could have been Richard Stoughton who had an apothecary shop just South of London Bridge.

Could it have been invented in Mexico and named after an Aztec princess?

Then there are claims that the cocktail originated in New Orleans and was named after a French egg cup.

Need some cocktail inspirations? Check out our cocktail recipes
Back to New York and maybe it was Betsy Flannigan who made the first cocktail.

Charles Dickens believed the cocktail to be an American drink upon his travels.

Who will ever know the true origin of the cocktail? As for its name, there are possibly equally as many theories as to where this came from, including that it originated from a form of slang for ginger and horses. Allegedly back in the days when horses were being taken to market for sale and being paraded, their owners would use a piece of ginger as a suppository. By injecting ginger into the beast’s fundament, the beast would become lively and carry its tail high – cocked-up tail. The original ingredients for cocktails included ginger and was often a stimulant. Traditional cocktails were a mixture of spirits, sugar, bitters and water. Later they included liqueur.

The first ever publication of a ‘Bartenders Guide’ back in 1862 addressed how to mix drinks, and had recipes for cobblers, flips, punches, sours, slings, toddies and others. It also included cocktails – the key ingredient for these drinks was bitters.

Some cocktails that still retain bitters in them in this modern age. These include the Sazerac cocktail and the Manhattan cocktail, just to name but a few.

It is alleged that the first ever cocktail party was thrown by Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr. of St. Louis Missouri in May 1917. We love cocktail parties and are really grateful to Mrs. Walsh.

Could it have been that George Washington was the first person to host a cocktail hour on record?

To be fair, where the cocktail originated from or how it got its name is probably always going to remain elusive. The great news is that, despite a real decline in the 60’s & 70’s, the ‘cocktail’ has developed and survived over the years.

As we said, the elusive ‘cocktail’ remains, but in recent years it has become ever more creative and stylish. Specific cocktails tools mean a wider variety of ingredients can be used. The ingredients list is forever growing along with the methods of serving and the number of designs and utensils for mixing up the perfect cocktail.

Cocktails are not just for cocktails bars. You will find that they are being served in a wide variety of places nowadays. And even better, you can make them at home whenever you desire!

If you would like to make and serve the perfect cocktails at home or in your bar, follow the simple rules listed above and be sure that you have all the quality essential equipments from Trendy Bartender. The perfect cocktail is definitely out there. But first, your good pieces of equipment will be the very first step that leads you to start making them.

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