Origins of the cocktail

The origins of the word cocktail is not particularly clear. The first reported use of the word Cocktail was in The Morning Post and Gazetteer in London, England in, 1798, but the word is said to be of U.S origin. The meaning of the word cocktail reputedly arose as a result of the name given by bartenders to the mixed dreggings from the barrels (the Cock). Another name given for the mixture of dreggings was "tailings" (the last bit of alcohol), so the name cock-tailings or cocktail was born. The mixture would be sold at a reduced price. This is just one reputed origin of the word and there are other claims, others including the use of rooster's tail or cocks tail being used as a Colonial drink garnish.

The first cocktail

The first recorded cocktail recipe in print was that of Captain J.E. Alexander in 1831 who calls for brandy, gin or rum in a mix of "…a third of the spirit to two-thirds of the water; add bitters, and enrich with sugar and nutmeg…"

The Sazerac cocktail is reported to be the first cocktail invented in the U.S. It was named after an imported Sazerac cognac contained within the drink.

The drink was made by an apothecary owner by the name of Antoine Amadie Peychaud is given the credit for first inventing the Sazerac cocktail in the 1830s. he immigrated to the U.S and opened a drugstore. There he made his own tonics like many other chemists of the day. One in particular named Peychaud's Bitters, a mixture of aromatic bitters to relieve ailments. This drink became popular and people came often to sample his tonics.

Sazerac Recipe

1 teaspoon absinthe, Pernod, or Herbsaint liqueur
Ice cubes
1 sugar cube,1 teaspoon sugar
1 measure of rye whiskey
3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1 lemon peel twist

Preparation (Makes 1 serving).
Use a chilled glass either through refrigeration or ice
Add the Herbsaint, absinthe, or Pernod to the glass; swirl it around
In a cocktail shaker, add Ice Co Ice cubes, sugar, rye whiskey, and bitters. Shake gently for about 30 seconds; strain into the prepared glass. Twist lemon peel and then place in the drink.

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