Who invented the old-fashioned cocktail and when

This is how the cocktail got its name


June 8, 2017

They are served ice-cold in special glasses and with an elaborate garnish. Especially in summer, cocktails are a welcome refreshment. Many of these mixed drinks have been mixed, stirred and shaken behind the counters around the world for centuries. When you look at the cocktail menu, you are spoiled for choice between Mojito, Sex on the Beach, Old Fashioned and many other variations and modifications of the classics. Most of you have probably already asked yourself what stories are behind the creative names of the cocktails. And anyway: where does the word cocktail come from? We have collected the interesting backgrounds of the colorful drinks for you.

A cool cock's tail, please

Since the true origins of most cocktail names and that of the word cocktail itself cannot be exactly traced, many stories, so-called “urban legends”, surround these names. One of these modern legends says, for example, that the term cocktail, which translates as “cock's tail”, goes back to a large, hollow ceramic cock that stood in a quaint bar in the USA. The bartender at this bar poured all the leftover drinks into the tap. Smart as he was, he then offered the high-proof mixture to his guests at a special price. The cheap drink from the ceramic tap delighted the guests of the bar and the special mix was from now on only called "cocktail".

Old but not out of fashion: the old fashioned

The phrase “Oldie but Goldie” applies particularly well to the whiskey cocktail, whose name literally means “old-fashioned”: the bittersweet Old Fashioned has probably been around for as long as there have been cocktails and is considered an archetype of the cocktail . The drink is mixed with bourbon whiskey, sugar syrup or a lump of sugar, soda water and bitter. Then, what is very important, it is served in the obligatory old-fashioned glass. In contrast to the history of other cocktails, there is a widespread theory for this one: The full name of the drink is actually Old Fashioned Cocktail. The recipe for the very first cocktails included only a few ingredients, namely spirit, water, sugar and bitters. In the course of time, the ingredients used have become more and more varied and the selection of cocktail variations ever larger. A classic old fashioned, if properly prepared, goes back to the original definition of the cocktail. But the old fashioned is still a long way from going out of fashion.

Sex on the Beach in Florida

The very fruity cocktail with the unconventional name Sex on the Beach has been very popular since the 1980s. It is mixed from vodka, peach liqueur, grenadine and various fruit juices. The most widespread legend of the drink with the curious name is that it was invented by a young bartender during the vacation season in Florida. As part of a competition, the young bartender was faced with the challenge of conjuring up a refreshing drink for his young audience, which should contain a particularly large amount of sweet peach liqueur. He spontaneously mixed a fruity creation and named it Sex on the Beach because the beaches in Florida were particularly wild. The young, party-mad beachgoers were thrilled by the sweet mixed drink. This enthusiasm has not stopped to this day and Sex on the Beach has long ceased to be a drink that only the young generation drinks on the beach in Florida.

The bloody story of the Bloody Mary

The deep red cocktail separates the tastes: Many have never tried it, others don't like the salty drink at all and still others are great lovers of the fiery tomato drink, which is said to have a particularly invigorating effect after a long night. The ingredients of a classic Bloody Mary are vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, pepper, salt, Worcester sauce, Tabasco for the spicy taste and, of course, lots of ice. There are many myths about the origin of the ominous name. A well-known legend goes back to the deep red color of the cocktail. Accordingly, the drink is named after the English Queen Maria I. When she was in power she had many English Protestants executed. Because of her cruelty, she was called Bloody Mary and the red cocktail nowadays reminds of this bloodthirsty lady.

Searching for traces of long drinks such as Long Island Ice Tea or Cuba Libre is much easier: These were simply named after the places where they were invented.

Which cocktail is your favorite?