09
Jul
09

How did cocktails originate?


When was the first cocktail made? Why a cocktail is called a cocktail? Well, there are quite a few plausible theories as to its origin according to Wikipedia. Here are a few of them:

  • Barrel taps are known as cocks and the term tails usually referred to the dregs of distillate left at the end of a run in a distillery or at the bottom of a cask. Colonial taverns kept their in casks, and as the liquid in the casks lowered the tavern keeper would combine the tails into an additional cask kept for that purpose, to be sold at a reduced price. The patrons would request the “cock tailings” or the tailings from the stop cock of the cask.
  • Fighting cocks were given a mixture of spirits by their trainers before a fight. This mixture was known as a cocks-ale.
  • In Campeche, Mexico, local bartenders used wooden spoons carved from a native root known as cola de-gallo (cock’s tail) to stir the local spirits and punches before serving.
  • Cocktails were originally a morning beverage, and the cocktail was the name given as metaphor for the rooster (cocktail) heralding morning light of day. This was first posited in 2004 by Ted Haigh in “Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails”.
  • A cock’s tail has feathers in many varied colours as a cocktail has varied alcoholic drinks mixed together.
  • Some say that it was customary to put a feather, presumably from a cock’s tail, in the drink to serve both as decoration and to signal to teetotalers that the drink contained alcohol.
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