Amazing Cocktails and Mocktails – World Cocktail Day 13th May
TheStudios break down the history of World Cocktail Day and give some great cocktail/mocktail ideas. Friday 13th may be cursed for some, however this month it also marks World Cocktail Day 2022! It might seem like one of those commercial days that’s been created by and for social media, but there is a surprising history to this commemorative day.
Whether you prefer a soft or hard option, cocktails typically represent happy times, celebration, and fun whatever your taste. From the mojito to the martini, all cocktails have an origin story and are evolve over time. But where and when did cocktails begin, we hear you cry? Here is the humble history of the fabulous cocktail.
A Cock & Horse Tail
‘Cocktail’ is one of those odd and amusing terms that we accept and take for granted. The original definition of ‘cocktail’ according to the Oxford English Dictionary was a horse with a tail like a cock’s, with its tail cocked up instead of hung down.
However, its first link to beverages dates back to 1806 in New York. ‘The Balance and Columbian Repository’ newspaper holds the first record of the term being used for ‘stimulating liquor with a wide variety of sweets, waters and bitters’. This was then widely adopted and adapted into the kind of cocktails we know and love today In the early 19th century.
In 1862 New York bartender Jerry Thomas wrote ‘The Bartenders Guide’ (alternately titled How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion) detailing how to mix drinks, listing cocktail recipes and advising which flavours complement each other. The first edition of the guide included the first written recipes of such cocktails as the Brandy Daisy, Fizz, Flip, Sour and variations of the earliest form of mixed drink, Punch.
Jerry Thomas then went on to develop his most famous and popular drink the ‘Blue Blazer’ – made by lighting whiskey afire and passing it back and forth between two mixing glasses, creating an arc of flame! This was a firm favourite at Thomas’ saloon the El Dorado in San Francisco for most of his life.
Prohibition and the Birth of the Modern Cocktail
As far back as the late 19th century, many American communities introduced the prohibition of alcoholic drinks in any form. By 1919, alcohol was completely outlawed in 46 of the 48 states. In the 1920’s, speakeasy bars and saloons would begin to operate illegally, as would finding means of spreading the limited alcohol supply as far as possible.
To mask the flavour of low-quality booze, juices, bitters and syrups were added and so; the modern cocktail was created. Favourites at the time were rum mojitos, the sidecar and the Tom Collins – drinks which remain popular today.
Over the Rainbow Room
After years of alcohol-related crime and campaigning, the end of prohibition in 1933 led to high-end clubs opening such as the Rainbow Room in New York, which offered higher quality cocktails to celebrity A-listers and notaries. They sadly closed their doors during World War II, however, it was reopened in 1987 by famous mixologist Dale DeGroff. He reignited the trend for pre-prohibition cocktails in bars and is still celebrated to this day.
World Cocktail Day was started by UK charity Drinkaware, where you can find useful advice and guidance on how to balance and maintain healthy drinking habits.
Top 5 Cocktails in the World Today
Popular cocktails vary wherever you are around the world, with climate and availability of ingredients affecting the taste and choice of locals and visitors alike. We’ve compiled the world’s top five cocktails based on popularity for World Cocktail Day 2022:
1 – Negroni
According to Vinepair.com, for the first time ever, the Negroni tops the list of most popular cocktails globally this year. Comprising gin, Campari and vermouth Rosso in equal measure; the Negroni was first recorded as being mixed in 1919 in Florence, Italy.
Stirred not shaken, the cocktail is built over a rocks or old-fashioned glass, garnished with a slice of orange and served with ice if preferred.
2 – Old Fashioned
Previously the proud holder of the top spot for eight years, the Old Fashioned is made with rye or bourbon, a sugar cube, Angostura bitters, a thick ice cube and a twist of orange.
Its mellow, smooth flavour has been popular with cocktail lovers around the world since 1806!
3 – Dry Martini
A world-famous classic, the mix of gin and dry vermouth, lemon, or olives results in the third most popular cocktail in the world today – the Dry Martini.
Eponymous with elegance and sophistication, H. L. Mencken called the martini “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet“, and E. B. White called it “the elixir of quietude”.
4 – Margarita
Arguably the most famous tequila cocktail, the Margarita (Spanish for ‘daisy’) takes its place at number four in our top five list. A margarita is a cocktail consisting of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice often served with salt on the rim of the glass.
Although its origin is murky, all daisy cocktails include a base spirit, liqueur, and citrus. A sidecar and gin daisy are other related drinks.
5 – Daiquiri
While many associate the drink with fruit and blenders, a true Daiquiri is simply made with white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup.
The drink was supposedly invented by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox, who was in Cuba (then at the tail-end of the Spanish Captaincy-General government) at the time of the Spanish–American War.
Great Places for Cocktails in Wolverhampton
Of course, we have a fabulous bar area here at TheStudios and from June to August, we will have two cocktails of the month, so keep a lookout for the first two to hit the bar. If you have any suggestions, or perhaps a favourite cocktail you’d like us to feature, be sure to tell us. You never know, it might just find its way to the bar menu!
Should you wish to step out in into Wolverhampton, here are some honourable mentions:
The Parisian – 41 Queen Square, Mander Centre, Wolverhampton WV1 1TX
The Bohemian – 25-27 Lichfield St, Wolverhampton WV1 1EQ
Lupo Lounge – 12-13 Dudley St, Wolverhampton WV1 3EY
Chill Wine Bar – High St, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton WV6 8QT