ORIGIN OF SOME CLASSIC COCKTAILS
Americano: First served in the 1860s in Gaspare Campari bar in Milan. This was originally Milano-Torino as the original two base ingredients came from these two cities. The Italians noticed an influx of Americans who enjoyed the drink and as a dubious compliment, dubbed the drink Americano. (Campari, Cinzano Vermouth, Soda water)
Bellini: Created in 1934 at Harry’s bar, Venice, by Commendatore Giuseppe Cipriani of the Venetian Cipriani Hotel family. This cocktail is named after the 15th century painter Giovanni Bellini due to the use of glowing pinks in his paintings. Harry’s bar at St. Marks square was the Italian expat hangout between the wars. Everyone from the Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Dorothy Parker dropped by, and James Bond was a fan as well. (Prosecco – a dry Italian sparkling wine, with fresh white peach puree)
Bloody Mary: Created in 1921 by Fernand Petiot at Harry’s New York bar in Paris, this was originally called a Bucket of Blood. A few years later, when Fernand became the head of cocktail, adding spices and Worcestershire sauce to create a new Bloody Mary. He seems to have named it in honour of Mary Pickford, the screen Goddess, though some think that it refers to Queen Mary -1, whose relentless persecution of Protestants earned her the nickname Bloody Mary. The celery stick garnish dates back to 1960 when a lady at the ambassador hotel in Chicago used a stick of celery to stir her drink. The bartender noticed and started the fashion.
Bronx: Created in 1906 by Johnny Solon, a bartender at New York’s old Waldorf bar and named after the Bronx zoo. According the Bernard de Voto, this was the first cocktail to use fruit juice. (Plymouth gin, Cinzano extra dry vermouth, Cinzano Rosso vermouth, freshly squeezed orange juice)
Caipirinha: Cachaca, a spirit distilled from sugar cane juice, is the national spirit of Brazil.The Caipirinha is a traditional Brazilian cocktail, using sugar and green lemons known as limon subtil (type of lemon) which grow in the country. The name means little countryside drink.
Collins: Created by John Collins, a bartender at Limners hotel, Conduit street, London around 1800, this was originally made with genever, but the drink has spawned an entire family of variants (Tom Collins with old tom gin) John Collins (with London dry gin), Sandy Collins (whisky), Pierre Collins (brandy), Pedro Collins (with rum). A classic combination of spirit, lemon and lime.
Cosmopolitan: The Cosmopolitan appeared sometime in 1980s- exactly who and where is unknown. Although the Cosmos originator is unknown, Dale De Groff can rightly claim to have popularized the drink and adjusted the recipe.
Cuba Libre: This classic mix was allegedly so named in the early 1890s when a group of off duty American soldiers was gathered in a bar in old Havana drinking rum and the new soft drink, Coca-cola. The captain raised his glass and sung out the battle cry that had inspired Cuba’s victorious soldiers at war, Cuba Libre. The Cuba Libre’s popularity peaked during the 1940s. During the war all spirits production was turned to industrial alcohol –in the absence of whisky and gin Americans turned to rum.
Dry Martini: This cocktail was invented in 1911 by a New York bartender called Martini De Arma De Taggia who was the head bartender at the fashionable knickerbockers hotels. The French vermouth (Noilly Prat) was originally used with orange bitters. If a Martini is shaken it becomes a Bradford.
Daiquiri (natural): Mr. Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer who was working at a Cuban copper mine outside Santiago, created the Daiquiri in 1896. A popular version of the story states that another engineer called Pagliuchi, the captain of a guerilla group, was viewing mines in the region and met with Cox. During their meeting they sat about making a drink with the ingredients Cox had rum, lemons and sugar. The concoction was exquisite and Cox named it Daiquiri after the name of a mine, which in turn was the name of the nearest town.
Daiquiri (frozen): Emilio Gonzalez is said to have first adapted the natural Daiquiri into this frozen version at the plaza hotel in Cuba. However, it was in 1912 that Constantino Ribalaigua Vert of Havana’s Floridita bar made this drink famous. The Floridita is now called the cradle of the Daiquiri.
