Celebrate World Cocktail Day with our brief guide to these delicious wonders, including their origins and development over time, tips that will help you make your cocktails taste and look the business, and recipes for some of the UK's favorite cocktails to try out and enjoy at home.
The exact origin of cocktails is unclear, but it is thought that modern cocktails developed from classic British punch recipes that involved mixing spirits, fruit juice, and spices in large bowls. The first recorded mention of the word 'cocktail' came in print in 1798 before, in 1806, The Balance and Columbian Repository of Hudson, New York, formally defined a cocktail as a "stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters."
In the couple of centuries that have followed, various people and bartenders have contributed to shaping the cocktail landscape we know today; from Count Camillo Negroni, who requested that bartender Fosco Scarselli make his Americano using gin instead of soda water, thus giving birth to the Negroni, to John Henry Martini, who is said to have gotten rich during the Gold Rush of the 1850s and saw his favorite drink of gin and vermouth given an extra twist of lemon and bitters by his bartender during his celebrations. Developments continue to occur in more modern times; the Aperol Spritz was developed in the early 2000s and has quickly become one of the world's best-known cocktails.
If you are experimenting with cocktail-making at home, there are a few must-dos to check off to ensure your cocktail looks and tastes as show-stopping as possible;
With all that, you should have all the know-how you need to cement yourself as the cocktail expert among your friendship group.
DEVELOPED WITH BARTENDER STEPHAN HINZ