Cocktails are the perfect drink to enjoy a delicious aperitif in the company of friends or family. And, although you’ve most likely tried a few cocktails once or twice before, have you ever wondered where they first originated and do you know what the most common combinations are? If you answered no, don’t worry, here at the Green Suites Restaurant, we’ll help you find out more about one of gastronomy’s great unknowns, Cocktails. What are you waiting for?

Where Did Cocktails Originate?

Although the first written documentation found of the word “cocktail” dates back to around the year 1806, professional gastronomic researchers associate the origin of the cocktail, understood as a combination of alcohol and spices, with the Greek Era. It has been confirmed that the Greeks mixed wine with different spices, plants or a spoonful of honey to give their drinks a more agreeable taste.  

Regarding the etymology of the word “cocktail”, it is a compound word that originated from two different words: cock, as in the rooster, and tail, as in the animal tail. There are various theories as to how this combination of words came to be within different locations and historical contexts. Nowadays, there is still no general consensus of the different theories and opinions, but we’ll let you in on a few below:

In Mexico in the 19th century with the drac

Many experts turn to the country of Mexico to explain the origin of the cocktail that we know today. They claim that the English merchants who docked their ships in the Port of San Francisco de Campeche developed the custom of drinking a beverage called a drac which was made of different types of alcohol. To make the mixed drink, they used a metal spoon that left a bad aftertaste. So, they added a few roots, which the locals referred to as “cocks tail”.

In New Orleans at the end of the 18th century with the coquetiers

Other versions of the story place the origin of cocktails in the city of New Orleans at the end of the 18th century. It is said that there was a well-known pharmacist of French origin that prepared elixirs with liquor which afterward, was served in egg dishes called  coquetiers, in French. That may be the origin of where the word cocktails comes from in English.

What are the most common ingredients in a cocktail?

Whatever the historical origin, nowadays there are a wide variety of cocktails that bring together a series of varied ingredients that allow you to choose among any number of options. The most common additions include mint leaves, brown sugar, salt, pepper, lime and orange juice as well as different syrups, among many other things. Each cocktail has its own combination of alcohol but, don’t be so sure you know everything, because you’re missing the most important: enjoying  your marvellous cocktail, sounds good, right?

Margarita, Piña Colada, Dry Martini and Sex on the Beach

The options are endless. So, which cocktail is your drink of choice? The four listed above are the most served at bars and terraces and all of them have their own special touch. From the exquisite combination of tequila, lime juice and a salt border for a Margarita to the perfect blend of a Martini with gin for a Dry Martini, not forgetting the most colourful and provocative of drinks known as Sex on the Beach containing vodka, peach liqueur and a touch of colour and flavour from the orange and cranberry juice.

Without a doubt, there are many options to choose from, whether it be a classic Mojito, a famous Piña colada, Bloody Mary, White Russian or a Negroni, among many others. What the majority of people may not know is that bar tenders originally started Shaking the Penguin, as the first cocktail makers were in the form of penguins. What are you waiting for to try one? We’re sure they won’t let you down!