Gimlet: In 1747, James Lind a Scottish surgeon discovered that consumption of citrus fruit can prevent scurvy, one of the most common illnesses on board ship. In 1867 Lachlan Rose, the owner of a shipyard patented a process of preserving fruit using salts of sulphur. Once the benefits of drinking lime juice became more widely known, British sailors consumed so much of it with gin and named it Gimlet.
Hot Rum Punch: Punch was one of the many rum based drinks popular in the 18th century – including the toddy, the flip and the sling. American taverns at the time would serve punch cold at the bar, and warm it on request by dunking a red hot iron on it. This version is to be the favourite drink of Mozart, the composer.
Irish Coffee: Created in 1942 by Joe Sheridan, a bartender at Foynes airport. In 1947, at the end of his trip to Ireland, an American journalist, Stan Delaphane visited the bar and tried the Irish coffee and was so impressed with it that he passed on the recipe to his local bartender, the Buene Vista café, in San Francisco and so the recipe spread and became popular.
Long Island Iced Tea: A prohibition drink this was originally made with whatever spirit that was available. The cocktail looks like Iced tea-distinguishing its contents hence the name. The loads of spirits with citrus and mixer formula has spawned a host of variations - Long beach Iced tea, LA Iced tea and New England Iced tea to name some.
Mai Tai: In 1934, Victor Jules Bergeron or trader Vic as he became known, opened his first restaurant in Oakland, San Francisco. He served Polynesian food with a mix of Chinese wood-fired ovens. He created Mai-Tai in 1944. He tested the drink on two friends, Ham and Carrie Guild from Tahiti. After the first sip, Carrie exclaimed, Mai-Tai-Roa Ae, which in Tahitian means Out of this world – the best! So Bergeron named his drink Mai-Tai.
Manhattan: The Manhattan is believed to have first been created at the Manhattan Club in New York in 1874 for Lady Randolf Churchill, American mother of Winston. Others claim it was invented by a man called Black who ran a saloon on Broadway. Either way, it’s a pure classic.
Margarita: There are countless versions on how margarita was invented and the most popular versions are as follows;In 1948 a socialite called Margaret Sames was hosting a party at her cliff side house in Acapulco, Mexico. Looking for something to pep up the party, Margaret began to experiment at the bar and created the first Margarita.Pancho Morles, a bartender from Juarez, Mexico was asked to make Magnolia but couldn’t remember the exact ingredients so threw something together. Although it wasn’t what the lady asked for but she loved it, her name was Margarita.
Mojito: Between the wars and especially during prohibition, Cuba had a thriving international bar culture. In fact on the day that prohibition was announced, numerous companies outfitted ferries for the overnight booze cruise to the island. At the heart of this bar culture were their highly trained professional bartenders, many of them trained at the Association Cantineros Cuba the legendary Havana bar school.
Moscow Mule: In 1941 Jack Martin of Heublein, then owner of Smirnoff Vodka and Jack Morgan the owner of Cock n Bull Saloon met at the Chatham Bar in New York. The war had halted Smirnoff production and Martin was worried about Smirnoff’s future and his friend was trying to market Ginger beer and so they came up with the idea of mixing the two.
Old Fashioned: Like the Martini, the glass this cocktail is served in has taken the name of the drink. Old fashioned was created by a bartender at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, for a retired general who didn’t like straight Bourbon. The labour–intensive procedure of making this cocktail is essential to the taste of this drink.
Piña Colada: Two Puerto Rican bartenders compete the ownership of this drink. Ramon Marrero Perez claims to have first made it at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan in 1954 using Coco Lopez cream of coconut but Don Ramon Patas Minyot claimed he created it in Barrachina Bar in 1963.
Planters Punch: Invented in the late 19th century by the founder of Meyers rum, Fred L Meyers. There are a number of different recipes including one on the back of each bottle of Meyer’s rum.
Singapore Sling: Created in 1914 by Ngiam Tong Boon at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore using Cherry Herring and Benedictine liqueur. Raffles Hotel, named for the colonial founder of Singapore was the Near East’s expat central; everyone from Prince of Siam to Ernest Hemmingway stayed and drank there.