World Cocktail Day
I know that I said that my next post would be about my trips to New York and Kentucky, but time has snuck up on me, and a number of news worthy events have slipped by without nary a word typed. Let’s just say that finding a source of income is time consuming work in itself (and GTA IV isn’t helping either).
Since I’ve missed Mixology Monday (thanks for hiding the date within your logo contest, Paul!) I’m determined to at least say something about today’s date, May the 13th. For those of you who aren’t in the know, it was on this day, in 1806, that the word cocktail was first defined in print.
Found in the The Balance and Columbian Repository, a local Hudson, NY rag, the editor answered a readers question as to what was meant when, in the previous week’s edition, the word cocktail was used. The reader specifically asked:
“I observe in your paper of the 6th instant, in the account of a democratic candidate for a seat in the legislature, marked under the head of Loss, 25 do. cock-tail. Will you be so obliging as to inform me what is meant by this species of refreshment? Though a stranger to you, I believe, from your general character, you will not suppose this request to be impertinent.
I have heard of a forum, of phlegm-cutter and fog driver, of wetting the whistle, of moistening the clay, of a fillip, a spur in the head, quenching a spark in the throat, of flip & c, but never in my life, though have lived a good many years, did I hear of cock tail before.”
A man well versed in his intoxicating beverages, indeed!
Our good editor responded, with this, the world’s first definition of that most glorious of all libations, the cocktail:
“Cock tail, then is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head.”
And so on this day, I like to raise my glass to what may very well indeed be America’s greatest contribution to the world (right up there with skyscrapers and jazz).
I’ll be down at Zig Zag enjoying mine, but please enjoy yours at your favorite watering hole, and raise one in recognition to all of those great men and women behind the wood, both past and present, and the art form that they strain into that V-shaped glass before you.