Happy Tuesday, everyone! I was out last night, hanging out in the bar of my favorite local restaurant (Ludivine, if you happen to be in the Oklahoma City area! Go there–it is fantastic…), and we started speculating on what the first cocktail might have been. So we had to get someone’s phone out and Google it. Here is what we found:

There were things like punches and syllabubs that had recipes from the Renaissance era, but the earliest known printed use of the word “cocktail” was on April 28, 1803 in The Farmer’s Cabinet: “Drank a glass of cocktail—excellent for the head…Call’d at the Doct’s. found Burnham—he looked very wise—drank another glass of cocktail.”

The earliest definition of a cocktail can be found in The Balance and Columbian Repository out of Hudson, NY: “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else.”

The first bartender’s guide could be 1862’s How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant’s Companion by “Professor” Jerry Thomas.

One of my favorite drinks, especially now that the weather is turning cooler, is a chocolatini–this looks like a good recipe here

What are your favorite cocktails???

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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Jane George
11 years ago

I like Manhattans, and variations on them. Had one once with chocolate liqueur nestled in the bottom.

This time of year Death at Dusk is a fun (and beautiful!) cocktail, and there are lots of ways to mix that one up too. But I love the violette & absinthe together with the cava.

Sorry, but syllabubs sound kinda yucky to me…

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

I have never heard of a Death at Dusk, but it definitely sounds like something that would great this time of year 🙂 (especially if it involves absinthe…)

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

I’m such an idiot about cocktails. But I do like margueritas! Or whiskey neat.

10 years ago

Black Russians, Harvey Wallbangers and Baby Guinesses. yum

Not at the same time obviously *g*

Elena Greene
10 years ago

Gin & tonics or Screwdrivers when it’s hot, but Black Russians are my favorite overall. Death at Dusk sounds fun to try sometime.